RECAP: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Jermaine Jones and Schalke avoided a let down after two huge away victories, while Fabian Johnson and Daniel Williams were beaten handily as Hoffenheim fell to Mainz.
Schalke 04 1 - 0 FC Nürnberg
Jermaine Jones was back in the starting lineup for Schalke as the Königsblauen capped off an historic week with a hard-fought victory over Nuremberg.
Jones got the nod over Marco Höger in head coach Huub Steven's starting 11 and played the full 90.
After a memorable week, which included an away thrashing of bitter rivals Dortmund and a Champions League triumph in London versus Arsenal, it was back to the Bundesliga for Schalke.
Understandably fatigued, the home team was nearly caught in the game's opening minute, but Japanese midfielder Hiroshi Kiyotake's fantastic effort from 20 yards out was parried by Schalke keeper Lars Unnerstall.
Schalke's first forays into the attacking third should have led to goals, but both Jefferson Farfan and Klaas Jan Huntelaar wasted chances in the 15th and 16th minutes respectively.
The first half ended with neither team posing any significant threat to either goal.
The second 45 saw more belief in the ranks of the guests, as they played more decisively and created some excellent chances that went begging in the 70th and 76th minutes.
But Schalke was not to be denied and needed only a single chance to net the winner.
The move started with substitute Julian Draxler playing left back Christian Fuchs into space on the left flank. There, the Austrian was able to pick out the diminutive Farfan, who redirected the cross with the inside of his left boot past keeper Patrick Rakovsky into goal in the 77th minute for the game-winner.
Try as they might, Nuremberg was unable to unlock Schalke's defense as the home team made it four victories in a row in all competitions.
Up next for Jones and co. is a midweek German Cup tie against Andrew Wooten and SV Sandhausen on Tuesday.
Mainz 05 3 - 0 1899 Hoffenheim
Daniel Williams and Fabian Johnson both put in a full 90 minutes of work on Saturday as Hoffenheim fell to Mainz thanks to a hat-trick by Hungarian striker Adam Szalai.
After sitting out last week's contest due to an accumulation of yellow cards, Williams rejoined Hoffenheim's starting lineup, assuming his accustomed defensive midfield role, while Johnson manned left back.
The game's initial 15 minutes were lackluster on both sides, characterized by intense defending and tackling; neither team could muster anything in attack.
In the 21st minute, however, Mainz used the game's first true chance to grab the advantage. Costa Rican defender Junior Diaz picked out an unmarked Szalai six yards from goal and the Hungarian goal-getter easily nodded past Hoffenheim keeper Tim Wiese for the lead.
Upon conceding the opener, Hoffenheim displayed some attacking verve of its own and should have taken the lead just before the break, but Spanish striker Joselu could only hit the side netting after Roberto Firmino found him in the box with a sublime through ball.
Mainz wasted precious little time in doubling their advantage after the restart, albeit thanks to some generous defending.
Jannik Vestergard's errant pass out of the back ranks was picked off by Elkin Soto, who immediately played in Szalai, who one-timed a shot past a helpless Wiese in the 46th minute.
The game was officially put to bed in the 64th minute when Szalai completed his hat trick by taking advantage of absent marking to head home a Nicolai Müller corner.
Williams picked up where he left off before his suspension, seeing his 6th yellow of the season for a mistimed challenge on Mainz' Soto in the 68th minute.
Next up for Hoffenheim is a home tilt versus Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 this coming Saturday.
FC Sankt Pauli 3 - 2 Dynamo Dresden
Joeseph Gyau put in 45 strong minutes of second half action as St. Pauli came from two goals down to defeat Dresden on Sunday.
Gyau made his third appearance for St. Pauli since coming over on a year-long loan from Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim.
The guests from Saxony grabbed the lead in the 18th minute as Idir Ouali sped past his marker into the box and fired past keeper Phillip Tschauner from the spot.
Dresden then doubled their lead over a listless Pauli when Anthony Losilla gained possession of the ball in the box and found Mickael Poté, who easily pushed the ball over the line from point-blank range.
The hosts then pulled one back through the captain Fabiann Boll in the last minute of stoppage time. The midfielder received the ball in the box, spun and shot past keeper Benjamin Kirsten from 11 yards out.
After just five minutes had elapsed in the second half, Pauli drew level. Florian Kringe picked out Christopher Avevor on a corner and the German defender made no mistake thumping a powerful header into the back of the net.
The comeback was complete in the 55th minute as Boll's driving run forward led to the captain picking out Daniel Ginczek in the box. The German nutmegged the keeper with a right-footed shot to electrify the Pauli faithful.
The victory, the first under new head coach Michael Frontzeck, puts St. Pauli in 13th place with 11 points.
Up next for Gyau and Pauli is a Wednesday German Cup date in Stuttgart against VfB.
Eintracht Braunschweig 1 - 1 Hertha Berlin
John Anthony Brooks started in central defense for the guests from the German capital, who salvaged a point against Braunschweig thanks to a second half goal by Adrian Ramos 12 minutes from time.
Brooks got his third start in a row for head coach Jos Luhukay, going the distance in defense.
The game's first threatening scene led to the opener. In the 25th minute, captain Dennis Kruppke took a pass from Ken Reichel at the top of the box, took a touch and ripped off a shot that nutmegged Brooks on its way into the back of the net.
With time running out, Berlin grabbed a late equalizer in the 78th minute. Colombian striker Adrian Ramos outjumped his marker to head home Ronny's cross from three yards out.
Ramos nearly snagged a winner a minute later, but his chip over keeper Daniel Davari just missed the target.
With the point, Berlin has 22 points, five back of leaders Braunschweig. Up next for Brooks and Berlin is a home match versus FC Ingolstadt on Friday.
SV Sandhausen 0 - 2 MSV Duisburg
Andrew Wooten made his third start in a row for Sandhausen, but was unable to prevent defeat against fellow strugglers Duisburg in the German second flight.
After struggling to see any action at all in the first eight matches of the season, Wooten has out in a string of impressive performances to solidify his claim to Gerd Dais' starting 11.
Coming into the match, both teams found themselves at the wrong end of the standings; Sandhausen in 15th with nine points and Duisburg in dead last with five.
Just seconds after Wooten forced keeper Felix Wiedwald into a save, the guests from Duisburg took the lead.
Dzemal Berberovic received the ball on the right flank with ample time to cross for Sören Brandy, who beat Daniel Ischdonat with a one-timed shot with his right to take the advantage in the 33rd minute.
Duisburg then effectively put the game away in the 60th minute when Brandy received a pass in the middle of the area, pirouetted and fired five-hole past keeper Daniel Ischdonat.
Wooten and Sandhausen have a herculean task ahead of them on Tuesday as they travel to Gelsenkirchen to do battle with Jermaine Jones and high-flying Schalke 04 in German Cup action.
Karlsruher SC 2 - 1 Preußen Münster
Matt Taylor bagged an equalizer, but it was not enough as Munster came up short against Karlsruhe in the German third flight.
Taylor got the start once again for Munster putting in 72 minutes of work.
Karlsruhe took the lead in the 14th minute as Phillip Klingmann sent in a low cross that found Rouwen Hennings, who converted the tap in.
Munster drew level in the 53rd minute through Taylor, who had no trouble burying Dimi Nazarov's cross.
Taylor almost gave his team the lead a minute later, but he pushed his header just wide of the mark.
In the 74th minute, Karlsruhe central defender Daniel Gordon was sent to the showers after seeing a straight red card for a two-footed challenge.
Despite being a man down, Karlsruhe found a winner in the 78th through Hakan Calhanoglu, who converted a free kick from 20 yards out.
With the loss, Munster drops to third with 29 points. Up next for Munster is a German Cup tie against FC Augsburg on Tuesday.
FC Saarbrücken 3 - 1 Darmstadt
Preston Zimmerman started for Darmstadt against Saarbrucken but could not save Darmstadt from yet another defeat.
Zimmerman put in 58 minutes of work on Saturday before being subbed off in an attempt by head coach Jürgen Seeberger to jumpstart a languid Darmstadt attack.
Saarbrucken took the lead in the 17th minute after Nicolas Jüllich walked through the defense to the touchline to find Christian Eggert alone in front of goal for a tap in.
In the 30th minute, the guests doubled their lead on a header by Marcel Ziemer, before Danny Latza hit pay dirt for the guests a minute later to pull one back for Darmstadt.
Saarbrucken put the game away in the 50th minute as Marius Laux converted a penalty for the final 3-1 scoreline.
Zimmerman and Darmstadt host Kickers Offenbach on Saturday in their next match.
Steve Cherundolo did not play as Hannover fell at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach
Royal Dominique Fennell and the Stuttgart Kickers had their match against Unterhaching postponed due to inclement weather.