Hertha have come from behind to win at Schalke and move five points clear of Cologne in 17th. The two meet each other in Berlin on Saturday for the penultimate matchday.
Hertha are hanging on by the skin of their teeth as Schalke strike the same post twice in as many seconds, first through Mustafi's header and then Raman's rebound.
The American striker has covered the most distance of any player today.
HOPPE DOES THE RUNNING
Distance run (km)
Matthew HoppeLucas Tousart
Five minutes of it to be played...
Speed check: The fastest player in the game after 90 minutes
Hertha will now have to see this out with 10 men. Lukebakio was already on a yellow and goes in hard on Skrzybski. Referee Schmidt has no choice but to show a second card. The first red of his Bundesliga career in his 89th game and he'll also miss the Cologne game.
Second yellow card
SCHALKE ON THE BALL
The Berliners are sitting back now as they look to get these three points over the line. They're letting Schalke have the ball, but they can't find any way through.
Hertha have now scored nine goals through substitutes this season, which is a new club record for a Bundesliga campaign.
The visitors have posed a far greater threat than Schalke.
HERTHA LEAD DESERVED
The Serbian has been very lively this game and has the chance to wrap things up for Hertha as he runs through. He tried to lob Fährmann, but the Schalke goalkeeper gets a telling hand to it.
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Hertha academy product Jonas Michelbrink comes on for his Bundesliga debut.
HERTHA CLOSER TO SAFETY
As it stands, the Berliners are five clear of Cologne in 17th ahead of their meeting at the Olympiastadion on Saturday. They're also now a full three points ahead of Bielefeld in the play-off spot and Bremen.
Is that the goal to save Hertha?! Only his second in the Bundesliga after scoring in Munich at the start of the season, but Ngankam has jinked past two Schalke defenders after Radonjic's cutback and blasted past Fährmann.
Lukebakio slides in on Kolasinac and picks up a yellow card for the foul. The two captains then get involved in a little tussle and are also shown cards by referee Markus Schmidt. It means Kolasinac will miss the game here against Frankfurt on Saturday through suspension.
© Tim Rehbein/RHR-FOTO/Pool/Tim Rehbein/RHR-FOTO/Pool
Boyata fails to control a long ball into his own box and ends up laying it straight into the path of Huntelaar. The Schalke striker is on the stretch as he gets his shot away and only finds the side netting.
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Similar scenario to the equaliser as Plattenhardt crosses a free-kick from the left. This time it's Piatek who gets a good head to it, but Fährmann is equal to it.
RADONJIC CUTS AGAIN
The Marseille loanee loves to come in on his right foot and does so again, but only finds the side netting with his shot.
The Czech midfielder takes down Harit on the run and he picks up his fifth yellow of the season. He'll miss Saturday's clash with Cologne.
IDRIZI COMES FORWARD
The debutant is allowed to bring the ball forward from central midfield and gets to the edge of the Hertha box unchallenged. He goes for goal but fails to test Schwolow as he fires over.
Both teams return for the second half unchanged.
For the seventh time in the last eight games, Hertha go into half-time not trailing. On a six-match unbeaten run, this point would lift them up to 14th - three points clear of Cologne, who they face on Saturday, in the last automatic relegation place. They'd only be one point ahead of Bremen in 15th and Bielefeld in 16th.
Two minutes of it at the end of the first half.
DILROSUN OVER AGAIN!
Fährmann punches a Radonjic cross clear but not out of danger. It comes straight back to the feet of Dilrosun, who jinks past Mustafi in a similar way to his shot in the opening minutes. It's the same result, though, as he fires over.
First card of the game goes to the scorer of the opener for catching Darida in the face.
Harit cuts back from the left where Hoppe had peeled off into space. The young American striker - still Schalke's top scorer this season - doesn't connect but it still goes through to Huntelaar - the club's oldest scorer ever in the Bundesliga. He takes a touch and fires towards goal, but only gets under it.
RADONJIC HAS A GO
The Serbian winger cuts in from the left and opts to go for goal from the edge of the box, but only picks out Fährmann. Actually the first save of the game.
Schalke haven't offered much going forward since Harit's goal.
HERTHA POSING THE THREAT
Speed check: The fastest player in the game after 30 minutes
BOYATA TAKES ADVANTAGE
© Maik Hölter/TEAM2sportphoto/Maik Hölter/TEAM2sportphoto
The ball is in the Schalke net again but it won't count. Fährmann had come racing out and headed a long ball clear, but only to a Hertha shirt, who put it back over his head into the box. Piatek was in an offside position, though, as he flicked it into the empty net.
The Hertha right-back has a clash of heads with Kolasinac and understandably needs checking. The medics quickly give him the all-clear, though, and he's back on.
It's Boyata's first Bundesliga goal since the 4-0 win against Union on 22 May 2020 - so just a week short of a year! He's missed most of 2021 through injury but looks to be back at just the right time for the Old Lady.
BELTER FROM BOYATA!
Hertha are level and it's the captain who's got the goal. Plattenhardt with the free-kick delivered from the left, and Boyata is completely free at the far post, rising high to plant a header past Fährmann from a good 10 yards. Also a first assist of the season for Plattenhardt in his 14th game.
HARIT GOAL = WIN?
It's only Harit's second Bundesliga goal of this season in his 26th appearance and ends a drought of 15 games. His last strike came in the club's first of just two wins this season, which was the 4-0 victory over Hoffenheim in January. It's also a nice way to mark his 100th Bundesliga appearance.
Schalke did what Hertha didn't do and strike with their first attack. Huntelaar does well to bring down the ball and lays it over to Kolasinac wide on the left. He squares for Harit, who dances past a couple of challenges before placing his shot across Schwolow and into the far bottom corner. The bottom side lead...
A DIFFERENT SETUP
Schalke boss Grammozis has sprung a couple of surprises with how he's set his team up. He's opted for the very young midfield pairing of Flick and Idrizi in a line-up that looks more like this: Fährmann - Sane, Mustafi, Oczipka – Becker, Idrizi, Flick, Kolasinac - Harit - Huntelaar, Hoppe
Hertha - playing all in red - carve out the first chance as Leckie takes down a long ball over the top. He's muscled off it but the ball lands to Dilrosun coming in from the left. It's a tight angle but he goes for power. Over the bar, though.
Schalke are out on the pitch at the Veltins-Arena and just waiting for Hertha to emerge from the tunnel.
SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT
Schalke’s game at Hoffenheim at the weekend was their first since having relegation confirmed. They now face their first home game since the inevitable became reality. It’s the club’s fourth relegation from the Bundesliga and the first since 1988. The Royal Blues are yet to pick up a single point in the Bundesliga when they have been confirmed as relegated. The final matchday of 1980/81 and 1987/88 saw home losses to Cologne and Bremen respectively, while last weekend produced a 4-2 loss at Hoffenheim. Schalke now have three games to put that record right.
WATCH: REVERSE FIXTURE
HERTHA'S GELSENKIRCHEN STRUGGLES
Hertha will believe this game at relegated and bottom-of-the-table Schalke is a chance to end their poor away run 11 games without a win. However, they have struggled in recent years in Gelsenkirchen, losing 11 of their last 12 visits and failing to score in 10 of those. The only time they’ve left the VeltinsArena with something in that period was on matchday 2 of 2018/19 when they claimed a 2-0 win under Pal Dardai.
WATCH: HERTHA GET READY FOR FOURTH GAME IN NINE DAYS
STEP TOWARDS SAFETY
This is the last of Hertha's three rescheduled fixtures, so after this game, all 18 teams will have played 32 times and the table will be neat going into the final two matchdays. Schalke are already down with nothing to play for, but the Berliners are still fighting for survival and can ensure safety over the next four days against Schalke and Cologne. If they win both games, they will be in the Bundesliga again next season. Four points would also mean Hertha cannot be automatically relegated regardless of results elsewhere. If Bielefeld or Bremen also lose on matchday 33, those four points will guarantee safety for the Old Lady with a game to spare.
A WIN FOR PRIDE?
Both of Schalke’s wins this season have come at home (vs. Hoffenheim and Augsburg), but they are still bottom of the table for home fixtures on only nine points. Cologne are the team directly above on 11, so the Royal Blues could move off the foot of that table with a win tonight. The Gelsenkirchen club have scored just nine goals across their 15 home games this season. Never before have they managed fewer than 16 at home in the Bundesliga, while their points total has never been fewer than 15.
WATCH: FÄHRMANN OUT TO WARM UP
HERTHA TEAM NEWS
As he did for the last game, Pal Dardai makes eight changes to his team from Sunday’s goalless draw at home to Bielefeld, making it 25 changes over the last three games as the Berliners look to make up for the matches they missed. Only goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow and Krzysztof Piatek have featured in all three, while Lucas Tousart is the only other survivor from Sunday.
SCHALKE TEAM NEWS
Dimitrios Grammozis makes three changes from Saturday’s 4-2 defeat at Hoffenheim. Mark Uth serves a one-match ban for five yellow cards, so American striker Matthew Hoppe partners Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for his first start since 20 March. Salif Sane returns from his own suspension to make his first start of 2021, while Blendi Idrizi is handed his senior debut and becomes the 40th different player used by the Royal Blues in the Bundesliga this season, extending the historic record they’ve set this term.
Körber, Stark, Torunarigha, Zeefuik, Ascacibar, Löwen, Michelbrink, Lukebakio, Ngankam
Schwolow – Pekarik, Boyata (c), Alderete, Plattenhardt - Darida, Tousart – Leckie, Dilrosun, Radonjic - Piatek
Rönnow, Ludewig, Raman, Paciencia, Ezeh, Skrzybski, Schöpf, Pavlidis
Fährmann - Becker, Mustafi, Sane - Idrizi, Flick, Kolasinac (c), Oczipka - Harit - Huntelaar, Hoppe
Here you will find the most important information on the game between FC Schalke 04 and Hertha Berlin on Matchday 31 of the 2020/21 Bundesliga season.