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
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.