BERLIN, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Schalke's comfortable 3-0 win shoved Hamburg into relegation battle while Bremen were held to a goalless draw at Braunschweig to close the 18th round of the German Bundesliga on Sunday.
Schalke reaped their ninth win of the season to jump from 7th to 5th place owing to their 3-0 away victory at Hamburg. The "Hanseaten" hoped for a better start into 2014 but all their hopes were destroyed as they slumped on 16th position, a relegation playoff spot, suffering their 10th loss of the season.
Dutch international Klaas Jan Huntelaar smoothed the triumph for the "Royal Blues" when he opened the scoring at the 34th minute. The Dutchmen headed home his first goal after a five-month injury break following a cross by Jefferson Farfan into the box.
The "Rothosen" started with more confidence into the second half but it was again Schalke that added the second goal to their lead. Peruvian international Jefferson Farfan made use of a total blackout by Hamburg's defence to slot the ball into the open goal at the 53rd minute.
The second goal took the wind out of Hamburg's sails as Schalke's youngster Max Meyer finished a turnover to beat custodian Jaroslav Drobny with a deflected effort to make it 3-0 on the scoreboards, only three minutes later.
The hosts nearly scored their consolation but the right post denied Milan Badelj's hammer from 18 meters. It is the fourth straight loss for Hamburg whereas Schalke is back in the international business.
"We have to be clear in our minds that we are only fighting against relegation," Hamburg coach Bert van Marwijk said.
Elsewhere, Bremen were held to a goalless draw at Braunschweig. Bremen sit on 11th place with 20 points while Braunschweig vegetate in the Bundesliga basement with just 12 points out of 18 games.
"That was not enough today. We started quite good into the game but from the 60th minute on we became weaker," Bremen coach Robin Dutt said.