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Sports

Bremen deepen Hamburg's misery, Wolfsburg and Schalke draw

Wolfsburg and Schalke split the points in Sunday's late match. Earlier, Bremen beat Hamburg 1-0 with a late penalty kick to leave Hamburg bottom of the league, without a goal in six league matches.

Werder Bremen 1-0 Hamburg

(Di Santo 84', pen);

Werder Bremen's aim was to make a run at the Europa League, while last-placed Hamburg were gunning for points in their battle to beat the drop. And battle was the operative word in Bruno Labbadia's first match in his second stint as coach of the cellar-dwellers.

Rafael van der Vaart could have been shown red for a cavalier slide challenge on Jannik Verstergaard in the first quarter of an hour, but somehow escaped a booking, as he did a bit later on after clearly handling the ball.

Bremen seemed a bit taken aback by all the rough stuff, and Zoltan Stieber had a great chance to put the visitors ahead with an open look in the hosts' area. But the Hamburg playmaker curled his shot well wide. Bremen's best chance came on a breakaway, but a wide-open Davie Selkie launched the ball into the stratosphere. The game was scoreless at half-time.

The caliber of play deteriorated even further after the break. Bremen were by far the more attacking side against their purely destructive visitors, but opportunities were non-existent. Until five minutes from time when Valon Behrami brought down Zlatko Junuzovic in the box, conceding a penalty and earning a red card. Franco di Santo smashed home from the spot to give Bremen a deserved 1-0 win.

The result takes Bremen up to seventh in the table, while Hamburg remain stuck at the very bottom.

Fußball Bundesliga VfL Wolfsburg vs. FC Schalke 04

Schalke were hit by a number of injuries and did well to earn a point

Wolfsburg 1-1 Schalke

(Sané 53' - De Bruyne 78')

Sunday's late match was a far more aesthetically pleasing affair. Second-placed Wolfsburg, playing at home, had more of the ball and generated more chances than visitors Schalke in the first half.

But the Royal Blues were set up to bend but not break, and keeper Ralf Fährmann was having a blinder, keeping things goalless at the mid-way point.

After the break, Woflsburg were, if anything, even more dominant in terms of possession. But it was Schalke who took the lead against the run of play on 53 minutes - youngster Leroy Sané running the length of the pitch to slot the ball past Diego Benaglio after a bit of luck in the box.

The Wolves redoubled their efforts but bashed their heads against a Royal Blue wall until the 78th minute. Daniel Caligiuri evaded three defenders to find Kevin de Bruyne. The Belgian playmaker finally got the better of Fährmann with an expertly curled low shot from 25 yards.

The final minutes were end-to-end without either side being able to land the knock-out blow. The 1-1 draw drops Wolfsburg twelve points behind Bayern, who can officially wrap up the Bundesliga title next round.

Schalke are in fifth, ahead of Augsburg on goal difference.

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