BERLIN — Guido Burgstaller scored late for Schalke to beat visiting Hamburger SV 2-0 and move second in the Bundesliga on Sunday.
Franco di Santo's early penalty got the home side underway as it stretched its unbeaten run in the league to six games.
Hamburg's Gideon Jung gave away the spot kick in the 16th minute with a clumsy challenge on Yevhen Konoplyanka.
The visitors pushed hard for an equalizer and went closest before the hour-mark, when Aaron Hunt struck the post after being brilliantly played through by the 17-year-old Jann-Fiete Arp.
Hamburg's hopes of an equalizer were effectively ended when Konoplyanka set up Burgstaller to seal it with around 10 minutes remaining.
That score pushed Schalke ahead of Leipzig on goal difference. Both sides trail Bayern Munich by six points after 12 rounds.
"The table isn't that important after 12 match days. We're not concerned with it. It's very tight at the top," said Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco. His side next faces Borussia Dortmund in the Ruhr derby.
BREMEN'S FIRST WIN
Werder Bremen finally got its first league win of the season thanks to Max Kruse, who scored a hat trick and set up the other goal for a 4-0 rout of visiting Hannover.
"The team performance was perfect today. Everything we had planned worked out," Kruse said.
The former Germany striker returned Fin Bartels's pass in just the right place for Bartels to lift the ball over the Hannover 'keeper for the opening goal before the break.
Kruse then made sure with two goals within four minutes in the second half, the first set up by Philipp Bargfrede, the next by Bartels.
Bartels was again involved when Kruse completed his hat trick with just over 10 minutes remaining.
They were his first goals of the season, while Bremen's four goals were as many as it had scored in its previous 11 league games.