Suat Serdar celebrated his 24th Birthday by scoring the winning goal for bottom side Schalke against Augsburg.
Desperately unlucky to have come away from their meeting with Bayer Leverkusen empty-handed last time out, Schalke got off to a flier at the Veltins-Arena. An uncharacteristic Rafal Gikiewicz mistake was punished by Serdar, who needed no invitation to turn home Can Bozdogan's fumbled cross from close range. There was a whiff of offside against Klaas-Jan Hunterlaar in the build-up, but the goal stood following a VAR review. Huntelaar drove goalwards on the turn soon after, only for a deflection to take his effort wide. Marco Richter tested the returning Ralf Fährmann with Augsburg's only opening of note, before the lively Serdar directed Amine Harit's cut-back narrowly wide at the other end.
Augsburg showed a marked improvement after the break, with a combination of Fährmann and the woodwork keeping out Ruben Vargas's near-post effort. Richter should have gone one better with the visitors' next effort, but ballooned Raphael Framberger's back-post cross over from close range. Unable to turn possession into an equalising goal, Augsburg had Gikiewicz to thank for not falling further behind in the closing stages. The Polish goalkeeper pulled off a superb diving safe to keep out Huntelaar's 25-yard free kick, but his earlier blunder proved decisive. Dimitrios Grammozis's first win as Schalke coach closes the gap on the relegation play-off spot to 12 points, albeit with only six rounds of fixtures remaining. Augsburg stay 11th.
- Schalke ended a run of 12 Bundesliga games without a win.
- The Royal Blues had not scored in five home games - six would have been an unwanted club record.
- Serdar scored his first league goals of the season. He was Schalke's seven-goal top scorer in 2019/20.
- Huntelaar made his second successive Bundesliga start, and fourth league appearance since rejoining Schalke in January.
- Schalke's record against Augsburg is their best against any current Bundesliga side.
- Augsburg have lost six of their last seven Bundesliga away games.
Schalke: Fährmann - Becker, Stambouli, Thiaw - Aydin, Mascarell (c), Bozdogan (Mustafi 78'), Oczipka (Kolasinac 74') - Serdar - Huntelaar (Hoppe 84'), Harit (Paciencia 84')
Unused subs: Rönnow, William, Sane, Schöpf, Calhanoglu
Out: Bentaleb (groin), Boujellab (ankle), Ludewig (foot), Mendyl (ankle), Mercan (knee), Nastasic (calf), Skrzybski (knee)
Coach: Dimitrios Grammozis
Augsburg: Gikiewicz - Framberger, Gouweleeuw (c), Uduokhai, Gumny (Pedersen 71') - Khedira, Gruezo - Caligiuri (Niederlechner 71'), Vargas (Gregoritsch 79'), Richter - Hahn (Benes 79')
Unused subs: Koubek, Suchy, Sarenren Bazee, Strobl, Oxford
Out: Civeja (pelvis), Iago (ankle), Jensen (thigh)
Coach: Heiko Herrlich