MX23RW : Monday, March 1 17:11:27| >> :600:269604:269604:
Apr 20, 2014 at 4.30pm UK
SchalkeSchalke 04
Harnik (23', 59'), Cacau (54')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Szalai (69')

Result: Stuttgart boost survival hopes with Schalke win

Stuttgart move four points clear of the relegation zone in the Bundesliga by beating Champions League hopefuls Schalke 3-1 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

Stuttgart moved four points clear of the relegation zone in the Bundesliga table by beating Champions League hopefuls Schalke 04 3-1 this afternoon.

Stuttgart's Austrian forward Martin Harnik (L) scores the opening goal past Schalke's goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann during the German first division Bundesliga football match on April 20, 2014© Getty Images

Martin Harnik headed the hosts into the lead on 27 minutes, rising highest to nod a Daniel Didavi free kick home from inside the six-yard box.

Cacau doubled his side's advantage nine minutes into the second half by latching on to an Ibrahima Traore cross before firing past goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann.

Huub Stevens' men then took a giant step toward a precious three points four minutes later, as Harnik bagged his brace to open up a three-goal lead.

The visitors, who remain in the top four by five points, pulled one back through Adam Szalai on 69 minutes, but it proved nothing more than a consolation as Stuttgart went a long way toward preserving their top-flight credentials.

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Stuttgart's Vedad Ibisevic is congratulated by team mates after scoring the equaliser against Mainz on August 11, 2013
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