Schalke secure Europa League berth with win over Hoffenheim

FC Schalke 04 booked their place in next season's UEFA Europa League group stage thanks to a comprehensive 4-1 victory away to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday afternoon.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 1-4 FC Schalke 04

Goals: 0-1 Huntelaar (7'), 0-2 Choupo-Moting (14'), 1-2 Uth (41'), 1-3 Sane (56'), 1-4 Schär (o.g. 89')

Schalke announced immediately prior to kick-off that head coach Andre Breitenreiter would not be continuing next season, and his players subsequently began eager to give him a worthy farewell. The visitors were far more cohesive than their much-changed hosts and deservedly went ahead thanks to a superbly-executed Klaas-Jan Huntelaar volley. The Royal Blues doubled their advantage shortly afterwards through Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's smart finish, but Mark Uth gave Hoffenheim hope before the break with a tap-in from close-range. 

Hoffenheim thought they had equalised early in the second half when Schalke keeper Ralf Fährmann fumbled a routine save, but goal-line technology ruled the ball had not fully crossed the line. Leroy Sane put the game out of reach with a stunning solo goal, before a late own-goal by Fabian Schär put the seal on a win that lifted Schalke into fifth place.

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