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Kuranyi lifts Schalke into first place in Bundesliga

Kuranyi lifts Schalke into first place in Bundesliga

Kevin Kuranyi scored twice Saturday to lift Schalke into first place in the Bundesliga with a 3-1 win against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Kuranyi's pinpoint through pass also set up a 17th-minute goal by Gustavo Varela as Schalke ran its unbeaten streak to nine. It took a three-point lead over Werder Bremen, which could pull it back Sunday against Hannover 96.
Schalke, which is hoping for its first Bundesliga title since 1958, moved six points clear of another title favorite, Bayern Munich, which was beaten 3-2 by Dortmund on Friday.
The top four teams entered the league's second half after a 40-day winter break separated by just four points, raising expectations in Germany of a heated title race.
"Everyone here wants to be champion _ that's why we have to play every match like it's a final," Schalke midfielder Lincoln said.
Kuranyi, the Brazilian-German once considered Germany's top forward, turned in one of his best efforts in an attempt to play himself back onto the national team after some rocky years.
"I've said he is a top forward again and he proved that today," Schalke coach Mirko Slomka said. "My respect to him _ he worked for this. He didn't miss one minute of training."
Kuranyi broke a 1-1 tie against Frankfurt in the 70th by heading in at the right post after Brazilian teammate Marcelo Bordon extended a corner. In injury time, he finished a breakaway for his second goal.
Schalke had been stunned by Naohiro Takahara's 48th-minute equalizer against the flow of play. Frankfurt's Japanese forward stole the ball from defender Mladen Kristajic and toe-poked in from close range.
Stuttgart's fourth-place team was routed 4-1 by FC Nuremberg in heavy snowfall and fell seven points behind Schalke.
Nuremberg highest win of the season moved it to sixth place, and dealt a lesson to one of the Bundesliga's youngest teams by thrashing it in the second half.
Iwan Saenko scored in the 25th for Nuremberg, followed by Vratislav Gresko in the 50th, Markus Schroth in the 69th and an own goal from Ludovic Magnin.
Hamburg's winless streak reached 10 matches with a 1-1 draw against Arminia Bielefeld. Last season's third-placed club led from the 10th minute when Danijel Ljuboja's scored, then Bielefeld's Marcio Borges equalized in the 89th.
Hamburg has thrown away late leads all season.
"It's a mental thing _ after all the setbacks, it's stuck in our minds," Schalke goalkeeper Frank Rost said. "We need to have fun again _ all that can happen to us is we lose a football game."
The 500th Bundesliga game of Borussia Moenchengladbach coach Jupp Heynckes was spoiled by a 3-1 loss to promoted Energie Cottbus.
U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller let the ball slip out of his hands in the 90th, leading to Vlad Munteau scoring Cottbus' final goal from close range.
Mainz also beat Bochum 1-0 ,and Hertha Berlin slipped past Wolfsburg 2-1.


Updated : 2020-12-01 17:29 GMT+08:00