Schalke guaranteed themselves second place and participation in next season's UEFA Champions League with a hard-earned 2-1 win at Augsburg on the season's penultimate weekend.
Augsburg 1-2 Schalke
Goals: 0-1 Kehrer (23'), 1-1 Max (27'), 1-2 Kehrer (34')
The Royal Blues knew just a point would guarantee them Champions League football next season, but they started sloppily and Alfred Finnbogason almost punished them when his shot from an angle struck the post and rolled across the line before being cleared. Thereafter the visitors improved, however, and they led at the break thanks to a brace from Thilo Kehrer. The defender opened the scoring with a neat finish and then saw his header find the net via Finnbogason, with Philipp Max establishing parity for just seven minutes.
Once back in front, Schalke showed the type of defensive resolve that has characterised their play for much of the season, wit veteran Naldo particularly dominant at the back. They escaped when Marco Richter was ruled offside when he tapped home a rebound on 55 minutes, and from then on, Domenico Tedesco's charges kept their hosts at arm's length impressively. Combined with Dortmund's home defeat to Mainz, the result guarantees Schalke a second-placed finish for the first time since 2009/10.
- Schalke scored from a set-piece for the 24th time this season, more than any other club.Michael Gregoritsch and Finnbogason have scored over half Augsburg’s goals in 2017/18 (25 of 43).Daniel Caligiuri has taken 12 set-pieces that have led to a goal, the most in the division.Augsburg have won only one of 14 Bundesliga meetings with Schalke (D5, L8).Burgstaller leads the Schalke scoring charts with 10 goals.Schalke defender Naldo made his 350th Bundesliga appearance.Philipp Max has scored twice this season and provided a league-high 12 assists.
Augsburg: Hitz – Schmid, Gouweleeuw, Hinteregger, Max – Khedira (Danso 90'), Baier (c) (Cordova 79') – Richter (Moravek 73'), Gregoritsch, Caiuby – Finnbogason
Unused subs: Luthe, Parker, Janker, Kacar
Absentees: Opare (not considered), Framberger (ankle), Jakob (knee), Heller (suspended), Koo (knee)
Coach: Manuel Baum
Schalke: Fährmann (c) – Stambouli, Naldo, Kehrer – Schöpf, Goretzka, McKennie, Caligiuri – Burgstaller (Teuchert 89'), Konoplyanka (Oczipka 84'), Di Santo
Unused subs: Nübel, Insua, Baba, Pjaca
Absentees: Nastasic (knee), Meyer (not considered), Bentaleb (suspended), Embolo (thigh)
Coach: Domenico Tedesco