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Bayern suffers Schalke reverse

VISITING Schalke put a dent in Bayern Munich's German Bundesliga title hopes by snatching a 1-0 win over the champion in a bad-tempered game on Saturday.

Schalke's win left Bayern down in third and in danger of falling six points behind leader VfL Wolfsburg with just five games left to play.

It also left under-fire coach Juergen Klinsmann in an uncomfortable position, after thousands more joined the "Klinsmann out" chants at the Allianz Arena on Saturday following yet another mediocre performance. Bayern has never gone top this season.

"This is an extremely bitter defeat for us," Klinsmann said. "We expected a lot and started well but we lost our rhythm after the goal.

"I accept the criticism against me but the work with the team is still going well and is a lot of fun," he added.

Schalke's Halil Altintop grabbed the winner in the first half before each side had a player sent off with a second booking, Schalke's Jermaine Jones for a foul on Mark van Bommel and Franck Ribery for shoving Jefferson Farfan.

Wolfsburg, which was at second-from-bottom Energie Cottbus yesterday, leads on 57 points, with Hertha Berlin second on 55, after beating Hoffenheim 1-0 on Friday.

Bayern is third on 54, ahead of VfB Stuttgart and Hamburg SV on goal difference.

Stuttgart beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0, while Hamburg slumped to a 0-2 defeat at Borussia Dortmund.

Schalke made a great start and deservedly grabbed the lead through Halil Altintop, whose brother Hamit played for Bayern, when he snuck into the box to head home a Christian Pander corner midway through the first half.

The visitors, who have now won all four matches under an interim coaching trio of Mike Buskens, Youri Mulder and Oliver Reck, could have doubled the lead through Farfan but the Peruvian striker's close range shot flew wide.

Bayern yet again lacked creativity, although it did come close when Jose Sosa whipped a free kick against the bar in the 37th minute.

Tempers boiled over in the second half when Jones was booked for a second time for a foul on Bayern captain van Bommel, with 20 minutes to play. Parity was restored six minutes later when Ribery was sent off with a second yellow for shoving Farfan.

"The team can be proud today," Buskens said after Schalke's first win in Munich since 2004.


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