Aaron Hunt fired in one of the goals of the season to help relegation-threatened Hamburg claim three vital points in a thriller at home to Schalke.
Hamburg 3-2 Schalke
Goals: 0-1 Naldo (9'), 1-1 Kostic (17'), 2-1 Holtby (52'), 2-2 Burgstaller (63'), 3-2 Hunt (84')
Hamburg made a bright start at the Volksparkstadion, but it was Schalke who took the lead with their first real chance of the game. Daniel Caligiuri's teasing free-kick in the ninth minute was headed home by Brazilian centre-back Naldo, who is up to six goals for the campaign. The hosts got a deserved equaliser shortly afterwards, though, as they made the most of some poor Schalke defending – a long throw-in from Douglas Santos was allowed to bounce into the six-yard box for Filip Kostic to power home a header. You would never have known this was second against bottom, such was Hamburg's subsequent domination, but in spite of decent chances for Lewis Holtby and Luca Waldschmidt the two sides went in level at the break.
Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco brought on Weston McKennie and Franco Di Santo at the interval, but his changes failed to have the desired effect, as Holtby put Hamburg ahead after brilliant work down the left from Tatsuya Ito. Waldschmidt had a golden opportunity to make it 3-1 after Hunt's effort was spilled by Ralf Fährmann, but instead Schalke drew level – Leon Goretzka latched onto McKennie's excellent through ball, and the rather fortunate rebound was swept in by Guido Burgstaller. The game appeared to be heading for a draw when Hunt produced his moment of magic, driving a splendid effort into the top corner from fully 30 yards. The hosts still needed a brilliant save from Julian Pollersbeck to deny Naldo at the death, but they held on for a vital win, which leaves them above Cologne and five points off Mainz in the relegation play-off place.
- Naldo is the highest-scoring defender in the Bundesliga this season with six goals. Hamburg have never lost a Bundesliga game in which Kostic has scored (six wins, three draws).Holtby has now scored in consecutive Bundesliga games for the first time in his career, after getting the opener against Stuttgart last week.With 10 goals for the current season, Burgstaller has gone one better than his nine-goal tally last term.Hunt ended a run of 16 Bundesliga games without a goal, since netting against Stuttgart on 4 November 2017.HSV have scored in three consecutive games under new coach Christian Titz, something they hadn't previously managed in the Bundesliga this season.
Hamburg: Pollersbeck – Sakai (c), Papadopoulos, van Drongelen, Douglas Santos – Kostic (Jatta 75'), Holtby, Steinmann (Ekdal 73'), Waldschmidt (Arp 80'), Ito – Hunt
Unused subs: Mathenia, Ambrosius, Diekmeier, Gouaida
Absentees: Müller (knee ligaments), Mavraj, Walace (both disciplinary), Jung (suspended)
Coach: Christian Titz
Schalke: Fährmann (c) – Stambouli, Naldo, Nastasic (Bentaleb 75') – Kehrer, Goretzka, Meyer (McKennie 46'), Caligiuri – Harit - Embolo (Di Santo 46'), Burgstaller
Unused subs: Nübel, Konoplyanka, Pjaca, Schöpf
Absentees: Baba (fitness), Oczipka (abductor)
Coach: Domenico Tedesco
Watch: Holtby on why he still believes Hamburg will stay afloat