- Associated Press - Friday, April 28, 2017

LEVERKUSEN, Germany (AP) - Bayer Leverkusen’s bid to pull away from the Bundesliga’s relegation zone was dealt a humiliating blow when it lost at home to Schalke 4-1 on Friday.

Defeat increased the pressure on coach Tayfun Korkut, who has only one win in eight games since taking over in March from the sacked Roger Schmidt. Leverkusen had been 10th, seven points above the relegation zone, when Schmidt was fired. Now its 12th, and just four points clear.

Schalke climbed to eighth, three points off the European qualification places.

Both sides have three games left, while all others have four.

Schalke’s Guido Burgstaller scored in the sixth minute, thanks to a brilliant pass from Nabil Bentaleb to Leon Goretzka, who squared the ball.

Leverkusen captain Omer Toprak injured himself trying to prevent the goal and was still off the pitch for treatment when Benedikt Hoewedes made it 2-0 with a header from a corner.

It got worse for the home side when Alessandro Schoepf added another in the 18th.

Leverkusen avoided conceding again before the break, when sporting director Rudi Voeller descended to the changing room to say his mind.

But Burgstaller grabbed his second five minutes afterward, leaving the home fans in stunned silence.

Stefan Kiessling gave them brief reason to cheer when he pulled one back with over 20 minutes remaining.


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