Schalke 04 continued their miserable run of results on Saturday as they lost 1-0 at home to RB Leipzig in Huub Stevens’ first game back as head coach.
New leaders and defending champions Bayern Munich are at home to Mainz on Sunday, while second-placed Borussia Dortmund, who are level with the Bavarians on 57 points, are at Hertha Berlin later on Saturday.
Schalke legend Stevens, 65, was hastily hurried back for his third stint in charge after predecessor Domenico Tedesco was fired on Thursday, two days after the Royal Blues’ 7-0 thrashing at Manchester City in the Champions League.
However, even Stevens, who lifted the Uefa Cup as Schalke coach in 1997, could not prevent the hapless squad suffering a sixth straight defeat.
Timo Werner scored Leipzig’s winner with 14 minutes gone in Gelsenkirchen after Yussuf Poulsen had rattled the crossbar.
Both Werner and Poulsen are now neck-and-neck on 12 league goals this season.
The defeat saw Schalke drop to 15th in the table, leapfrogged by Augsburg who enjoyed a 3-1 comeback win at home to second-from-bottom Hanover.
Having suffered the heaviest European defeat in the club’s history in Manchester, Schalke’s nightmare week continues as they now sit just three points from the relegation places after Stuttgart, one place below them in 16th, managed a 1-1 draw at home to Hoffenheim.