Benito Raman scored in a fourth consecutive Bundesliga game to hand 10-man Schalke a narrow 1-0 victory at home to Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday, keeping them above Bayern Munich in fourth in the standings.
Schalke 1-0 Eintracht Frankfurt
Goals: 1-0 Raman (53')
Red cards: Nübel (67')
Frankfurt head coach Adi Hütter made six changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Hertha Berlin last week, so it was perhaps unsurprising that the visitors struggled to click initially. Schalke were clearly on top even after USA international Weston McKennie had to be stretchered off early on with a shoulder injury, but their first clear sight of goal didn't arrive until just before the half-hour mark when Suat Serdar's curling strike from the edge of the box drew a brilliant diving save from Frederik Rönnow. The next chance also fell Schalke's way, but Raman was just unable to collect Rabbi Matondo's pass before Rönnow smothered. There was little to see from Frankfurt at the other end of the pitch aside from a couple of half-chances from Mijat Gacinovic just before half-time.
The home side continued to press after the interval and were rewarded when the excellent Amine Harit led a counter-attack before slotting the ball into the path of Raman to break the deadlock with a composed left-footed finish. Frankfurt were handed a lifeline with around 20 minutes to play, however, when Schalke goalkeeper Alexander Nübel was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Gacinovic. The visitors immediately increased the intensity as they looked to make their numerical advantage count, with Djibril Sow drilling wide from the edge of the box, but it was Schalke who went closest to adding to the scoreline when Guido Burgstaller struck the post with a shot from the edge of the box. Royal Blue legs were clearly tiring in the closing stages, but they held on for an eighth win of the season that leaves them just five points behind leaders RB Leipzig.
- Schalke coach Wagner made his Bundesliga debut as a player for Frankfurt in 1991. It was his only competitive appearance for the club.
- Raman didn't score in his first five league outings for the club, but now has four in his last four.
- With six goals and four assists, Harit has had a hand in over a third of all Schalke's goals and is the team's chief attacking threat.
- Juan Miranda made his competitive debut for Schalke in this game.
- Frankfurt are yet to win a Bundesliga game immediately following a Europa League outing this season.
- Timothy Chandler made his first Bundesliga start since 14 September; Lucas Torro his first since 22 April.
Watch: Raman: "I want to keep scoring"
Schalke: Nübel (c) – Kenny, Kabak, McKennie (Miranda 13'), Oczipka – Serdar, Mascarell – Caligiuri, Harit (Schubert 69'), Matondo - Raman (Burgstaller 77')
Unused subs: Boujellab, Reese, Skrzybski, Carls, Becker, Mercan
Out: Nastasic (knee), Sane (knee), Schöpf (thigh), Stambouli (metatarsal), Uth (groin), Bentaleb (knock), Kutucu (bruised foot)
Coach: David Wagner
Frankfurt: Rönnow – Toure (Durm 82'), Hinteregger, Ndicka – Chandler, Sow, Torro, Rode (c) (Kamada 54'), Kostic – Gacinovic (Paciencia 70') – Dost
Unused subs: Wiedwald, Falette, Joveljic, Hasebe, da Costa, Silva,
Out: Abraham (suspended), Kohr (suspended), Russ (Achilles tendon), Trapp (shoulder)
Coach: Adi Hütter
Watch: Chandler: "Disappointed not to get a point"