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Football: Russian sponsor no problem for Schalke boss

Schalke 04 boss Clemens Toennies says he has no problem with the club's main sponsors, Russian gas-giants Gazprom, despite the ongoing Crimea crisis. "No, I see no problem at all. For me there is absolutely nothing to complain about," Toennies told German daily Bild with Schalke third in Germany's top-flight. Gazprom have been Schalke's main sponsor since 2007 and give the Royal Blues 17 million euros (US$23.46m) of sponsorship per year with the current deal running until 2017.

Footbal: Stuttgart sack Schneider, Stevens steps in

Bundesliga strugglers Stuttgart have sacked coach Thomas Schneider and appointed Dutchman Huub Stevens in his place, the club announced on its website on Sunday. Stuttgart have slumped to 15th in the 18-club league, just three points ahead of bottom club Eintracht Braunschweig, who held them to a 2-2 draw at home on Saturday. "The management has taken this decision in agreement with Thomas Schneider," club president Bernd Wahler announced on the website.

Footbal: Stuttgart sack Schneider, Stevens steps in

Bundesliga strugglers Stuttgart have sacked coach Thomas Schneider and appointed Dutchman Huub Stevens in his place, the club announced on its website on Sunday. Stuttgart have slumped to 15th in the 18-club league, just three points ahead of bottom club Eintracht Braunschweig, who held them to a 2-2 draw at home on Saturday. "The management has taken this decision in agreement with Thomas Schneider," club president Bernd Wahler announced on the website.

Football: Bale targets rare Real win in Germany

Real Madrid are targeting a rare win in Germany when they take on Schalke 04 in Wednesday's Champions League last 16, first-leg clash, the Spanish giants' Gareth Bale says. Having scored 20 goals in the group stages, Madrid are looking to improve on their dreadful away record in Germany as they take on Schalke for the first time. "We know the Champions League is a big competition with all the best teams in it, so we know it is going to be difficult," said the 24-year-old Wales winger.

Football: Resurgent Schalke earn third straight win

Schalke 04 extended their six-match unbeaten run with a 2-0 win at home to Hanover on Sunday to stay fourth in the Bundesliga behind run-away leaders Bayern Munich. Schalke host Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid in the last 16, first leg of the Champions League later this month and have hit form after back-to-back defeats in December with three straight wins since the winter break. The Royal Blues put on a regal performance at Gelsenkirchen's Veltins Arena with Jefferson Farfan tapping home after a superb run from defender Sead Kolasinac on 39 minutes.

Football: Resurgent Schalke earn third straight win

Schalke 04 extended their six-match unbeaten run with a 2-0 win at home to Hanover on Sunday to stay fourth in the Bundesliga behind run-away leaders Bayern Munich. Schalke host Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid in the last 16, first leg of the Champions League later this month and have hit form after back-to-back defeats in December with three straight wins since the winter break. The Royal Blues put on a regal performance at Gelsenkirchen's Veltins Arena with Jefferson Farfan tapping home after a superb run from defender Sead Kolasinac on 39 minutes.

Football: Schalke keep Keller as coach for 2014

Schalke 04 confirmed on Sunday that coach Jens Keller will remain in charge of the Royal Blues going into 2014, despite a string of erratic results. "All topics have been discussed constructively and openly with a clear analysis of what must be improved," said the club in a statement. "All this Jens Keller and his coaching team will work on when the preparations for the second part of the season begin on January 3." The 43-year-old Keller was forced to watch Saturday's goalless draw at Nuremberg on television at home after suffering with a stomach virus.

Football: Winless Nuremberg coach insists on Santa clause

Nuremberg's Dutch coach Gertjan Verbeek has vowed not to shave until his side pick up their first win of the season -- even if he ends up looking like Santa Claus. Verbeek's Nuremberg finish 2013 as the only team in any of Europe's top leagues without a win this season. The ranconians are second from bottom in the Bundesliga with six defeats and 11 draws. Having dominated Schalke on Saturday in their goalless draw, the 51-year-old Verbeek has said his white stubble stays until Nuremberg earn their first win.

Football: Schalke, Hanover bosses face an anxious Xmas

Bundesliga coaches Jens Keller of Schalke and Hanover's Mirko Slomka face an uncertain start to 2014 with their respective clubs set to decide their futures over the winter break. Keller, 43, and Slomka, 46, find themselves in the uncomfortable position of knowing their futures are being discussed. Both have fallen a long way short of their clubs' pre-season objections as the league breaks for winter on Sunday.

Champions League results

Champions League results PARIS, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Following are the Champions League results on Wednesday: Group E At Gelsenkirchen Schalke 04, Germany bt Basel, Switzerland, 2-0 At London Chelsea, England, bt Steaua Bucharest, Romania, 1-0 Group F At Marseille Marseille, France, lost to Borrusia Dortmund, Germany, 2-1 At Napoli Napoli, Italy, bt Arsenal, England, 2-0 Group G At Vienna Austria Vienna, Austria, bt Zenit Petersburg, Russia, 4-1 At Madrid
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