The Bundesliga resumed on Friday evening with Schalke taking on Hannover at the Veltins Arena.
Read how it all unfolded in our minute-by minute live commentary below.
7.01pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole’s live coverage of the Bundesliga game between Schalke and Hannover at the Veltins Arena tonight. It is a contest between two teams fighting for a place in Europe, and you can follow all the action live on this page.
7.03pmHeading into the match, hosts Schalke find themselves seventh in the league table, while visiting Hannovers are just two points behind them in 11th.
7.05pmTeam news coming up now...
7.07pmSCHALKE: Hildebrand; Howedes, Uchida, Fuchs, Matip; Hoger, Farfan, Draxler, Neustadter; Marica, Holtby
7.09pmHANNOVER: Zieler; Eggimann, Djourou, Chahed, Rausch; Pinto, Schmiedebach, Huszti, Schlaudraff; Sobiech, Diouf
7.11pmSo for Schalke, Lewis Holtby continues to start despite his impending move to Tottenham Hotspur at the end of the season. Jefferson Farfan also makes the lineup for the Royal Blues.
7.14pmJohan Djourou makes his first appearance for Hannover this evening after making a loan move from Arsenal earlier this month. Artur Sobiech and Mame Biram Diouf are the two forwards for the visitors.
7.16pmNow let’s hear what the two coaches had to say prior to the game. First up, Hannover coach Mirko Slomka: “With a win, we can overtake Schalke, which would be a big boost since they are a side who are aiming for a place in the Champions League.”
7.18pmSchalke coach Jens Keller, who replaced Huub Stevens just before Christmas: “We are in a very good condition. We have worked on a lot in our training camp and we are ready to go."
7.20pmTen minutes to kickoff at the Veltins Arena to what promises to be another exciting and entertaining Bundesliga game. I expect Schalke to win 2-1 tonight, but Hannover are no easy pushovers.
7.25pmThe players are getting ready to come out onto the pitch now, as kickoff is just minutes away.
7.28pmThe players are out on the pitch and are getting ready for action. The atmosphere in the stadium is good as always.
0 minHannover kick off proceedings at the Veltins Arena...
2 minGood start to the game by Schalke, who earn their first corner, thanks to Jefferson Farfan's good work on the right.
3 minCHANCE! Good save from Hannover goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler, as he tips over Marco Hoger’s header from that corner.
4 minCHANCE! Another chance for Schalke, this time Julian Draxler heading just over the Hannover crossbar. Again, there was some good buildup play from Jefferson Farfan on the right side of the pitch.
6 minSchalke are gaining the upper hand in this clash already and are pressing Hannover on the back foot. Good through-ball from Lewis Holtby to release Ciprian Marica down the left, but his shot under pressure goes wide.
8 minThe Royal Blues are continuing to pile the pressure on their visitors. I think Zieler may actually have taken more touches than any other player on the pitch so far tonight. Well, maybe not as many as Farfan, but you get the idea...
10 minInterestingly, there has been no jeering from the Schalke fans at Lewis Holtby so far tonight. His declaration that he will leave them for Tottenham Hotspur at the end of the season did not go down well with a section of the fans, but so far they are not turning against the German star.
12 minOh, a collector’s item! Farfan fails to collect a ball on the right-hand side and lets it run out for a Hannover throw-in. The Peruvian is one of the best players for Schalke and that miscontrol is certainly uncharacteristic of him.
14 minThe game has settled down a bit after a rapid start, as Hannover have gained their footing and are keeping Schalke confined to the midfield. The home side are actually struggling to create any chance at the moment.
15 minFifteen minutes gone in the match and it is a goalless between the two sides. Schalke had two decent chances in the opening four minutes, but since then have failed to make any constructive attacking foray. As for Hannover, they have yet to take a single shot!
18 minIt has become a bit scrappy actually, I have to admit. Nothing concrete or remotely interesting is happening at the Veltins Arena as Schalke and Hannover are cancelling out each other. However, the fans are in loud voice and are cheering on the players.
20 minMame Biram Diouf wins a free kick for Hannover as he is brought down by Benedikt Howedes. It is taken and the ball is floated into the Schalke area, but Timo Hildebrand has no problem whatsoever in catching it with ease.
21 minGood move from Holtby on the right-hand side as he almost picks out Farfan in a very good position. Interestingly, all of Schalke’s attacks have come down the right side.
23 minCHANCE! Brilliant defending by Hannover’s Sofian Chahed as he heads out a good Farfan cross from the right. Draxler was lurking behind him and would have certainly headed the ball home had Chahed not gone to it before him.
24 minYELLOW CARD: Hannover midfielder Sergio Pinto is shown the yellow card for bringing down Christian Fuchs. Free kick to Schalke from a very promising position.
25 minGood goalkeeping from Zieler, as he punched out a good delivery from Farfan into the box. Still 0-0 between Schalke and Hannover.
26 minThe match has kicked into life in the last five or so minutes and there are positive signs that we could see a goal before long. Hannover earn their first corner kick of the evening, but fail to create anything from it.
28 minAnother corner for Hannover but once again they fail to conceive anything from it. The visitors are pushing the home side now.
30 minHalf an hour gone and the deadlock has yet to be broken. It has been overall a lively match and a very competitive one, but there have been no real magical moments really.
32 minHoger threatens to go on a marauding run, but is dispossessed around five yards outside the Hannover penalty area.
33 minYELLOW CARD: Lewis Holtby goes into the referee’s books for his challenge on Mame Biram Diouf. So 1-1 between the two teams as far as yellow cards are concerned so far this evening.
34 minYELLOW CARD: Johan Djourou goes down in a heap and complains that he was elbowed in the face by Ciprian Marica. The referee believes that the Hannover defender is telling the truth and cautions Marica.
35 minIt is getting ugly now, as the referee has a talk with Schalke defender Christian Fuchs for climbing on Manuel Schmiedebach. Fuchs protests his innocence and Deniz Aytekin lets him off with just a quick word.
37 minYELLOW CARD: Aytekin is forced to pull out another yellow card. This time it is for Djourou, who makes a very late challenge on Farfan on the right as the Schalke player was on a marauding run.
38 minSo two yellow cards apiece now between Schalke and Hannover but no goals so far. Schalke are struggling to create any meaningful opportunity and seem to be missing striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who would have been their targetman tonight had he not been suspended.
40 minFive minutes to half time at the Veltins-Arena, Will we see a goal in the remainder of the first half?
41 minOh, Hannover were in a fix! Christian Fuchs puts in a good delivery from the free kick from the right that the visitors struggle to clear for a corner.
42 minMISS! Lucky escape for Hannover as Marica heads the corner just over the crossbar for Schalke. It was a good attempt, but lacked accuracy.
44 minGOAL! Schalke 1-0 Hannover (Farfan)
45 minSchalke take the lead and deservedly so. Fuchs takes a long throw-in from the left touchline that is diverted onto the path of Farfan by Mario Eggimann, and he makes no mistake from just yards out from an acute angle on the right.
45+1 minCHANCE! Now Holtby shoots just over the Hannover crossbar from close range. Again, Hannover fail to clear the ball in time and concede a chance to the hosts.
45+2 minHALF-TIME: Schalke 1-0 Hannover
8.20pmIt’s half time at the Veltins Arena and Schalke lead Hannover 1-0. The goal came just before the break when Jefferson Farfan shot home from close range after a long throw-in was diverted onto his path at the far post. The Royal Blues were the better side in the opening 45 minutes and deservedly head into the break with a one-goal advantage.
8.22pmLet’s go through the stats now. Schalke have had three of their seven shots on target, five corner kicks, one offside call, 48% of the possession and two yellow cards. Goalkeeper Hildebrand was not been asked to make a single save in the first 45 minutes!
8.24pmAs for Hannover, they have had just shot (and not on target!), two corner kicks, one offside call, 52% of the possession and two yellow cards. Goalkeeper Zieler made two saves in the first 45 minutes.
8.26pmIt was Farfan’s fifth goal of the season, by the way. He is one of Schalke’s best player and has been the best on the pitch tonight.
8.28pmThe second half will begin in a matter of minutes. Schalke will know that they will ascertain the points if they score their second goal. Hannover have struggled to create anything of note all evening and have to step up their game in the attacking department if they aim to stay in the match.
8.32pmThe second half will begin now, as the two sets of players are out on the pitch.
45 minSchalke kick off proceedings in the second half. They lead Hannover 1-0 from the first 45 minutes.
48 minGOAL! Schalke 2-0 Hannover (Draxler)
48 minSchalke score their second goal of the evening and inch closer to victory in their first competitive game of 2013. A loose ball falls to Lewis Holtby on the right and he then slips a very good pass to Julian Draxler, who slots home with ease from close range. The whole Hannover defence was caught out of position as Holtby was left to carry on unchallenged.
49 minSo Schalke score with the first meaningful action of the second action. From what I have observed of Hannover so far in this match, I believe that the Royal Blues have bagged the points from this fixture.
52 minYELLOW CARD Artur Sobiech becomes the third Hannover player to be cautioned this evening, as his challenge on Howedes is deemed dangerous by the referee.
54 minHannover need something and they need it quick. They have hardly shown any sign of threatening the Schalke goal all evening, but they do need to score soon if they hope to go home with anything from this game tonight.
56 minGOAL! Schalke 2-1 Hannover (Pinto)
57 minHannover halve the deficit at the Veltins-Arena with a deflected effort from Sergio Pinto. Atsuto Uchida had headed the corner away for Schalke, but the ball fell to Pinto outside the box whose shot took a deflection off Neustadter and went in.
58 minIt could actually go down as a Roman Neustadter own goal as the deflection was wicked. Pinto’s shot was on target but had it not taken a deflection on its way, then Hildebrand would have certainly kept it out.
59 minGOAL! Schalke 2-2 Hannover (Huszti)
60 minWhat a comeback from Hannover! It is 2-2 now, thanks to two goals in four minutes from the visitors. Sofian Chahed makes a good run down the right and then puts in a cross that reaches Szabolcs Huszti on the left side of the Schalke penalty box and he smashes it home. It was a defensive mistake from the hosts really, as Huszti was left unmarked to gather the ball and pick his spot with ease. Game on at the Veltins Arena.
62 minThis is the first game of the Bundesliga in the New Year and what a game we have on our hands! Schalke looked to be cruising to three points when they scored their second goal on 48 minutes, but Hannover are back on level terms with two goals in four minutes!
64 minGOAL! Schalke 3-2 Hannover (Hoger)
65 minSchalke are back on track and back in the lead at home, thanks to another creative moment from Lewis Holtby. A ball is floated into the Hannover penalty box that Marco Hoger chests down to Holtby, who then plays the ball back to him by squeezing his pass between three players. And Hoger does the rest. With ease.
67 minGOAL! Schalke 4-2 Hannover (Marica)
67 minSchalke go 4-2 up at home now, as Neustadter releases Ciprian Marica down the left and he shoots the ball past an onrushing Ron-Robert Zieler.
68 minGOAL! Schalke 4-3 Hannover (Huszti)
68 minWhat a game we have on our hands now! Hannover pull one back now and make it 4-3, thanks to a brilliant volley from Szabolcs Huszti. Mame Biram Diouf heads the ball in his direction and Huszti bags his second goal of the evening with a spectacular effort.
69 minCHANCE! Diouf almost makes it 4-4! Pinto plays the Hannover forward a brilliant through-ball but his attempt from close range is off-target. What a sensational match this is turning out to be. It’s far from over at the Veltins Arena.
71 minSUBSTITUTION Hannover make the first change of the evening. Manuel Schmiedebach comes for Mohammed Abdellaou.
72 minDiouf now goes for a spectacular overhead kick from just inside the Schalke penalty box, but it goes wide. His attempt did not have much power, to be honest.
73 minSUBSTITUTION Schalke make their first change of the evening now. Sead Kolasinac replaces Marco Hoger, who scored his side’s third goal on 64 minutes.
75 minGood interplay between Farfan and Holtby down the right, as Schalke threaten to go on the attack again. However, Hannover show some good defending and clear the danger away. Thome side, though, continue to hog the possession and appeal for a penalty but to no avail.
76 minSUBSTITUTION Another change for Schalke. Julian Draxler, who scores the home side’s second goal of the evening, go out and on comes Tranquillo Barnetta.
77 minSUBSTITUTION Hannover too make their second substitution of the evening. Sergio Pinto is replaced by Andre Hoffmann.
78 minCHANCE! Barnetta gets his first attempt on goal just a minute after coming on. Atsuto Uchida gallops down the right flank and floats in a very good delivery at the far post that the Swiss heads towards the goal, but it goes straight to Zieler.
80 minTen minutes of normal time remain. Schalke lead Hannover 4-3, but the match is delicately balanced - it could either way. We have seen six goals in the second goal so far. Will we see more?
83 minYELLOW CARD Farfan is brought down again as he marches down the right, this time by Konstantin Rausch, who is deservedly shown the yellow card.
85 minYELLOW CARD Was that a penalty!? Atsuto Uchida brings down Rausch, but the foul is committed outside the area and the referee awards the visitors a free kick from a dangerous position. Uchida is shown the yellow card.
86 minSUBSTITUTION Deniz Kadah replaces Manuel Schmiedebach for Hannover.
87 minCHANCE! Huszti takes the free kick and Diouf heads it towards goal but it goes just wide of the target. That was close for Hannover, who are edging closer and closer to the equaliser.
88 minGOAL! Schalke 5-3 Hannover (Holtby)
88 minThat should be the winning goal for Schalke, as they go 5-3 up with just two minutes of normal time remaining on the clock. A quick counterattacking move sees Jefferson Farfan gallop inside the Hannover penalty area and then provide a simple cross for Holtby, who slots home with ease.
89 minSUBSTITUTION Raffael replaces Lewis Holtby for Schalke.
90 minTwo minutes of injury time have been awarded.
90+2 minGOAL! Schalke 5-4 Hannover (Diouf)
90+3 minWhat a spectacular goal from Mame Biram Diouf, who scores with a stunning bicycle kick from the edge of the Schalke penalty area!
90+3 minFULL TIME: Schalke 5-4 Hannover
9.23pmIt’s all over at the Veltins Arena as Schalke have defeated Hannover 5-4 in the first Bundesliga game of the New Year. The Royal Blues appeared to be cruising to a comfortable 2-0 win on 48 minutes when Julian Draxler added to Jefferson Farfan’s first-half strike. However, Sergio Pinto and Szabolcs Huszti scored in quick succession before the hour-mark to make it 2-2 before Marco Hoger and Ciprian Marica restored the home side’s two-goal advantage.
9.25pmHowever, Huszti netted his second goal of the evening to reduce the deficit and make it 4-3. But with just two minutes of normal time remaining Lewis Holtby scored for Schalke to virtually ascertain the points. Although Mame Biram Diouf scored the goal of the evening in the second minute of injury time with a spectacular overhead kick from the edge of the area, it proved to be too little, too late for Hannover.
9.28pmI hope that you enjoyed our live coverage of the enthralling Bundesliga game this evening that had no fewer than nine goals. What a start to the New Year for German football! Have a good night. It’s goodbye from me for now.