Andre Silva set a new Eintracht Frankfurt record with his 27th goal of the season, but American striker Matthew Hoppe sparkled as Schalke dented the Eagles’ top-four hopes, providing a goal and an assist in an unlikely 4-3 win on Saturday.
Frankfurt went into the game a point behind fourth-placed Borussia Dortmund, aware they needed to win in order to keep their hopes of UEFA Champions League qualification alive. Things didn't pan out quite as planned initially, as Tuta tripped Amine Harit in the penalty area inside the first 15 minutes, giving the home side a penalty. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's spot-kick was saved by Kevin Trapp, but the veteran Dutch forward reacted quickest to the rebound to prod home the opener. The Royal Blues have the worst defensive record in the Bundesliga by quite some margin this term, however, so Frankfurt were always going to get chances - and they converted their first real opening when Amin Younes' left-wing cross deceived goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann, allowing Silva to head in at the back post.
Schalke coach Dimitrios Grammozis brought on Hoppe at half-time to give his side fresh inspiration going forward, but it was the away side that looked more dangerous to start with. Timothy Chandler headed just wide of the post from a trademark teasing Filip Kostic cross, before the Eagles took the lead via Evan N'Dicka, who headed in his third goal of the season from Daichi Kamada's corner. The hosts hit back almost instantly, though, Huntelaar's deft back-heeled flick setting academy graduate Blendi Idrizi through on goal to fire Schalke level. That kick-started a goal frenzy from the home side, with Hoppe setting up Florian Flick to fire the Bundesliga's bottom club ahead again, before the American striker got on the scoresheet himself, dribbling from the halfway line before coolly curling past Trapp and into the far corner. Silva reduced the deficit in the closing stages with his 27th goal of the season - a new club record - but Frankfurt were unable find the net again, the loss doing serious damage to their chances of leapfrogging Dortmund into fourth with just one round of fixtures remaining.
- Silva's brace took his tally to 27 this the season, setting a new club record for most goals in a single campaign, beating the previous best-mark of 26 set by Bernd Hölzenbein in 1976/77.
- Huntelaar's goal was his second in nine appearances since returning to Schalke in January.
- Idrizi scored his first Bundesliga goal on just his second top-flight outing.
- Hoppe registered his first assist in the Bundesliga in teeing up Flick, while his goal means he has a team-high six for the season.
- Since the Bundesliga’s inception, no team has occupied last place in the post-matchday standings as often as Schalke (111).
- Flick scored with his first shot in the Bundesliga, coming in his third top-flight game.
Watch: Chandler: "It's not in our hands"
Schalke: Fährmann (c) - Becker, Sane, Mustafi - Aydin (Matriciani 67'), Idrizi (Skrzybski 77'), Flick, Harit, Oczipka - Huntelaar (Paciencia 53'), Uth (Hoppe 46')
Unused subs: Langer, Ludewig, Raman, Schöpf, Pavlidis
Out: Bentaleb (groin), Boujellab (ankle), Kolasinac (suspended), Mascarell (hamstring), Mendyl (ankle), Nastasic (calf), Stambouli (jaw), William (knee)
Coach: Dimitrios Grammozis
Frankfurt: Trapp - Tuta (Ache 84'), Hinteregger, N'Dicka (Rode 65') - Chandler, Sow (Hrustic 64'), Hasebe (c), Kostic - Kamada (Zuber 66'), Younes (Jovic 66') - Silva
Unused subs: Schubert, Ilsanker, Durm, Barkok
Coach: Adi Hütter
Watch: Silva on scoring record: "I'm proud of myself"