Schalke 04 came from a goal
down to beat bottom side Kaiserslautern 4-1 on Sunday to stay in
the hunt for a Champions League spot.
Goals from Lewis Holtby and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar late in the
first half turned the game around for the visitors after
Kaiserslautern, who have not won in 16 consecutive games, had
taken a third-minute lead through Rodnei.
Spaniard Raul then ended any lingering hopes the hosts may
have had when he rifled in from 19 metres with an unstoppable
left-footer for his 12th goal of the league season and Jefferson
Farfan tapped in another nine minutes from time after a quick
break involving Holtby.
"It would great if we could finish fourth this season," said
Schalke coach Huub Stevens. "We said we wanted to get a quick
third goal after the break and after Raul's superb goal
everything was easy."
The win lifted Schalke, who will face Athletic Bilbao in the
Europa League quarter-finals, to 50 points. They lie one behind
third-placed Borussia Monchengladbach and 10 ahead of
fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen.
The top three Bundesliga finishers qualify for the Champions
League group stage while the fourth team plays in the
competition's preliminary round.
Kaiserslautern dropped five points off the relegation playoff
spot with the future of coach Marco Kurz in doubt.
"If we want to stay up we have to play differently than we
did today," Kurz told reporters. "Now we need to get back up and
we will get back up."
In the only other Bundesliga game on Sunday, Europa League
quarter-finalists Hannover 96 beat Cologne 4-1 - their first win
in the last four league games - to move into seventh place and
stay in the running for a European spot.
January signing Mame Diouf scored twice after goals from
Lars Stindl and Jan Schlaudraff. Cologne's Kevin Pezzoni had
briefly levelled just before the break.
Champions Borussia Dortmund protected their five-point lead
at the top with a 1-0 win over Werder Bremen on Saturday with
Bayern Munich in second place on 54 points after their 6-0 away
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