Schalke 04 boss Huub Stevens admitted he was in dreamland as Die Königsblauen drew level with German league leaders Bayern Munich with a 3-1 win over Stuttgart today. Moenchengladbach's 3-1 victory over Bayern on Friday night blew the Bundesliga wide open and Schalke seized the chance to match Munich on 37 points, but the Bavarians stay top due to their superior goal difference.
A goal after just three minutes from Schalke's 20-year-old Cameroon midfielder Joel Matip put them ahead against the 2007 champions before Greek defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos headed home on 57 minutes. The result was rounded off as18-year-old midfielder Julian Draxler scored his side's third with ten minutes left after being set up by Holland striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Stuttgart's Japan striker Shinji Okazaki scored a consolation goal three minutes from time.
"I was surprised how strong we were at the start of the game," said Stevens. "We played tactically very well and only our chances to counter-attack went begging, that is my only criticism. "I know we have the same amount of points as Bayern and it's nice to dream."
Werder Bremen remain fifth after their goalless draw at Kaiserslautern on Saturday night. Nuremberg beat Hertha Berlin 2-0, while Wolfsburg striker Sebastian Polter scored his second goal in two games to give Wolves a 1-0 win over Cologne. Hoffenheim against Hanover finished goalless while Nurnberg striker Alexander Esswein scored his side's winner at home to Berlin before defender Dominic Maroh added the second. It was the first league game for Hertha's new coach Michael Skibbe following the sacking of Markus Babbel before Christmas after falling out with Berlin's bosses over his future plans.
Freiburg proved there is life without Senegal striker Papiss Demba Cisse, who joined Newcastle United during the winter break, when they earned a 1-0 win over Augsburg with a late header from Matthias Ginter. With both sides in the relegation places, the result lifted Freiburg up to 17th and put Augsburg on the bottom of the table.