BERLIN, April 12 (Reuters) - Werder Bremen swept to a 5-1 victory over Schalke 04 on Saturday to move up to second place behind Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.
The goals came from Frank Baumann, Boubacar Sanogo, Markus Rosenberg and Ivan Klasnic, who scored twice, as Schalke once again paid the price for failing to take their chances.
Eliminated by Barcelona in the Champions League last eight on Wednesday due largely to their poor finishing, Schalke were no better as they dominated Werder in the first half hour.
Werder scored against the run of play in the 19th minute in front of a sell-out crowd of 42,100 when captain Baumann took advantage of poor Schalke defending to head in a cross from Finland defender Petri Pasanen.
Ivory Coast striker Sanogo doubled the lead in the 32nd minute, heading in after losing his marker, Schalke captain Marcelo Bordon. Kevin Kuranyi got one back for Schalke just before the break, stooping to head in a low corner.
Werder took control of a demoralised Schalke in the second half with Rosenberg scoring off a Tim Borowski cross in the 59th minute and Klasnic, coming off the bench to score twice.
'It was important that we played so well again,' Werder coach Thomas Schaaf told Premiere Television after his club's second successive win helped the fans forget a poor stretch earlier this year.
'Everyone played better and we took a big step forward. It wasn't a great match for us. It was a bit too chaotic in the first half. We're going in the right direction.'
Bayern Munich, who host Borussia Dortmund on Sunday, are top of the table with 57 points, seven points clear of Werder. Schalke are third with 48 points.
The lopsided defeat reignited doubts about the future of Schalke coach Mirko Slomka.
'We were very good in the first half but unfortunately we wasted too many chances,' said Slomka. 'Unfortunately I don't have any answers for that. We'll have to work on that. Obviously everyone is extremely frustrated right now.'
Schalke midfielder Fabian Ernst called it 'brutal'.
'I haven't seen a match like that for a long time. We had three or four 100-percent chances that we didn't convert in the first half and at the other end every shot goes in. It's bitter,' he added.
Hamburg SV, beaten at home by relegation-threatened MSV Duisburg 1-0 a week after losing at VfB Stuttgart, are fourth on 47 points and could fall behind resurgent Stuttgart (45 points), who play at sixth place Bayer Leverkusen (44 points) on Sunday.