Schalke's top-four push is in danger of faltering after Werder Bremen came from behind to win late on at the Veltins Arena.
Schalke 1-2 Werder Bremen
With Nabil Bentaleb back in the line-up for the first time since October, Schalke enjoyed plenty of possession through midfield in the early stages. Despite their monopoly of the ball, though, the Royal Blues created nothing against a well-organised Bremen in the first 20 minutes and it took an error from Jiri Pavlenka in the Werder goal – the keeper failing to catch Yevhen Konoplyanka's speculative effort from the edge of the box – for the hosts to take the lead. Bremen, who had offered little prior to going behind, responded positively, but Theodor Gebre Selassie headed the visitors' only real chance wide before the break.
Any shoots of a Bremen revival were quickly quashed by Schalke, who burst out of the blocks at the start of the second period following the introduction of Leon Goretzka for Bentaleb. Domenico Tedesco's troops fired in seven shots in the first 10 minutes after the restart, with Goretzka, Amine Harit and Naldo all drawing good saves from Pavlenka. The hosts were made to pay for their profligacy late on, though: after Matija Nastastic was dismissed for a second bookable offence, Ralf Fährmann spilled the resultant free-kick and Max Kruse was on hand to poke into the awaiting net from close range. Sensing weakness, Bremen continued to push for a winner and it arrived in injury time, Zlatko Junuzovic getting in behind and poking home to send the visiting fans into raptures.
- Schalke have scored in the last 15 Bundesliga games, the club's longest such run since 1999.Milot Rashica became the 350th player to represent Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga.Konoplyanka's goal was his second of the season, but his first since Matchday 1. Both goals have come on home turf.Sebastian Langkamp made his Bremen debut as a late substitute.Junuzovic's goal was his first of the season.
Schalke: Fährmann (c) – Kehrer, Naldo, Nastasic – Caligiuri, Bentaleb (Goretzka 46'), Meyer, Oczipka – Harit, Di Santo (Burgstaller 65'), Konoplyanka (Pjaca 70')
Unused subs: Nübel, Stambouli, Teuchert, Embolo
Absentees: McKennie (knee ligaments), Insua (chest), Schöpf (match fitness)
Coach: Domenico Tedesco
Bremen: Pavlenka – Gebre Selassie, Veljkovic, Moisander, Augustinsson – Delaney, Gondorf (Junuzovic 71'), Eggestein – Rashica (Johannsson 56') – Kruse (c), Belfodil (Langkamp 90')
Subs: Drobny, Bauer, Kainz, Friedl
Absentees: Bartels (Achilles tendon), Zetterer (hand), Bargfrede (unspecified)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt