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Win lifts Leverkusen's faint title hopes; Disappointment for Magath

Michael Ballack celebrates Leverkusen's second goal after Schalke's Christoph Metzelder puts the ball into his own net.
Michael Ballack celebrates Leverkusen's second goal after Schalke's Christoph Metzelder puts the ball into his own net.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bayer Leverkusen beat Schalke 2-0 to reduce Borussia Dortmund's German lead
  • Tenth-placed Schalke lose in first match since coach Felix Magath is sacked
  • Magath's new team Wolfsburg held to 1-1 draw by fellow strugglers Stuttgart
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(CNN) -- Bayer Leverkusen reduced Borussia Dortmund's Bundesliga lead to seven points with a 2-0 win over Schalke on Sunday, while Stuttgart denied Felix Magath a winning return as coach of Wolfsburg.

Schalke had Seppo Eichkorn in the dugout before Ralf Rangnick takes over as Magath's replacement, but the European Champions League quarterfinalists' poor domestic form continued as second-placed Leverkusen capitalized on Dortmund's 1-1 draw with Mainz on Saturday.

Swiss striker Eren Derdiyok combined with veteran Germany midfielder Michael Ballack before opening the scoring in the 19th minute, while Christoph Metzelder headed Renato Augusto's cross into his own net eight minutes later.

The defeat left Schalke, last season's runners-up under Magath, in 10th place -- 29 points behind Dortmund with seven rounds to play.

Dortmund draw gives rivals hope

Leverkusen coach Jupp Heynckes, who has been linked with a third stint at ailing defending champions Bayern Munich, told reporters after the match that he would make a decision on his future on Monday.

"I'll talk with the bosses on Monday after training and I hope to make public my decision soon after," the 65-year-old said in quotes reported by AFP.

Magath led Wolfsburg to the 2009 German title before switching to Schalke, but his first match since his dismissal last week ended in a 1-1 draw at fellow strugglers Stuttgart.

Brazilian striker Grafite put second-bottom Wolfsburg ahead five minutes before halftime as he held off Georg Niedermeier, but the defender had the final word with an equalizer four minutes into time added at the end of the second spell after desperate long ball forward.

The draw lifted Stuttgart a point above third-bottom side St. Pauli.