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Schalke win heaps pressure on Leverkusen

dpa logodpa 28/04/2017 DEREK WILSON

Schalke have scored a convincing 4-1 away win over Bayer Leverkusen to pile the pressure on the under-performing hosts.

Schalke stormed to a superb 4-1 triumph away to Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on Friday to heap pressure on their woeful hosts.

A barrage of goals from Guido Burgstaller, Benedikt Hoewedes and Alessandro Schoepf had Schalke cruising inside the first 20 minutes.

Burgstaller added another early in the second period and Stefan Kiessling's consolation could not stop Schalke from going to eighth spot on the ladder.

Leverkusen are 12th but only four points above the relegation play-off place. Coach Tayfun Korkut made five changes to his team but could not halt a winless run which now extends to four games.

Leverkusen recalled veteran striker Kiessling for just his third league start of the season and initially seemed to start strongly. Julian Brandt had a shot saved inside 40 seconds and Kevin Volland shot over.

Korkut took over from the sacked Roger Schmidt in March on a contract to the end of the season but has managed only one win.

"It is difficult, sometimes the words fail me," Leverkusen sport director Rudi Voeller said. "You must not fall apart now. You have to raise the flag and collect the points you need."

However, Voeller insisted Leverkusen would see out the season with Korkut in charge.

Schalke took the lead out of the blue in seven minutes when a pass from Nabil Bentaleb dissected the home defence and Goretkza squared to give Burgstaller an open goal.

Just three minutes later captain Hoewedes towered to head home Schoepf's corner and shell-shocked Leverkusen fell further behind in the 18th when Schoepf scrambled over the line after Bernd Leno saved from Goretzka.

Burgstaller volleyed in a free kick five minutes after the restart to ensure there was no realistic hope of a home comeback before Kiessling's 69th minute header. It was his second of the season with his only other goal this term coming in the previous meeting with Schalke.

Schalke are three points outside the automatic Europa League places in what has been an up and down campaign for coach Markus Weinzierl in his first season with the team.

"It was an important win for us," Weinzierl said. "The four goals will do us a lot of good, as of course will getting a win away."

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