Schalke drew in their Champions League clash with Hapoel Tel Aviv on Tuesday, leaving their hopes of progressing delicately balanced. Werder Bremen's chances of advancing are all but over, losing to Dutch champs Twente.
Schalke failed to break through their rivals' defense
Schalke were held to a draw in their soccer showdown with Hapoel Tel Aviv, leaving them only a point ahead of their third-place Champions League group rivals.
Tel Aviv had the better of the first half with forwards Toto Tamuz and Ben Sahar posing several threats but failing to convert.
At the other end of the pitch, Spanish striker Raul and Dutchman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar struggled to break through the defense quite as effectively as their opponents.
While Schalke keeper Manuel Neuer frustrated Hapoel with several acrobatic saves, his Tel Aviv counterpart Vincent Enyeama was rarely troubled.
The goalless draw meant that bottom side Hapoel gained their first points of the campaign, but left Schalke, on seven points in Group B, looking over their shoulder at third place Benfica.
Frings' sending-off on 75 minutes seemed to prove critical
The Portuguese side, now on six points after beating top side Lyon 4-3, pose a serious threat to Schalke's chances of progressing to the knockout phase.
Tide of game changes after red card
In Group A action, Werder Bremen's slim hopes of reaching the knockout stages were dashed further with a 2-0 home defeat to Dutch champions FC Twente.
The Bundesliga side had, in fact, dominated with wave after wave of attack - until captain Torsten Frings was sent off on 75 minutes for bringing down Twente's Bryan Ruiz on the edge of the box.
A deflected shot from Nacer Chadli put the Dutch club ahead after 81 minutes, before a stooping header from Luuk de Jong sealed the win with six minutes remaining.
Bremen are at the bottom of Group A on two points, three points behind Twente. English side Tottenham Hotspur now top the group on goal difference with seven points after a 3-1 home victory over European champions Inter Milan.
In Wednesday's Champions League football, Bayern Munich visit Romanians CFR Cluj.
Richard Connor (Reuters, APE)
Editor: Darren Mara