Schalke loses again despite Stevens’ return as coach

BERLIN (AP) — Schalke’s hopes of making a fresh start under returning coach Huub Stevens were derailed in a 1-0 loss at home to Leipzig in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Timo Werner’s 14th-minute strike was enough for the visitors to consolidate third place and hand Schalke its fourth consecutive defeat.

The 65-year-old Stevens was back on an interim basis for his third stint following the sacking of Domenico Tedesco on Thursday, but the Dutch coach could only watch as Mark Uth, Suat Serdar and Guido Burgstaller missed chances to equalize.

Schalke, routed 7-0 by Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday, dropped closer to the relegation zone. Stuttgart’s 1-1 draw at home to Hoffenheim means there are now just three points between the sides with eight games left.

Schalke, runner-up last season, is going through its worst campaign since it was relegated 36 years ago. It already has 15 defeats from 26 games.

Augsburg defeated fellow struggler Hannover 3-1 to overtake Schalke.

Also Saturday, Wolfsburg beat Fortuna Duesseldorf 5-2 in its first game since Bruna Labbadia announced he would finish as coach at the end of the season.

Borussia Dortmund was hoping to reclaim the league lead at Hertha Berlin later Saturday.