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Schalke 04, Leverkusen Rebound Upward Trend
    2008-12-07 08:29:01     Xinhua

Schalke 04 and Leverkusen ended their decline in Bundesliga battles as both beat rival teams on Saturday.

Gerald Asamoah helped push the Royal Blues in the right direction, scoring the only goal - a header in the 65th minute - in a 1-0 match against Hertha Berlin.

With the win, Schalke put an end to a poor string of performances that saw them lose five out of six matches. The crucial three points help the side reposition themselves in an upward trend.

Leverkusen was also back on track after suffering back-to-back defeats, winning 3-1 at struggling Moenchengladbach and climbing into third place.

Newly-promoted Moenchengladbach, who haven't won against Leverkusen at home since 1989, dropped down to the bottom of the Bundesliga standings following their sixth home defeat.

Moenchengladbach had started the match the better team, but Leverkusen were more clinical in front of goal. Stefan KieBling scored a well-taken brace in the 25th and 37th minute to take his season's tally to eight.

The match was over as a contest nine minutes into the second half when German international Patrick Helmes leapfrogged Moenchengladbach keeper Christopher Heimeroth to make it 3-0 with his twelfth of the season.

The host's 18-year-old Tony Jantschke pulled one back seven minutes later with what was his first goal in his first Bundesliga game.

Also on Saturday, Karlsruher left the bottom of the Bundesliga standings with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Bundesliga giant Werder Bremen.

Karlsruher secured their first win since Oct. 3, ending a nine-game winless streak in coach Edmund Becker's 50th Bundesliga match.

Bremen are now winless in five away games and missed out on a confidence boost ahead of their last Champions League game against Inter Milan on Tuesday.

For new Stuttgart coach Markus Babbel, a 3-0 win at Cottbus saw his second victory in two Bundesliga matches.

Goals from Roberto Hilbert, Jan Simak and Sami Khedira secured Stuttgart's first away win since Matchday 1.

Cottbus haven't won against VfB in eight matches and since 2000, and captain Timo Rost picked up his fifth booking and will miss the next match at Bayer Leverkusen.

On Saturday, Bochum's winless run was extended to twelve matches with a 4-0 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt. Bochum also lost goalkeeper Daniel Fernandes, who was sent off for a professional foul after just five minutes.

The only draw on Saturday is the clash between Bielefeld and Dortmund, the match ended goalless.

On Sunday, Wolfsburg will travel to Hannover while Hamburg will face the challenge of Koeln at home.



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