Schalke with a 1 – 0 victory over Hannover

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Schalke beat Hannover 1-0 but lost Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to a red card at the Arena AufSchalke on Saturday. Marco Hoger's 32nd-minute effort proved to be the difference between the two sides with the Royal Blues holding on to a scrappy win. Huntelaar was given his marching orders late on for a dangerous tackle from behind, spoiling the victory which boosted Roberto Di Matteo's side's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League again next season. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who landed back in Dusseldorf only on Friday afternoon after appearing in the African Nations Cup for Cameroon, wasted Schalke's first chance of the game when he shot wide at full stretch in the 20th minute. It served to spark Schalke into action and they enjoyed a good 10 minutes before taking the lead just after the half hour. It was a rather scrappy goal as Christian Fuchs pulled a cross back to the edge of the area to Hoger, whose shot missed two Hannover defenders on its way into the bottom right-hand corner. Jan Kirchhoff almost added a second five minutes later, but Ron Robert Zieler made a fine save to deny him before Hannover's first big chance of the game arrived. Joselu took the ball round Fabian Giefer, but Benedikt Howedes riskily got his leg in to turn the ball behind before the Spaniard, who went to ground, could take aim at the open goal. Hannover improved in the second half and ensured a nervy time for the home fans with Joselu denied by a fine save from Giefer before Christian Schulz's header bounced wide of the post. Schalke were forced to play counter-attacking football in their own stadium, which did not necessarily please the home fans who expected more from their team, even though they did create several good chances on the break. They were forced to defend even more for the final five minutes, however, after Huntelaar saw a straight red card for lunging in aggressively on Manuel Schmiedebach near the halfway line. Hannover could not take advantage of the extra man, though, and succumbed to defeat in Gelsenkirchen.