Wolfsburg, Schalke crash to shock defeats

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BERLIN: Eintracht Frankfurt captain Alexander Meier hit a hat-trick as Champions League side Wolfsburg lost 3-2 away while Schalke also crashed as Sunday (Monday in Manila) yielded two shock Bundesliga defeats.

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Wolfsburg, who face Ghent in the last 16 of the Champions League, are seventh, outside next season’s European places, after the Frankfurt defeat.

Schalke are sixth after losing 3-1 at home to relegation-threatened Werder Bremen.

After Wolfsburg’s Germany winger Andre Schuerrle hit a late equalizer in Frankfurt, Wolves were heading for a 2-2 draw before Meier struck a late dramatic winner.

Wolfsburg took an early lead when center-back Dante slotted home on 25 minutes, but Meier, last season’s top scorer in Germany’s top flight, took advantage of poor Wolfsburg defending.

He equalized on 66 minutes, then put his side ahead on 73 minutes before Schuerrle leveled six minutes later.

But Meier produced his third goal, from just his third shot, three minutes into added time as Wolfsburg were punished for woeful defending.

The result left Wolfsburg seventh, with Eintracht 14th, and means Wolves are winless in their three games since beating Manchester United in their final Champions League group game.

Another German league shock then followed in Gelsenkirchen when Schalke crashed despite taking a fourth-minute lead through Cameroon defender Joel Matip from a corner.

Bremen remain in the bottom three despite picking up only their fifth win of the season with goals by captain Clemens Fritz, former Bayern and Chelsea striker Claudio Pizarro and Nigeria’s Anthony Ujah.

Veterans ruled at the Veltins Arena as Fritz, 35, equalized, then turned provider by setting up the 37-year-old Pizarro for his 178th German league goal in his 397th Bundesliga match on 54 minutes.

And Fritz again provided the final pass for Ujah to hit Bremen’s third, and his eighth of the season, just a minute from time.

On Saturday, Borussia Dortmund consolidated second place with a convincing 3-1 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach to trim Bayern Munich’s runaway lead.

Goals by Dortmund’s Marco Reus, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Ilkay Gundogan, with a consolation from Gladbach’s Raffael, sealed the win.

It left Dortmund both eight points behind Bayern and eight points ahead of third-placed Hertha Berlin, who were held to a goalless draw at home to Augsburg in the capital.

AFP

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