Schalke have been relegated for just the fourth time in their Bundesliga history after a 1-0 defeat at Arminia Bielefeld on Tuesday condemned the Royal Blues to the drop.
Irrespective of Cologne's surprise win over RB Leipzig earlier in the day, Schalke knew that only victory would stave off what has seemed inevitable for weeks now. But the visitors looked as disjointed and dispirited as ever despite the state of emergency while Bielefeld, who started the game just outside the bottom three, threatened. Manuel Prietl tested Ralf Fährmann early on to set the tone, and only timely blocks from Malick Thiaw and Omar Mascarell stopped Fabian Klos and Ritsu Doan also working the Schalke 'keeper. Andreas Voglsammer sent an effort just wide and then lost out one-on-one with Fährmann as Dimitrios Grammozis' men went in at half-time knowing the goalless scoreline meant relegation.
With Schalke's attack the least prolific in the division, their lack of a cutting edge came as little surprise. Bielefeld, however, found one soon after the interval. Klos had been a pre-game doubt with a foot problem, but made the starting line-up. His long-range shot probably should have been saved by Fährmann, but the ball found its way into the net. The arrival of Mark Uth for Goncalo Paciencia, who made an ineffective first start since November, changed nothing for Schalke as only Bielefeld looked like adding to the scoreline. They almost did, but Fährmann pushed out a Klos penalty ten minutes from time and the Bielefeld captain was offside when Doan netted the follow-up. Schalke's hopes were already gone by that stage though, especially following Thiaw's dismissal for a second bookable offence as Die Knappen, who have won just twice all season and been bottom since mid-January cannot now escape the automatic relegation places.
- Schalke have been relegated for the fourth time in their Bundesliga history. They drop into Bundesliga 2 for the first time since 1987/88.
- They have scored a league-low 18 goals and conceded a league-high 76.
- Arminia have the second-worst scoring record in the Bundesliga, having managed 23 goals in 30 outings.
- Matthew Hoppe is Schalke's top scorer this season with five goals, three of which came in the 4-0 victory over Hoffenheim on 9 January. The 20-year-old American was also on target against Eintracht Frankfurt and Cologne that month, but hasn't scored in 11 appearances and was an unused substitute for this game.
- The Royal Blues haven't won away from home in 26 Bundesliga outings. Their last victory on the road came at Werder Bremen on 23 November 2019.
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Bielefeld: Ortega (c) - Brunner (De Medina 69'), Pieper, Nilsson, Lucoqui - Okugawa (Van der Hoorn 85'), Prietl, Maier - Doan (Gebauer 85') - Klos (Schipplock 89'), Voglsammer (Soukou 69')
Unused subs: Linner, Kunze, Vlap, Hartel
Out: Cordova (not included), Yabo (not included)
Coach: Frank Kramer
Schalke: Fährmann - Mustafi, Stambouli, Thiaw - Aydin, Mascarell (c), Serdar, Kolasinac - Harit (Sane 79') - Paciencia (Uth 53'), Huntelaar
Unused subs: Rönnow, Oczipka, Becker, Bozdogan, Calhanoglu, Hoppe, Pavlidis
Out: Bentaleb (groin), Boujellab (ankle), Mendyl (ankle), Nastasic (calf), Skrzybski (knee), Ludewig (foot), Mercan (knee)
Coach: Dimitrios Grammozis
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