Third win in a row: Schalke 04 push through victory against Mainz in front group
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Gelsenkirchen (dpa) - The FC Schalke 04 has expanded its small winning streak thanks to Amine Harit and missed the possible leap to the top of the table just barely.
The team of coach David Wagner won 2-1 (1-0) against favorite opponent FSV Mainz 05 and landed the third success in a row. Suat Serdar brought Schalke in front of 58.687 spectators in the arena against his former club from Rheinhessen in the 36th minute lead. After equalizing just four minutes before substitute Karim Onisiwo (75th) made Harit (89th) shortly before the end for royal blue cheers.
To take at least for just under 20 hours the league leaders in the Bundesliga, the Royal Blues lacked at the end of two goals. After all, it was enough for the jump in second place and thus the rank of Borussia Dortmund. The weak Mainz stuck after the season-tenth defeat in eleven away games in the table-basement and are on Schalke since May 2011 winless.
Schalke coach David Wagner warned before the match in the DAZN interview that there would still be "a great deal" to improve. Every exuberance should be avoided after the 5: 1 in Paderborn. Weston Mc Kennie was in the starting eleven at Royal Blue in the offensive center instead of Mark Uth. The attacker came after an hour for scorer Serdar into play.
In the Mainz coach Sandro Schwarz sat in goal again on Robin Zentner, although regular keeper Florian Müller was fit again after a wrist injury. Zentner confirmed his good form from the Hertha game (2: 1) with a great reflex against Guido Burgstaller (13). The parade would not have been necessary, the Austrian was offside.
Then there were only a few penalty area scenes. The Mainz were solid and even had the best chance for a long-range shot by customer (21). In addition, goalkeeper Alexander Nübel brought several times with unusually sloppy footwork in distress.
Amine Harit caused with a great pass but then disorder in the Mainz defense. The restarted Serdar met the Schalke leadership against his former club. The hosts acted more purposefully. Burgstaller would have almost increased with a great side-puller (40th).
"More courage" and to be able to score the "faith" on Schalke, demanded the Mainz sports director Rouven Schröder in the half-time interview at DAZN. In the offensive, the guests lacked the effective organization. Only in the final phase of the pressure was increased. Schalke suddenly pushed himself into his own half. Onisiwo punished the Schalke negligence with his worth seeing Jokertor. But Harit had another answer ready.