FC Schalke 04 returned to winning ways with a deserved 3-2 win over ten-man Hamburger SV.
The game started at a frenetic pace, with Nicolai Müller taking advantage of a breakdown in communication between Schalke pair Roman Neustädter and Ralf Fährmann to give Hamburg an early lead. The Royal Blues responded well, however, and would have been level but for an exceptional stop from Rene Adler to push away Younes Belhanda's fierce volley. The visitors were riding their luck as former HSV defender Dennis Aogo ballooned over with the goal at his mercy, before Max Meyer, who had already forced a flying save out of Adler, lashed in an emphatic equaliser from 20 yards.
The pendulum swung firmly in Schalke’s favour late in the first half when Hamburg captain Johan Djourou was sent off following two quick-fire bookable offences. Adler was doing his bit to keep HSV in the game, but the dam burst in the 75th minute when Klaas-Jan Huntelaar glanced Alessandro Schöpf’s inviting cross into the net for his 75th Bundesliga goal. Schöpf struck with the aid of a massive deflection off Cleber to put Hamburg out of their misery, although the visitors did pull one back through Gojko Kacar in added time.
Man of the match
As well as scoring an absolute peach of an equaliser, Meyer was the driving force behind all Schalke’s best moves.
After going three successive matches without a win, is this the tonic Schalke needed to get their top-four push back on track?
- Gotoku Sakai played a part in a Hamburg goal for the first time since joining the club in summer 2015.
- Müller's opener was the fastest Bundesliga goal Schalke have conceded in exactly two years.
- Schalke won for the first time this season after going behind.
- Huntelaar has scored 75 goals in 150 Bundesliga appearances.
- The Dutchman has also scored more goals against Hamburg than against any other club (ten in 11 outings).
Schalke: Fährmann - Junior Caicara, J. Matip, Neustädter, Aogo - Höjbjerg, Geis - Schöpf (Riether 90'), Belhanda, Meyer (Kolasinac 85') - Huntelaar (c) (Sam 90')
Hamburg: Adler - G. Sakai, Djourou (c), Spahic, Ostrzoek - Jung, Kacar - N. Müller, Holtby (Diekmeier 84'), Drmic (Cleber 46') - Lasogga (Rudnevs 64')