FC Schalke 04 remain second in the Bundesliga after a 2-2 draw at Hamburger SV prevented them from displacing FC Bayern München, while Fanis Gekas fired a hat-trick as bottom-placed Hertha BSC Berlin earned their biggest win of the season at VfL Wolfsburg.
Schalke were bidding to lift themselves clear in the standings after Eintracht Frankfurt had brought Bayern's 19-match unbeaten run to an end on Saturday, yet found themselves trailing five minutes before the break when Ruud van Nistelrooy hit his third league goal since joining HSV in January.
The visitors bounced back strongly midway through the second period, firstly when Kevin Kuranyi scored his 15th of the campaign on 62 minutes and moments later through Ivan Rakitić (68), who put Schalke ahead via a retaken penalty after Van Nistelrooy fouled Alexander Baumjohann. The final word fell to substitute Jonathan Pitroipa, however, the 23-year-old finishing at the far post from Piotr Trochowski's cross, leaving Schalke a point off the top. Felix Magath's men visit second-placed Bayer 04 Leverkusen next weekend before hosting Bayern seven days later.
Defending champions Wolfsburg suffered their tenth reverse this term, meanwhile, following up Thursday's 2-1 victory over FC Rubin Kazan in the UEFA Europa League with a 5-1 home loss to Hertha. The capital club owed their triumph to three goals from winter loan signing Gekas and an Adrián Ramos double, with Grafite on target for the hosts. Hertha now lie seven points from safety.
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|Last updated: 03/07/2011 04:16 CET|
Gekas 34 (p), 77
|Venue: Frankfurt am Main|
Bailly 61 (o.g.)