Two out of two for Schalke
Last Updated: 01/02/14 4:54pm
Kevin-Prince Boateng gave Schalke the lead
Schalke made it two wins from two at the start of 2014 as they saw off 10-man Wolfsburg 2-1.
Felipe Santana put the hosts in front with a bit of luck in the ninth minute and Wolfsburg's hopes appeared to be dashed when Daniel Caligiuri was given his marching orders early in the second half.
Nevertheless, Dieter Hecking's men levelled through Maximilian Arnold, but Kevin-Prince Boateng snatched the points for the Royal Blues nine minutes from time as his side kept the pressure up on the Bundesliga's leading teams.
Fifth-placed Schalke took the lead in bizarre fashion when Boateng headed the ball against his own team-mate Santana, who unwittingly diverted the ball just inside the left-hand post with smiles all round on the home side.
Wolfsburg were understandably less pleased, though, as they continued to struggle against an increasingly confident opponent, buoyed also by a 3-0 win at Hamburg last weekend.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's return from injury seems to have sparked Schalke into action in 2014 and he almost made it two, but saw his shot blocked.
Wolfsburg, who lost playmaker Diego to Atletico Madrid late on transfer deadline day, appeared to lack the ideas in their midfield.
They lacked more than that early in the second half when Caligiuri was given his marching orders for dissent.
Huntelaar dragged a shot wide of the far post as Schalke looked to take immediate advantage of their extra man.
Their failure to do so was punished by a Wolfsburg side who refused to throw in the towel, despite the adversity, and Ivan Perisic dribbled his way to the goal line and called Ralf Fahrmann into action with a teasing cross.
The ball fell to Arnold, who was on hand to sweep home from close range and bring the visitors level.
Schalke responded well, building up a head of steam which saw them regain the lead late on when Leon Goretzka and Roman Neustadter combined to carve a way through the Wolfsburg defence, and the latter teed up Boateng to score low into the bottom left- hand corner and seal victory for Jens Keller's men.