Kevin Möhwald struck late on to earn Werder Bremen a 1-1 draw at home to Schalke after Omar Mascarell's first-half opener looked to have earned the Royal Blues only their second win of the season.
Schalke's in-form Californian Matthew Hoppe kept his place in the starting line-up despite the presence of veteran Royal Blues returnee Klaas-Jan Huntelaar on their bench, and the 19-year-old American almost put his side in front just three minutes in. Hoppe pounced on a wayward Bremen clearance, but couldn't find the target from a narrow angle. That almost instant chance proved to be an outlier in the early going as both teams settled into things, with a solid defensive shape clearly paramount for both the 13th-placed hosts and bottom-of-the table visitors. Despite finding themselves cut adrift in last place, Schalke were the first-half aggressors and penned the home team back for the majority. Their dominance paid off with a free-flowing move seven minutes before the break that resulted in Mascarell stroking home Amine Harit's cut-back from the edge of the Bremen box.
Florian Kohfeldt sought an immediate turnaround by making a triple substitution at the break, introducing Ludwig Augustinsson, Möhwald and Milot Rashica to try and bring about that change in fortune. Josh Sargent almost delivered it less than 10 minutes after the interval as the ball popped up to him in the Schalke penalty area, but he could only slice his volley over the bar. That was one of the American's final contributions and it was his replacement - Yuya Osako - that forced Ralf Fährmann into a stunning first real save of the match to keep Schalke in front with quarter of an hour to play. Just three minutes later, Bremen were level as Fährmann was this time unable to keep out Möhwald's strike from an almost-identical spot to Mascarell's opener. Christian Gross responded by handing Huntelaar his second Schalke debut with 10 minutes to go, but he couldn't muster up a winner and it was Bremen who thought they'd snatched all three points deep into injury-time through Maximilian Eggestein, only to see the flag go up and the points shared.
- Möhwald found the back of the net for the third time this season in his 13th league outing - equalling his best Bundesliga return in a campaign in 2018/19, when he scored three times from 23 games.
- Bremen have lost just one of the last seven meetings between these two (W5, D1, L1).
- Mascarell's opener was his first Schalke goal in his 61st appearance for the club.
- The Royal Blues still have the worst away record in the division W0, D3, L6).
- Huntelaar's second debut for the club came 10 years after his first, while his last Schalke appearance before returning came in a 1-1 draw with Ingolstadt on 20 May, 2017.
Watch: Florian Kohfeldt tips Josh Sargent for the top
Bremen: Pavlenka - Veljkovic, Toprak (Moisander 90'+1), Friedl - Gebre Selassie (c), Bittencourt, Eggestein, Mbom (Möhwald 46'), Agu (Augustinsson 46') - Sargent (Osako 61'), Schmid (Rashica 46')
Unused subs: Haesler, Chong, Gruev, Dinkci
Out: Erras (muscular), Füllkrug (ankle), Groß (muscular), Selke (thigh)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt
Schalke: Fährmann - Becker, Kabak, Nastasic, Kolasinac (c) - Stambouli, Mascarell (Thiaw 80') - Schöpf (Boujellab 46'), Uth, Harit (William 70') - Hoppe (Huntelaar 80')
Unused subs: Langer, Mendyl, Oczipka, Mercan
Out: Bentaleb (not included), Boujellab (ill), Ludewig (foot), Paciencia (knee), Sane (knee), Skrzybski (knee), Rönnow (groin)
Coach: Christian Gross
Watch: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar: "It's good to be back"