Frankfurt beat Hoffenheim, Schalke held
With Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich at VfB Stuttgart on Sunday in the south German derby, fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt have stayed in the chasing pack with a 2-1 home win over Hoffenheim.
A deft chip from Japan winger Takashi Inui on 35 minutes allowed Frankfurt midfielder Martin Lanig to ghost in behind the centre-backs and beat Hoffenheim's Germany goalkeeper Tim Wiese for the first goal. Hoffenheim, whose centre-back Marvin Compper quit the club for Fiorentina on Friday, equalised through teenage striker Kevin Volland on 65 minutes.
Eintracht regained the lead just two minutes later through right-winger Stefan Aigner, but despite the three points, dark-horses Frankfurt, who were promoted at the end of last season, remain 12 points behind leaders Bayern. The defeat drops Hoffenheim into the automatic relegation places, in second bottom spot.
With speculation rife over whether Germany midfielder Lewis Holtby will join Tottenham Hotspur before January's transfer window closes, his Schalke side were held to a goalless draw at relegation candidates Augsburg.
Holtby, whose contract ends in June, will join Spurs for next season and, although the North London club want to sign him sooner, Schalke have rejected all their offers for the 22-year-old so far. Schalke have now won just once in eight games and drop to sixth, while the hosts go up to 16th.
Mainz moved up to fifth with a workman-like 3-0 win at bottom side Greuther Fuerth after their ex-Real Madrid striker Adam Szalai got the ball rolling by getting his toe to the ball after a goal-mouth scramble on 53 minutes. With team-mates queuing up to score, 19-year-old Yunus Malli rifled his shot home on 65 minutes to extend their lead before Szalai grabbed his second on 83 minutes to take the three points.
Borussia Moenchengladbach enjoyed a 2-1 win at home to Fortuna Duesseldorf to claim seventh place. Despite having defender Sebastien Pocognoli sent off for a dangerous foul just 34 minutes into his Bundesliga debut after joining from Standard Liege last week, ten-man Hanover 96 claimed a 2-1 victory over Wolfsburg. Ex-Manchester United striker Mame Diouf scored Hanover's second goal midway through the first-half, which proved to be the winner.
On Friday, defending Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund romped to a 3-0 win at home to Nuremberg to provisionally go second, but Bayer Leverkusen can leapfrog them if they take a point at Freiburg on Saturday night.