bundesliga

Union Berlin held in goalless draw by rock-bottom Schalke

Schalke remain rooted to the foot of the Bundesliga after picking up a point from their trip to the capital, with Union Berlin failing to score from 19 attempts on goal in a 0-0 draw.

Union Berlin 0-0 Schalke

There was a good early chance for Union with Taiwo Awoniyi put through on goal, but Ralf Fährmann saved his initial effort and was relieved to see the Union forward turn the rebound wide. Sitting at the bottom of the Bundesliga standings, and under immediate pressure, Schalke would have been forgiven for setting up camp in their own half, but they instead did the opposite, trying bravely to build some attacks of their own. Suat Serdar flashed their first shot of the game wide of the far post as the game approached the half-hour mark, and while it was the hosts who ended the half with a flurry of shots - Joel Pohjanpalo's effort blocked and Christian Gentner volleying wide from distance - the guests would have gone in at the interval encouraged.

There was another good early chance for Awoniyi in the second half, but he dragged his effort wide. Moments earlier, Pohjanpalo had volleyed off target in an almost repeat of the opening stages of the first half. Like in the opening period, Schalke again grew into the game and a curling free-kick from Amine Harit just did not quite dip in time to endanger Loris Karius' goal. The endeavour and, at times, invention was coming from Christian Gross' men, but a cutting edge was still lacking and Karius was not forced to get his gloves dirty until five minutes from time, when he easily dealt with a deflected effort. Moments later, Marcus Ingvartsen wasted Union's third big chance of the night, heading tamely at Fährmann, before Nassim Boujellab finally gave Karius a save to make with an angled shot that he turned behind to preserve the point.

Match stats

  • Karius started his first Bundesliga game for Union and his first German top-flight fixture since May 2016, for Mainz against Hertha Berlin.
  • Bentaleb returned to the Schalke starting XI for the first time since Matchday 5.
  • This was the first time both Union and Schalke have been involved in a goalless draw this season.
  • Union have scored with every seventh shot on average this season, a return bettered only by leaders Bayern Munich (one in six). Schalke are the least clinical with a goal every 15 attempts.
  • Hoppe is Schalke's top scorer this season with five goals, although he has not found the net in his last four outings.
  • Schalke are without a win in their last 21 Bundesliga away games (eight draws, 13 defeats), but they have never lost against Union (one win, three draws).

Watch: Gross explains the decision to recall Nabil Bentaleb to the first team

Line-ups

Union: Karius - Friedrich, Knoche, Hübner - Trimmel (c), Gentner (Prömel 69'), Andrich, Gießelmann - Ingvartsen - Awoniyi (Teuchert 85'), Pohjanpalo (Musa 62')
Unused subs: Busk, Ryerson, Griesbeck, Dajaku, Bülter, Endo
Out: Becker (ankle), Kruse (thigh), Lenz (muscular), Luthe (personal reasons), Schlotterbeck (suspended), Ujah (knee)
Coach: Urs Fischer

Schalke: Fährmann - Becker, Mustafi, Thiaw, Kolasinac (c) - Stambouli, Bentaleb (Boujellab 63') - William (Raman 63'), Serdar, Harit - Hoppe
Unused subs: Langer, Mendyl, Mascarell, Oczipka, Schöpf, Mercan, Bozdogan
Out: Huntelaar (calf), Ludewig (foot), Paciencia (knee), Rönnow (groin), Sane (knee), Skrzybski (knee), Uth (thigh)
Coach: Christian Gross

Watch: Fischer: "We had enough chances to win the game"