Gelsenkirchen - 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.
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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