Spanish veteran Raul fired Schalke 04 to second in the Bundesliga on Sunday, just behind leaders Bayern Munich on goal-difference, in a hard-fought 1-0 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Just days after securing their ticket to the Europa League group phase with a 6-1 win over Helsinki, the side from Gelsenkirchen handed ’Gladbach their first defeat of the season, dropping die Fohlen from first to fifth.
Schalke have nine points from four games, equal with both Bayern and Werder Bremen, who both won their matches on Saturday.
A hat-trick from Germany striker Mario Gomez gave Bayern a 3-0 victory at Kaiserslautern that sent them top of the Bundesliga for the first time this season. Werder Bremen came from behind to win 2-1 at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim thanks to goals from Marko Arnautovic and Markus Rosenberg.
Schalke’s Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar lacked the efficiency demonstrated against Helsinki in midweek and it was former Real Madrid star Raul who came to the rescue only days after ending speculation he is about to leave die Konigsblauen.
It was a goal in three stages, as the 34-year-old’s first two point-blank shots were saved, before he finally hit the net after 64 minutes.
Earlier, Hannover 96 missed the chance to go top after being held 1-1 by FSV Mainz 05.
However, Hannover remain unbeaten this season with eight points from four games, one point behind the leading trio.
Tunisia international Sami Allagui put visiting Mainz on the scoreboard after just two minutes, before Mohammed Abdellaoue got the equalizer on the half-hour mark for the hosts, who advanced to the Europa League group phase in midweek.
It was the third goal this season for Abdellaoue, but the Norway international and his Ivorian teammate Didier Ya Konan both missed chances to secure a win in the second half.
Mainz sit seventh with seven points, just behind champions Borussia Dortmund and ahead of last year’s runners-up Bayer 04 Leverkusen, whose clash on Saturday night ended in a goalless draw that left both teams on seven points.