September 25, 2012
Schalke 04 3-0 Mainz
Schalke were less than convincing but still grabbed a comfortable home victory over Mainz to remain flying high near the top of the Bundesliga.
The hosts opened the scoring in the 21st minute through a Jefferson Farfan penalty before Lewis Holtby and Teemu Pukki added further goals in the last nine minutes to seal the win.
Schalke move on to 10 points - five behind leaders Bayern Munich - while Mainz remain in the lower third of the table with four points.
Schalke had a great chance after just five minutes but Mainz midfielder Elkin Soto cleared Kyriakos Papadopoulos's header off the line.
The visitors went close themselves five minutes later but Zdenek Pospech's shot went just wide of the far post.
Mainz keeper Christian Wetklo was called into action in the 11th minute to keep out Marco Hoger's volley from 17 yards out before the away side created a dangerous counter-attack eight minutes later only to see home defender Atsuto Uchida clear a cross just in front of Adam Szalai.
Schalke finally grabbed the lead from the spot as Farfan blasted into the left side after Junior Diaz brought down Benedikt Howedes inside the area.
Neither team created much going forward during the rest of the first half and at the start of the second half.
Schalke coach Huub Stevens saw enough and brought on Tranquillo Barnetta and Julian Draxler in the 69th minute.
And the move nearly paid off in the 80th minute as Draxler's cross from the left found Klaas Jan Huntelaar, but he somehow shot over the bar from four yards out.
Schalke needed not have worried though as a minute later they did find the back of the net as Holtby headed in Christian Fuchs' pass for a 2-0 lead.
Schalke added a third goal following a counter-attack in the 90th minute as Draxler passed to Pucki for an easy finish.