High-flying Hertha down Schalke to match Bayern


Berlin (AFP) – Hertha Berlin maintained their 100 percent Bundesliga record with a 2-0 win over Schalke 04 to set up a top-of-the-table clash on Wednesday against Bayern Munich.

Hertha’s victory on Sunday means they are only second in the German league table on goal difference behind Bayern with the only teams boasting a perfect three wins from three in Germany’s top flight poised to meet at Munich’s Allianz Arena in midweek.

Superb second-half goals from ex-Bayern midfielder Mitchell Weiser and Swiss midfielder Valentin Stocker at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium gave Hertha three more points.

A superb pass from Slovakia’s Peter Pekarik was met in mid-air by Weiser who volleyed home to the delight of the home fans in the 50,000-strong crowd on 64 minutes.

Hertha doubled their lead in emphatic fashion ten minutes later when Weiser’s pass found Stocker in space behind the Schalke defence and the Swiss international showed great control before slamming his shot home.

It means Berlin will head to Munich for a mouthwatering clash and another test for Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern.

The Italian’s illness-hit side had to come from behind to grind out a 3-1 win at home to Ingolstadt in Munich on Saturday.

The result in Berlin was a third-straight defeat for Schalke.

It is little short of disaster for new coach Markus Weinzierl and director of sport Christian Heidel after losing at Eintracht Frankfurt and being beaten at home by Bayern.

The Royal Blues now badly need wins at home to Cologne on Wednesday and away to Hoffenheim on Sunday.

Only goal difference keeps them off the bottom of the table, one place ahead of Werder Bremen, who sacked their coach Viktor Skripnik on Sunday.

Earlier, Japan striker Yoshinori Muto again came off the bench to score his second goal in just three Bundesliga games in Mainz’s 3-1 away win at Augsburg.

Muto came on with 66 minutes gone for Colombia striker Jhon Cordoba, who had scored Mainz’s early opener, and stabbed the ball over the line nine minutes from time after some good play by Yunus Malli.

This was Muto’s second goal off the bench this season after he netted, with only his fourth touch of the game, late in Mainz’s 2-1 defeat at Borussia Dortmund on the opening weekend.

Mainz are in the Europa League this season, drawing their first group game 1-1 at Saint Etienne on Thursday, but this was their first German league win of the campaign after also drawing 4-4 with Hoffenheim last weekend, when they squandered a 3-0 lead. 

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