Goalless draw with Augsburg enough to secure Schalke's Bundesliga status
Schalke have Bundesliga football to look forward to again next season after a goalless draw at home to Augsburg ensured their place in Germany's top flight next term with two games to spare.
Schalke needed just a point to secure their place in the Bundesliga with two games to spare, but the after-effects of the exertions in beating local rivals Borussia Dortmund last time out appeared to have taken their toll on Huub Stevens' side as they sought to summon the energy they needed to make it over the line. Augsburg, already secure of their top-flight status next season, were happy just to go through the motions too, rarely threatened if not for an opportunity which Breel Embolo wasted five minutes before the interval with a poor pass for Suat Serdar.
When Serdar and Embolo did combine with the former receiving the ball in a dangerous position early in the second half, he showed what he can do with a shot striking the post. Augsburg reacted with Michael Gregoritsch bringing the first save of the afternoon out of Alexander Nübel. Welshman Rabbi Matondo breathed some late life into Schalke following his introduction, going close on numerous occasions to grabbing a winner, but in the end, the Royal Blues picked up the point they needed to ensure another season of Bundesliga football beckons in 2019/20.
- Schalke ended a four-game losing streak at home, just avoiding setting a new club record.
- Sebastian Rudy started his first game for Schalke since the end of March, a 1-0 win in Hanover.
- Ahmed Kutucu was given his first start since Stevens returned to Schalke; he last appeared on 16 February in a 0-0 draw with Freiburg.
- Julian Schieber returned to the Augsburg starting XI for the first time since 1 December, in a 1-0 defeat to Stuttgart.
- Augsburg are still winless in their eight trips to Gelsenkirchen (D2, L6).
Schalke: Nübel - McKennie, Stambouli (c), Nastasic - Caligiuri, Mascarell Serdar, Rudy (Boujellab 73'), Oczipka - Kutucu (Matondo 61'), Embolo
Unused subs: Langer, Harit, Bruma, Carls, Timotheou
Out: Bentaleb (not considered), Burgstaller (personal reasons), Fährmann (muscular), Konoplyanka (thigh), Mendyl (not considered), Sane (unknown), Schöpf (knee), Skrzybski (thigh), Uth (groin)
Coach: Huub Stevens
Augsburg: Kobel - Schmid, Gouweleeuw, Khedira, Stafylidis - Koo (Moravek 66'), Baier (c) - Hahn, Gregoritsch (Teigl 83'), Max - Schieber (Richter 57')
Unused subs: Luthe, Oxford, Janker, Danso
Out: Cordova (groin), Finnbogason (calf), Framberger (cruciate ligament), Giefer (ankle), Götze (hip), Jensen (ankle)
Coach: Martin Schmidt
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