Weston McKennie on target as Schalke and Hoffenheim share the spoils
Weston McKennie's second Bundesliga goal earned Schalke a point as they shared a 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim to remain just inside the European places.
Schalke 1-1 Hoffenheim
Goals: 1-0 McKennie (21'), 1-1 Baumgartner (69')
McKennie sent in Schalke's first shot of the game, his volley taking a deflection on its way past the far post, and the menacing USMNT international masterminded the opening goal for the Royal Blues, cutting in from the right and sending a low shot past Oliver Baumann. He and Welsh forward Rabbi Matondo kept the Hoffenheim defence busy as the hosts seized control of proceedings, but when Ihlas Bebou headed Hoffenheim's first and only chance of the first half the wrong side of the near post, all of Schalke's good work in the opening half almost came undone in the blink of an eye.
Hoffenheim still looked rattled by their 6-0 defeat to Bayern Munich a week ago, but Schalke struggled to go for the jugular. Andrej Kramaric flashed a header just inches wide of the post in another warning to Schalke that their lead was slender, with Matondo firing a chance to settle their nerves wide and succeeding only in doing the opposite. The tension rose a further notch midway through the second half when Benjamin Hübner headed in for Hoffenheim, but VAR intervened and the goal was ruled out for offside. There was no recourse for Schalke moments later, though, when substitute Christoph Baumgartner brought the guests level. The insecurity suddenly shifted to Schalke and Hoffenheim had chances to win it, going the closest in a totally transformed conclusion to the game.
- Schalke have lost only twice at home in the league this term - their first game against Bayern and their last match at home to Leipzig.
- McKennie's goal was only his second in the Bundesliga, in his 67th game. His first came in Düsseldorf in October 2018, 38 games ago.
- Hoffenheim scored their ninth goal this season following a corner – more than any other club in the Bundesliga this term, and a new club record.
- Bastian Oczipka played his 250th Bundesliga game.
- Schalke boss David Wagner was a youth coach at Hoffenheim from 2007 to 2009.
Watch: Kenny looking forward to derby with Dortmund
Schalke: Schubert - Becker, Todibo, Nastasic – Kenny (Thiaw 90'), Schöpf, McKennie, Oczipka (c) – Raman (Harit 76'), Burgstaller, Matondo (Kutucu 82')
Unused subs: Nübel, Gregoritsch, Boujellab, Mercan
Out: Caligiuri (knee), Kabak (pelvis), Mascarell (groin), Miranda (calf), Sane (knee), Serdar (broken toe), Stambouli (metatarsal)
Coach: David Wagner
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Nordtveit (Baumgartner 60'), Akpoguma, Hübner (c) - Kaderabek (Posch 79'), Rudy (Geiger 85'), Grillitsch, Samassekou, Skov - Kramaric, Bebou
Unused subs: Pentke, Bicakcic, Bruun Larsen, Zuber, Lucas Ribeiro, Beier
Out: Adamyan (ankle), Belfodil (knee), Dabbur (knee)
Coach: Alfred Schreuder
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