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Bundesliga: Wolfsburg, Schalke miss opportunities to climb the table

Champions League hopefuls Wolfsburg and Schalke missed an opening to jump up the Bundesliga table. Alexander Meier and Clemens Fritz were the stars of the show, pushing their teams further away from the relegation zone.

Eintracht Frankfurt 3-2 Wolfsburg
(Meier 66', 73', 90+3 - Dante 25', Schürrle 79')

The chance to get back in the Bundesliga's upper echelon slipped through Wolfsburg's fingers on Sunday, losing in the final moments to Frankfurt. With Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayer Leverkusen and Hertha Berlin all dropping points, three points would have placed Wolfsburg back in the Champions League spots. Their missed chances caused them to miss out on that ascension, and Eintracht Frankfurt were able to win their second Bundesliga match in a row.

Though Frankfurt exploded out of the gates, Wolfsburg's patience was able to get them early chances. Only the acrobatics of Dante got Wolfsburg on the board in the first half, the Brazilian wrapping his leg around David Abraham to tap in a free-kick from Ricardo Rodriguez. Julian Draxler helped set up another great chance in the 42nd minute, but Daniel Caligiuri found a way to miss the far post despite shooting at the edge of the six-yard box.

Though chances still came for Wolfsburg, it was Frankfurt that were winning the energy battle. The addition of newly-acquired Marco Fabian injected new life into a team who had just one victory in their last seven matches going into the contest. Chances continued to fall to the feet of Wolfsburg's attackers, but the strikerless team let many of those pass them by.

Fußball Bundesliga VfL Wolfsburg vs. Eintracht Frankfurt Tor

Meier's hat-trick snatches an opportunity away from Wolfsburg to jump to fourth place.

Meier the master

Alexander Meier rewarded Frankfurt's hustle with a second-half hat-trick, his third goal coming just before full time to clinch the three points for the Eagles. Stefan Aigner was his running mate for the first two. He headed down a cross from Szabolcs Huszti to set up a Meier smash for the equalizer. Seven minutes later, Aigner's poke set up a second Meier rocket to give Frankfurt the lead.

Andre Schürrle gave Wolfsburg a life-line after smashing in a cross from Sebastian Jung. Dieter Hecking pulled in the reigns, bringing on Marcel Schäfer for Julian Draxler to try to see out the match. His conservativeness did not pay off, with Fabian firing a shot from the goalline Diego Benaglio could not handle before Meier smashed in match winner in the third minute of extra time.

The jubulence of Frankfurt was gut-wrenching for Wolfsburg, who now remain in seventh place after losing their fifth road match of the season. The result showed that Last year's cup winners have still not found a way to replicate their Champions League success in the Bundesliga.

Schalke 1-3 Werder Bremen
(Matip 4' - Fritz 43', Pizarro 55', Ujah 89')

Wolfsburg's loss then opened the door for Schalke to leapfrog some clubs ahead of them, fighting for Champions League places. They nearly grasped the chance as well, with Joel Matip floating a header from a corner inside the far post to give Schalke the early lead. However, it was a Werder legend that put Schalke's jump up the table out of reach.

Clemens Fritz used his 300th Bundesliga match to kick-off his retirment tour in the right way. He got things started by finding the first-half equalizer, maneuvering the Schalke defense out of position before smashing a shot inside the far post. He continued to drive Werder forward and found his side-kick Claudio Pizarro, who gave the away side the lead early in the second half.

Schalke was left realing, not knowing how to handle the Fritz firestorm. Leroy Sane wiggled his way to a few chances, but his shots rolled harmlessly into the arms of Felix Wiedwald. Fritz remained relentless at the other end, sprinting from touchline to touchline even if his teammates weren't. His relentless running sealed the match for Werder, the captain catching up with his teammates before setting up Anthony Ujah for the final goal.

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