TSG 1899 Hoffenheim recorded their first Bundesliga win of the season at the expense of a fifth successive defeat for rock-bottom FC Schalke 04.
Desperate to draw a line under their four-match losing start to the season, Schalke got off to a dream start as Breel Embolo planted a peach of a cross on the head of the stooping Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting for the opening goal. Die Knappen had not kept a clean sheet in 15 Bundesliga matches, however, and their soft underbelly was exposed in clinical fashion in the 17th minute when Andrej Kramaric powered home a free header to bring Hoffenheim level. The width of the upright denied Schalke's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar his 164th Bundesliga goal, but it was Hoffenheim who went in at the break with their noses in front after Lukas Rupp slid home unmarked following a surging run and cross from Kerem Demirbay.
Hoffenheim continued to carry the greater attacking threat in the second half as Mark Uth and Kramaric sent efforts over the crossbar from 18 yards. Schalke did not heed the warning and were somewhat fortunate to still be in the game when Hoffenheim substitute Nadiem Amiri crashed an effort against the woodwork. Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann's quick thinking foiled Chile international Eduardo Vargas moments later as the Royal Blues went down with barely a whimper.
The wait goes on for Markus Weinzierl's Schalke, whose only win of the season so far came against German minnows FC 08 Villingen in the first round of the DFB Cup. The Royal Blues face FC Salzburg in the UEFA Europa League in midweek, before welcoming UEFA Champions League participants Borussia Mönchengladbach to the VELTINS-Arena on Matchday 6.
- Schalke have not kept a clean sheet in the Bundesliga since 28 February 2016.Hoffenheim are still unbeaten after five matches (W1, D4).Schalke substitute Max Meyer became the third youngest player in Bundesliga history to reach 100 appearances, aged 21 years and seven days.
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Rudy (c), Bicakcic (Schär 39'), Süle, Kaderabek - Vogt, Toljan, Demirbay - Uth (Amiri 66'), Rupp (Vargas 73') - Kramaric
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Schalke: Fährmann - Riether, Höwedes (c), Nastasic, Baba - Stambouli (Schöpf 58'), Bentaleb - Embolo, Goretzka, Choupo-Moting (Di Santo 74') - Huntelaar (Meyer 65')
Coach: Markus Weinzierl