Schalke, Augsburg and Bremen enjoy home comforts

Cologne - There were a trio of home wins on Saturday afternoon of Matchday 13 as FC Schalke 04 beat 1. FSV Mainz 05 at the Veltins Arena, FC Augsburg continued their impressive run by defeating Hamburger SV and SV Werder Bremen hit four past SC Paderborn 07.

FC Schalke 04 4-1 1. FSV Mainz 05

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Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was in sparkling form as FC Schalke 04 gave the best possible response to their midweek UEFA Champions League frustration, overcoming 1. FSV Mainz 05 4-1.

The Dutch marksman struck a hat-trick at the Veltins Arena, with midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta scoring another for the Royal Blues. Shinji Okazaki bagged his seventh of the season, but the strike proved too little for the visitors in Gelsenkirchen.

Huntelaar decisive

Hoping to bounce back from Tuesday’s frustrating 5-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea FC, Roberto Di Matteo’s side settled into their rhythm quickly, carving out several half-chances in the opening stages. The Gelsenkirchen club’s dominance paid off after just nine minutes, with Huntelaar doing well to lob the ball over the approaching Loris Karius. The 2012 top scorer netted a second midway through the first half, converting from Max Meyer’s pass for his 100th Bundesliga goal, before Okazaki gave Mainz hope shortly before the break.

Boosted by their goal, the guests emerged for the second half in positive spirits, enjoying the lion’s share of possession after the interval. Sami Allagui spurned two opportunities to level matters for Kasper Hjulmand’s charges, but it was Barnetta at the other end who converted one of Schalke’s rare forays in the visiting half with a fine finish from the edge of the box. Huntelaar sealed three points for Schalke with his third shortly past the hour mark as die Knappen recorded back-to-back victories in the league.

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FC Augsburg 3-1 Hamburger SV

A second-half comeback ensured FC Augsburg made it five consecutive home wins with a 3-1 victory over a battling Hamburger SV.

Although Rafael van der Vaart put the visitors ahead against the run of play before the interval, second-half goals from Halil Altintop, Raul Bobadilla and Paul Verhaegh gave the hosts all three points.

Augsburg's stars shine

Full of confidence after a vital derby win over SV Werder Bremen on Matchday 12, Hamburger SV pressed high early on and Artjoms Rudnevs should have done better with a 12th-minute header. The hosts, however, found their way into proceedings, Raul Bobadilla engaging in a duel with HSV keeper Jaroslav Drobny and forcing the custodian into several good saves. As Augsburg ramped up the pressure Tobias Werner volleyed over in the 36th minute, but it was Hamburg who opened the scoring with their first shot since Rudnevs’ early effort. A lovely move carved open die Fuggerstädter’s defence, and van der Vaart applied a cool finish to break the deadlock.

With only one loss at the SGL Arena this season, Augsburg weren’t going down without a fight, and within five minutes of the restart they were level. Altintop was quickest to react after Hamburg failed to clear a corner, firing home from close-range. Markus Weinzierl’s side turned the game on its head in the 62nd minute, Bobadilla finally overcoming Drobny after excellent work from Abdul Rahman Baba on the left flank. The hosts’ victory was sealed when Verhaegh netted his fifth goal of the season from the penalty spot, and although Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker was forced to clear off the line with ten minutes remaining, Augsburg’s impressive second-half display ensured the win.

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SV Werder Bremen 4-0 SC Paderborn 07

SV Werder Bremen picked up their second consecutive home win by virtue of a comfortable 4-0 victory against SC Paderborn 07.

A superb free kick from Zlatko Junuzovic opened the scoring early, and although Paderborn came back into things in the first half, goals from Davie Selke, Fin Bartels and Levent Aycicek ensured the three points remained in Bremen.

Bremen run riot

Despite a first loss under Viktor Skripnik on Matchday 12, Bremen had the ball in the net within two minutes, but Selke’s calm finish was ruled out for offside. It mattered little, however, as Junuzovic bent a brilliant free kick beyond Lukas Kruse in the Paderborn goal just eight minutes later. The lead was deserved, and the Green-Whites set about trying to add to it, with Janek Sternberg and Selke spurning chances. Paderborn grew in confidence as the half went on and Patrick Ziegler forced a good save out of Raphael Wolf moments before the break, while Marvin Bakalorz and Mario Vrancic should have done better with their efforts.

Within five minutes of the restart, Paderborn’s hope had been ended. After the visitors failed to clear a free kick, Selke stole a march to nod home at the near post, before Bartels fired home from the edge of the box to make it 3-0 after Lukas Kruse had failed to clear properly. With Paderborn offering limited resistance, it became a question of how many Bremen would score, as Sternberg, Aycicek and Selke had further chances, before Aycicek’s emphatic finish ten minutes from time completed the scoring.

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