BERLIN: An Alessandro Schöpf goal gave Schalke 04 a 1-0 win over Mainz 05 on Saturday to snap their five-game losing run and move them out of last place in the Bundesliga.
Last season’s Bundesliga runners-up went ahead when Austria midfielder Schöpf drilled in a header in the 11th minute.
They twice hit the woodwork through Yevhen Konoplyanka in the second half but almost conceded a late equaliser as they pulled back and defended desperately for their first win that threw under-pressure coach Domenico Tedesco a lifeline.
Schalke, who travel to Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday, had lost all five of their previous Bundesliga matches.
VfB Stuttgart also earned their first win of the season, beating in-form Werder Bremen 2-1 despite goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler’s spectacular own goal.
The former Germany international miskicked a throw-in from a teammate, sending the ball into his own net for Werder’s equaliser, before Gonzalo Castro snatched the winner for the hosts in the 75th minute.
Werder, unbeaten until Saturday, are fifth on 11 points while Stuttgart move up to 15th.
Leipzig are also on 11 points in sixth after beating Champions League participants Hoffenheim 2-1 thanks to two goals from Yussuf Poulsen.
Third-placed Borussia Dortmund, also on 11, will go top of the table if they win at Bayer Leverkusen later on Saturday after leaders Bayern Munich suffered their first defeat of the season on Friday, losing 2-0 at Hertha Berlin, to stay on 13.