Schalke 04's Jefferson Farfan (left) challenges Freiburg's Oliver Sorg (centre) and Cedrick Makiadi. Photo: Reuters
Schalke 04's disastrous Bundesliga form continued on Saturday as it slumped to a 3-1 defeat at home to Freiburg to leave it with two points from its last six league games.
The Royal Blues will discover their Champions League last 16 opponents in Thursday's draw, but Schalke has now lost three of its last four league games with Dutch coach Huub Stevens under pressure.
"I have a contract until the end of the season and I will fulfill it," said Stevens, who took charge in September 2011.
"I started here because I am a fan of this club and I don't have the feeling that I can't get more from these players."
After Peru forward Jefferson Farfan put Schalke ahead on 20 minutes, Freiburg's Jan Rosenthal equalised six minutes after taking advantage of some weak defending.
Schalke's Joel Matip then made a defensive slip to allow French midfielder Jonathan Schmid to score Freiburg's second on 32 minutes to make it 2-1 at the break.
Rosenthal netted the third, and his second of the game, on 61 minutes before he was shown two yellow cards just 62 seconds apart to be sent off after some over-zealous defending.
Schalke's Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar followed him off just a minute later for his second yellow after a foul on Freiburg captain Julian Schuster.
Earlier, Bayer Leverkusen's 3-0 win over Hamburg trimmed Bayern Munich's lead at the top of the Bundesliga table, but the Bavarian giants will still finish 2012 with a nine-point lead.
After Bayern was held 1-1 at home by Borussia Moenchengladbach on Friday, second-placed Leverkusen saw off Hamburg with striker Stefan Kiessling and current Germany forward Andre Schuerrle both scoring.
With defending champions Dortmund to play strugglers Hoffenheim, Eintracht Frankfurt took the chance to claim third spot with a 2-0 win over 10-man Wolfsburg.
Mainz moved up to sixth after coming from behind to beat VfB Stuttgart 3-1 with midfielder Nicolai Mueller scoring two second-half goals before Colombia midfielder Elkin Soto grabbed the third in the 92nd minute.
Duesseldorf's Denmark midfielder Ken Ilso drilled home an 83rd minute free-kick to seal Fortuna's 2-1 win over Hanover 96.
Greuther Fuerth remains rooted to the bottom of the table after it drew 1-1 at Bavarian neighbours in a high-tension affair as both sides finished with 10 men.