Battle of the young guns: Teemu Pukki (r.) has HSV's Tolgay Arslan on his case in the early stages of an evenly-balanced contest
Battle of the young guns: Teemu Pukki (r.) has HSV's Tolgay Arslan on his case in the early stages of an evenly-balanced contest

Schalke stumble at impressive Hamburg

Hamburg - Hamburger SV bounced back in style from a disappointing loss at Fortuna Düsseldorf last time out, beating high-flying FC Schalke 04 3-1 at the Imtech Arena.

Hamburg pressure, Schalke chances

Second-half goals from Maximilian Beister and Artjoms Rudnevs put the Red Shorts firmly in control before Klaas-Jan Huntelaar pulled one back from the spot with ten minutes remaining. In a thrilling finale, Milan Badelj wrapped things up for Hamburg in added time with another penalty. The result moves HSV up to eighth in the standings ahead of the Wednesday action, now just four points behind their defeated visitors. With Eintracht Frankfurt also losing, at home to Mainz, Schalke remain third for the time being.

The hosts almost went in front in the seventh minute when Denis Aogo, set up by Beister, drilled a low shot against the post with guest keeper Lars Unnerstall beaten. Showing few signs of missing playmaker Rafael van der Vaart and top scorer Heung-Min Son, both sidelined due to injury, HSV continued to make the early running, only for Schalke to almost go in front at the first opportunity in the 14th minute, Huntelaar steering a great ball from Christian Fuchs wide of the target.

Hamburg, with Beister looking particularly lively, continued to press, but midway through the half it was once again the visitors who went close, Chinedu Obasi getting a header on a Jefferson Farfan corner that pulled a goal-line clearance from Tolgay Arslan. Schalke were warming to the task now and the high-tempo encounter saw further half-chances at both ends. Ten minutes before the break, Unnerstall just managed to scramble clear a dangerous ball in from Beister, with Rudnevs waiting to pounce on the slightest slip.

Beister nails it

Nil-nil it remained through to the interval, but seven minutes after the restart HSV got the breakthrough which, at least in terms of possession and chances, had long seemed in the offing. Badelj won possession in midfield and set Beister free with a penetrating pass that the wide attacker battered past Unnerstall, who could only help the ball into the net with his fingertips. For Beister, who spent the last two seasons on loan at Fortuna Düsseldorf, it was the first goal in his 15 top-flight outings to date.

Schalke coach Huub Stevens brought on Tranquillo Barnetta for Obasi to try and freshen things up going forward, but instead it was Hamburg who struck again, and to decisive effect. Beister played Dennis Diekmeier into the box with a backheel and the right-back teed up Rudnevs for a simple finish in the middle, the frontman having only just passed up a decent scoring chance from a header.

Schalke on the comeback trail

Two down, the Royal Blues belatedly awoke from their second-half slumber, Benedikt Höwedes pulling a great save out of home keeper Rene Adler, who also blocked Jefferson Farfan's attempt on the rebound. With 80 minutes on the clock, the former Germany No1 then found himself facing Huntelaar from the penalty spot after the referee blew up for a handball inside the box by substitute Tomas Rincon. Adler saved the initial effort, but the Dutch marksman made no mistake when the follow-up fell to his feet, and it was game on again.

The drama reached fever pitch in added time as Adler first turned a brilliant Fuchs free kick round the post at one end, then Barnetta hauled Aogo down at the other, resulting in a penalty this time for the home side. Badelj calmly stroked it away, and the points were finally in the bag for HSV.

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