Werder Bremen reaped their first victory of the German football season as Max Kruse provided a hat-trick to beat Hannover 4-0 while Schalke extended their unbeaten run to six games after beating Hamburg 2-0 at the close of the 12th round in the Bundesliga.

The “Green-Whites” showed a vital sign after securing the first victory of the season with a 4-0 win over newly promoted Hannover, who suffered their second loss in a row on Sunday, reports Xinhua news agency.

Both teams staged an evenly balanced opening period with a lot of action within the midfield. Hence, goal scoring remained a rare occurrence until the 39th minute before Kruse’s through ball found Fin Bartels, who chipped the ball over onrushing Hannover custodian Michael Esser.

After the restart, Hannover tried to take over but Bremen benefited on a turnover as Philipp Bargfrede’s square pass allowed Max Kruse to double the lead with 10 minutes into the second half.

Bremen gained momentum and tripled the lead through Kruse, who shrugged off one defender to wrap up his brace from close range four minutes later.

Hannover were unable to put up some resistance whereas Bremen were not done with the scoring. Kruse put the result beyond doubt after capitalising on an assist from Bartels to seal the second-half hat-trick in the 78th minute.

“Max is a very important player for us as he can make the difference. I am glad he made three goals today. Today it went very well but we still have a long way to go,” Bremen’s head coach Florin Kohfeldt said.

With the result, Werder Bremen climbed to the 16th position, which is a relegation play-off spot, while Hannover slumped to the 8th place after recording the fourth loss of the season.

Elsewhere, clinical Schalke secured a 2-0 victory over uninspired Hamburg, who suffered their eighth defeat. The goals from Franco di Santo and Guido Burgstaller helped the “Royal Blues” to oust Leipzig from the second place in the Bundesliga standings.