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Wolfsburg beats Schalke 2-1

DEFENDING champion Wolfsburg beat former coach Felix Magath's new team Schalke 2-1 in the Bundesliga behind two goals from striker Edin Dzeko yesterday.

Wolfsburg snapped a three-game losing streak in the Bundesliga and sent Schalke to its second straight home defeat.

"We played quite well, I thought," said Armin Veh, Magath's successor in Wolfsburg.

Schalke stayed third, at least until the sixth round is completed over the weekend, while Wolfsburg moved up to fifth.

"We created problems for the champion but they made the most out of their chances," Magath said.

Wolfsburg took advantage of a quickly taken corner in which an unmarked Dzeko headed in a perfect cross from Sascha Riether in the 55th.

Schalke's goal also came after a corner, with defender Benedikt Hoewedes heading in at the near post in the 80th.

But only one minute later, Makoto Hasebe charged down the right flank and sent a low ball into Schalke's box. Jonathan Santana let the ball slip through and Dzeko was left with a simple tap-in.

Schalke nearly tied the game two minutes later but Kevin Kuranyi's header bounced off the far post into the hands of goalkeeper Andre Lenz, playing in Wolfsburg's goal for the suspended Diego Benaglio.

Jefferson Farfan shot wide in the 90th and Schalke could not score in the four minutes of stoppage time.

"I don't think we deserved to lose," Magath said.

Veh said his team came under strong pressure at the end.

"They tried everything," he said.

Wolfsburg's players reacted differently to facing their former coach.

"Felix Magath is history for me, I am playing for myself and for my team," Wolfsburg midfielder Zvjezdan Misimovic said.

Magath led Wolfsburg to its first Bundesliga title last season, then quit to take over at Schalke.

"Of course it was a bit special to play against Magath, we won the championship with him," Dzeko said.

Both teams had chances before the hectic finish.

Ten minutes after Wolfsburg's first goal, Marcelo Bordon made a desperate sliding clearance in front of Dzeko.

Lenz raced off his line to deny Halil Altintop as Schalke began to recover.

In the 38th, Grafite mistimed his point-blank shot off another cross from Riether, wasting the best opportunity of the match until then.

Schalke's best came three minutes into the second half when Levan Kenia sent a cross from Farfan high over the target.

Rafinha was in Schalke's lineup after returning two days earlier from a special vacation in his native Brazil that had been approved by Magath. Rafinha needed the time off to take care of personal affairs and "clear his head" after fans criticized him for wanting to leave, according to Magath.

Magath blamed the Brazilian defender's agent for instigating the transfer idea. Rafinha's rumored move to Bayern, denied by both clubs, had caused fans to boo Rafinha during a match. There was no negative reaction yesterday.


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