Berlin: Schalke 04 carried some of their Champions League momentum into the Bundesliga on Sunday, beating Freiburg 2-0 to bounce back after a string of erratic results.
Nicolas Hoefler stabbed the ball into his own net on the stroke of halftime to put the hosts into a lucky lead and Jefferson Farfan converted a penalty to lift Schalke to sixth place with 27 points.
With only one win in their previous three league games, coach Jens Keller has been under pressure for weeks but got a boost in midweek when Schalke beat Basel to advance in the Champions League.
Sunday`s win may have lacked the shine and aggressiveness of their European performance but certainly further improved his chances of staying on past the winter break.
Keller can also again count on central defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos, who made a brief substitute appearance after more than a year out with a knee injury.
Freiburg, who got off to a better start before conceding the first goal against the run of play, were furious with what they considered a harsh penalty decision for a tumble in the box by Schalke`s Max Meyer.
Freiburg, who have now failed to score in their last four games, remain 16th and in the relegation playoff spot.
Bayern Munich made sure they will stay top until the restart in January after beating Hamburg SV 3-1 on Saturday to go seven points clear.
Bayer Leverkusen can cut their lead back to four points with a win over Eintracht Frankfurt later on Sunday.