Schalke got their promotion push back on track in the Bundesliga 2 Matchday 17 opener on Friday as they beat Nuremberg 4-1 at the VELTINS-Arena.
Schalke 4-1 Nuremberg
Goals: 1-0 Ouwejan (20'), 1-1 Nürnberger 49' (assist: Schäffler), 2-1 Schäffler (o.g. 66'), 3-1 Churlinov (85'), 4-1 Itakura 90'+4 (assist: Pieringer)
The Royal Blues had taken just four points from a possible 15 prior to kick-off, and the visitors sought to pounce on any vulnerability by going on the front foot early on. Manuel Schäffler hit the post with a header before Christopher Schindler blazed over on the rebound - misses they would soon come to regret. Schalke attacker Darko Churlinov jinked his way into space in the left-hand side of the box and his fierce shot was only parried into the path of Thomas Ouwejan, who volleyed in from close range. Buoyed by taking the lead, the home side began to play with greater confidence and could even have extended their advantage, but Christian Mathenia made a brilliant save to tip Blendi Idrizi’s effort onto the post.
Mats Möller Daehli squandered a glorious chance to equalise shortly before the interval, but Nuremberg carried that momentum into the second half, levelling the score almost immediately after the restart when Fabian Nürnberger smashed in from Schäffler’s superb headed knock down. The hosts gradually began to assert themselves though, and edged in front again when Schäffler inadvertently redirected the ball into his own net. That was the spark Schalke needed to find their rhythm again and they showed a ruthless cutting edge in the closing stages, with Darko Churlinov and Ko Itakura adding gloss to the scoreline late on to seal a deserved win.
- This was the teams' first meeting in Bundesliga 2. Of the 67 previous encounters in the top flight, Schalke won 31 to Nuremberg's 20, with 16 draws.
- Simon Terodde scored 11 times in the first nine games of the season, but just once since; his 154th Bundesliga 2 goal in the 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen on Matchday 14 set a new best mark in the division.
- Bülter is the next most dangerous attacker for the Royal Blues, with six goals and three assists so far.
- Möller Daehli (two goals, four assists) and Lino Tempelmann (three of each) are among the ones to watch for Nuremberg.
- Der Club have only won away from home twice so far this season.
- With seven clean sheets and just 16 goals conceded prior to this match, Nuremberg had the best defensive record in the division this season.
Schalke: Fraisl – Thiaw, Itakura, Kaminski – Ranftl, Zalazar (Aydin 90'+2), Palsson (c), Ouwejan – Idrizi (Flick 69') – Pieringer, Churlinov (Dadashov 89')
Unused subs: Wienand, Wouters, Matriciani, Rzatkowski, Mikhailov, Calhanoglu
Out: Bülter (hypertension), Langer (knee), Latza (knee), Rzatkoswki (infection), Sane (thigh), Terodde (calf)
Coach: Dimitrios Grammozis
Nuremberg: Mathenia - Valentini (c) (Köpke 77'), Schindler, Sörensen, Handwerker - Krauß (Duman 43'), Geis, Nürnberger - Möller Daehli (Dovedan 46') - Shuranov (Borkowski 70'), Schäffler
Unused subs: Klaus, Fischer, Suver, Rausch, Latteier
Out: Hübner (shoulder), Tempelmann (suspended)
Coach: Robert Klauß
Matchday 17 round-up:
Regensburg 2-3 Werder Bremen
Goals: 1-0 Breitkreuz (5’), 1-1 Bittencourt (39’), 1-2 Friedl (59’), 1-3 Ducksch (89’), 2-3 Singh (90’+2)
Werder Bremen came from behind to make it two wins from two under new head coach Ole Werner, keeping themselves in the hunt for the promotion places. Steve Breitkreuz put the hosts in front with an early header from a Sarpreet Singh corner, but Bremen hit back through Leo Bittencourt’s sublime volley before Marco Friedl gave them the lead on the rebound after another Bittencourt effort had been blocked. Marvin Ducksch made sure of the points as the final whistle approached, rendering Singh’s stoppage-time strike too little, too late for Regensburg.
Paderborn 0-1 Darmstadt
Goal: 0-1 Pfeiffer (81')
A late winner from Patric Pfeiffer at the Benteler Arena was enough to keep second-placed Darmstadt in touch with 2. Bundesliga leaders St. Pauli. With hosts Paderborn also keen to stay on the coat-tails of the division's promotion chasers, this was a game that promised high entertainment yet ultimately delivered few clear-cut chances. With both sides cancelling each other out for large parts, the contest's best chance fell to Pfeiffer with less than ten minutes to go, and the 22-year-old defender made no mistake, heading in from a corner to earn his side a valuable three points.
Karlsruher 3-2 Heidenheim
Goals: 0-1 Kleindienst (6'), 1-1 Batmaz (8'), 2-1 Batmaz (39'), 3-1 Wanitzek (pen. 56'), 3-2 Kleindienst (73')
A Malik Batmaz double and a second-half Marvin Wanitzek penalty helped hosts Karlsruher to bring Heidenheim's three-game winning run to an end and reduce the gap between the sides to three points in the standings. An exciting contest at the Wildparkstadion saw Tim Kleindienst and Batmaz exchange early goals but it was the home side who edged the contest thereafter. Batmaz put the finishing touches to an impressive Karlsruher counter-attack before the forward was forced off through injury. Wanitzek's 56th minute penalty put daylight between the teams but Kleindienst's second set up a nervy finish for the hosts.
Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-1 FC St. Pauli
Goals: 0-1 Hartel (47'), 1-1 Hennings (68')
Leaders St. Pauli were denied a fourth win in a row and a chance to increase their lead at the top of the standings after hosts Fortuna came back from a goal down to earn a draw. After an even first half, the game came to life after the restart and it was Timo Schultz's men who hit the front when Marcel Hartel thumped home Daniel-Kofi Kyereh's cross. St. Pauli looked to turn the screw thereafter but were left cursing their luck when the hosts equalised against the run of play in the 68th minute, Rouwen Hennings netting his first of the campaign after connecting with Emmanuel Iyoha's centre.
Watch: Highlights of Fortuna's draw with St. Pauli
Hamburg 3-0 Hansa Rostock
Goals: 1-0 Glatzel (8'), 2-0 Reis (18'), 3-0 Glatzel (80')
Hamburg leapfrogged Schalke into third spot on Sunday with a straightforward win against promoted Hansa Rostock. The hosts got off to the perfect start when Sonny Kittel combined with Faride Alidou to tee up Robert Glatzel for an easy finish after only eight minutes. Tim Walter's men were celebrating once more not long afterwards, Ludovit Reis and Jan Gyamerah's one-two allowing the former to net his team's second. The 14th-placed visitors had their moments after the break and went closest to reducing the arrears through an excellent Jonathan Meier chance, but it was promotion chasers HSV who made sure of the points thanks to Glatzel's second of the game late on.
Erzgebirge Aue 0-1 Dynamo Dresden
Goal: Königsdörffer (61')
A second-half goal from Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer was enough to edge the Sachsenderby in Dynamo Dresden's favour, with Alexander Schmidt's team climbing to eleventh place in the 2.Bundesliga table as a result. In what proved to be a largely uneventful game, midfielder Königsdörffer took advantage of an error from home goalkeeper Martin Männel to give his side the lead shortly after the hour mark. Dresden subsequently took their foot off the gas yet Aue couldn't capitalise, despite Antonio Mance going close late on. The result left the hosts in relegation trouble ahead of their Matchday 18 encounter against Nürnberg.
Ingolstadt 1-2 Hannover
Goals: 0-1 Beier (9'), 1-1 Gaus (29'), 1-2 Maina (38')
There was no new-coach bounce for Ingolstadt who remain rooted to the foot of the 2. Bundesliga standings following a twelfth reverse of the campaign. Overseeing his first game in charge of Die Schanzer, Rüdiger Rehm cut a frustrated figure when Hannover hit the front through Maximilian Beier's poked finish that followed some fine work from Lukas Hinterseer. For their part, Die Roten have been performing admirably under interim tactician Christoph Dabrowski, and although seeing their lead cancelled out by Marcel Gaus's leveller, the visitors emerged deserved winners thanks to Linton Maina's goal seven minutes before the break.
Holstein Kiel 2-2 SV Sandhausen
Goals: 1-0 Pichler (19'), 1-1 Soukou (26'), 1-2 Zhirov (72'), 2-2 Skrzybski (83')
Both of these sides were left with plenty to ponder following a fascinating encounter at the Holstein-Stadion. Last season's third-place finishers were first off the mark in this early relegation battle, Benedikt Pichler coolly slotting through the legs of Thomas Dähne in the Sandhausen goal. Cebio Soukou brought the visitors level with his team's first shot on target and it was to get even better for Alois Schwartz's men - who had previously survived an attacking Kiel storm - in the 72nd minute, when Aleksandr Zhirov finished following some defensive uncertainty. With the hosts subsequently ringing the changes, it was substitute Steven Skrzybski who powered in The Storks' equaliser late on.
Matchday 2: probable teams
What role will Matthijs de Ligt have to play for Bayern Munich against Wolfsburg?
Freiburg vs. Dortmund: team news
Jude Bellingham's leadership qualities will be put to the test when Dortmund travel to Freiburg.
Official Bundesliga 2 transfer centre: Summer 2022
Every move in Germany's second division during the summer window...