Leon Goretzka was the catalyst for victory as resurgent Schalke got the better of Mainz at the VELTINS Arena on Friday.
Schalke 2-0 Mainz
Goals: 1-0 Goretzka (12'), 2-0 Burgstaller (74')
Schalke made a supremely confident start, and deservedly went ahead inside twelve minutes. Guido Burgstaller's exquisite reverse pass released the in-form Goretzka, who coolly clipped the ball beyond the advancing Rene Adler for his third Bundesliga goal in as many games. Mainz's Stefan Bell struck the woodwork against the run of play, before Amine Harit went close to doubling Schalke's lead with a fine low drive from the edge of the penalty area.
Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann denied Mainz striker Yoshinori Muto a sure-fire equaliser with a fine save at the start of the second half, but the Royal Blues gave precious little away thereafter. Having already poked an effort against a post, Burgstaller got the goal his performance deserved in the 74th minute, slamming home on the rebound after Adler could only parry from Naldo. Substitute Yevhen Konoplyanka missed the chance to make it three moments later, although the game had long been sewn up as Schalke moved, temporarily at least, into the top four.
Watch: Leon Goretzka on his red-hot scoring form
Schalke: Fährmann (c) - Stambouli, Naldo, Kehrer - Caligiuri, Meyer, Goretzka, Oczipka - Burgstaller (Reese 84'), Di Santo (Konoplyanka 68'), Harit (Coke 90')
Coach: Domenico Tedesco
Mainz: Adler - Donati (Maxim 71'), Balogun (Kodro 79'), Bell (c), Diallo, Brosinski - Gbamin, Latza - De Blasis (Fischer 62'), Öztunali - Muto
Coach: Sandro Schwarz
- Schalke are unbeaten in their last five home matches against Mainz.Goretzka's fourth Bundesliga goal of the season was his first from open play.Goretzka only needs one more goal to equal his league tally for the entire of last season.Nine of Burgstaller's 12 Bundesliga goals have come at the Veltins Arena.Schalke's Coke made his first Bundesliga appearance of the season.Mainz's Daniel Brosinski made his 100th Bundesliga appearance.