Cologne suffer Schalke turnaround
Schalke came from behind to claim a convincing 4-1 win over Cologne and rejoin Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga standings.
Lukas Podolski gave the home side the lead in the fourth minute, but Schalke turned the game on its head in the last half an hour with Ciprian Marica on target twice and Klaas Jan Huntelaar scoring from the penalty spot. Marc Hoger made it four as Schalke completed the comeback victory.
Miso Brecko was shown a red card to compound the defeat for Stale Solbakken's side, who fall to within just three points of the relegation zone.
Solbakken had warned that things could turn dramatic in the event of a defeat, but that did not seem too likely when Podolski put them in front early on. Milivoje Novakovic passed to Podolski, who then unleashed a powerful shot into the bottom corner of Lars Unnerstall's goal from almost 25 yards out.
Cologne could have made it two just before the interval, but Podolski's shot from close range just missed the target.
Schalke started the second half with more verve, though, and they were justly rewarded with the equaliser on the hour mark. Christian Fuchs sent in a cross from the left and Marica opened his account following his transfer from Stuttgart with a header past Michael Rensing.
He added his and Schalke's second 12 minutes later when he found himself in the right place at the right time to score after Huntelaar's header rebounded out off the right-hand post.
Cologne fell to pieces and any hopes of a recovery were dashed when Brecko fouled Julian Draxler inside the penalty area, earning a red card as well as conceding a penalty.
Huntelaar scored from the spot to seal the win for Huub Stevens' side. Hoger then added the icing on top with a fourth goal in the 82nd minute, slotting into an open goal from six yards after Huntelaar unselfishly squared the ball to him rather than shooting.