Schalke frustrated as goalless draw with Cologne leaves them bottom
Schalke snapped a three-game losing streak, but could only pick up a point from a goalless draw with Cologne, leaving them rooted to the foot of the table.
Schalke were urged on by several thousand fans at their final training session on Saturday, and they were close to making a perfect start when debutant Moritz Jenz met a cross from the right at close range, but Marvin Schwäbe just managed to hook the ball off his line. That was enough for Schalke’s 12th man to raise its collective voice, although their vociferous encouragement may have had an undesired influence on a hasty mix-up that saw Soichiro Kozuki get somewhat flustered in front of goal, overzealously squandering the best opportunity of the first half. Cologne remained largely on the back foot and Davie Selke could do little to improve that, picking up an injury for his efforts which cut short his first start in a Cologne shirt.
Steffen Tigges replaced Selke for the start of the second half and Cologne threatened Ralf Fährmann’s goal within minutes, Timo Hübers’ header hitting the crossbar. Simon Terodde tried to find a way through for Schalke, but the Bundesliga 2 all-time top goalscorer continued to be frustrated. Tom Krauß headed the hosts’ next chance over the crossbar before Rodrigo Zalazar made a welcome entrance, getting the home fans on their feet with his first foray forward. The Uruguayan then teed up Kozuki for another good opportunity before sending a shot of his own wide of the post. Zalazar continued to look the most likely source of danger, but for all of his and Schalke's efforts, there would not be a winner on another frustrating afternoon for the Royal Blues at the VELTINS-Arena.
Watch: Schalke’s fans cheer team on in training
- With Fährmann, Tim Skarke and Jenz starting today, Schalke have now used 33 different players this season – more than any other side in the Bundesliga.
- No Schalke home game, or any fixture involving Cologne, had previously ended goalless this season.
- Schalke have lost 10 of their last 12 games in all competitions, with a 1-0 victory over Mainz their only victory during that run.
- Reis's men have the worst attack in the top tier with just 14 goals, at least three fewer than any other side.
- Cologne are unbeaten in their last nine Bundesliga games against Schalke, while their last league loss at the VELTINS-Arena came in 2011.
Get Tigges for your Fantasy team!
Watch: Jenz: "Everything is still open"
Schalke: Fährmann - Brunner, Yoshida, Jenz, Uronen - Latza (c) (Drexler 78'), Krauß - Kozuki, Bülter (Zalazar 68'), Skarke (Kral 78') – Terodde (Frey 60')
Unused subs: Schwolow, Aydin, Kaminski, Ivan, Matriciani
Out: Heekeren (cruciate ligament), Ouwejan (knee), Polter (knee), Tauer (muscular), van den Berg (ankle)
Coach: Thomas Reis
Cologne: Schwäbe - Schmitz, Hübers, Chabot, Hector (c) (Schindler 46') – Skhiri, Ljubicic (Thielmann 78') - Maina (Adamyan 61'), Olesen (Martel 61'), Kainz - Selke (Tigges 46')
Unused subs: Horn, Soldo, Huseinbasic,, Lemperle
Out: Andersson (knee), Dietz (cruciate ligament), Kilian (muscular), Limnios (cruciate ligament), Pedersen (muscular), Uth (pelvis)
Coach: Steffen Baumgart
Watch: Skhiri: "We tried to play"
Bundesliga 2 Matchday 25 highlights!
Heidenheim leapfrogged Hamburg into second, while leaders Darmstadt held firm at the top.
Who will prevail in the battle to beat the drop?
Stuttgart, Schalke, Hertha, Hoffenheim and Bochum are embroiled in the tightest relegation battle of all time...
Matchday 25 highlights!
Dortmund moved outright top of the Bundesliga table ahead of Der Klassiker, after Bayern slipped up away at Leverkusen.