Schalke 04 kept up their chase for the Bundesliga runners-up spot with a dominant 2-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday to move level on points with second-placed Borussia Dortmund.
Max Meyer put the hosts into the lead in the 59th minute after Sead Kolasinac’s long-range effort hit the woodwork and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, back in the side after an injury layoff, had his rebound saved by Kevin Trapp.
Trapp denied the Netherlands striker again seven minutes later by saving his penalty, but the hosts kept pouring forward in a one-sided affair with Brazil coach Felipe Scolari in the stands of the Veltins-Arena.
Schalke hit the bar again through Leon Goretzka in the 81st minute, but winger Jefferson Farfan, also returning from injury after a six-week absence, curled a superb free-kick into the top corner to seal the win in stoppage time.
“I was not satisfied at all in the first half because we did a lot of things wrong,” said Schalke coach Jens Keller, whose future at the club has been the subject of speculation during a rollercoaster season that has produced a strong finish.
Schalke are unbeaten in seven league games and have won all four of their recent home matches.
“I told my players exactly that at halftime, but after that we improved greatly. A lot of respect for that,” Keller told reporters.
As for Huntelaar’s fourth spot-kick miss out of his last six, Keller said: “The chances of him taking another penalty are diminishing.”
Schalke have 58 points with four games left, trailing only on goal difference behind Dortmund, who were to travel to champions and bitter rivals Bayern Munich yesterday.
Fourth-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach, who were to host struggling VfB Stuttgart yesterday, are 10 points off the teams in second position.