A first half strike from Guido Burgstaller and a late penalty from Nabil Bentaleb saw Schalke beat Leverkusen 2:0 at the Bay Arena and go third in the league.
Burgstaller broke his seven game drought when he produced a cool finish to open the scoring on 11 minutes. Daniel Caligiuri’s long pass found the Austrian international in space, and he deftly lofted it over defender Panagiotis Retsos before slotting home.
Things went from bad to worse for Leverkusen, who could’ve potentially gone second with a win here, when Dominik Kohr was sent off seven minutes before half time.
Schalke finished the job through substitute Nabil Bentaleb’s second half penalty after Retsos had brought down Embolo in the box. The Algerian, brought on in the second half for Leon Goretzka, sent Bernd Leno the wrong way for his fourth of the campaign.
A game to forget for both young Retsos and Kohr, one has to say
The second game of the evening also saw the away side win, although few supporters, if any, would’ve predicted bottom of the table Koln to triumph at the Red Bull Arena. Leipzig, who had knocked out Napoli in midweek, began the game on the perfect note when Jean-Kevin Augustin scored in the 5th minute after Ademola Lookman’s first time effort from Bruma’s cross had rebounded off the post.
However, in a stunning turn around, young Vincent Koziello, making his first home league start, equalised for Koln in the 69th minute. Seven minutes later, Leipzig were again caught out on the right flank, just as they had been for Koziello’s goal. Marcel Risse, pivotal in the first goal, was again the creator and Lars Bittencourt, returning from injury, slotted in to help Koln go level on points with Hamburg.
All in all a disappointing weekend for Eintracht Frankfurt, Leverkusen and Leipzig, all of whom could’ve gone second, but messed up by losing their respective defeats (Frankfurt lost 1:0 to Stuttgart). The focus now shifts to Dortmund, who take on Augsburg on Monday night, and can open a three point gap in the race for second with victory at the Westfalenstadion.