Julian Nagelsmann won the battle of the Bundesliga's youngest coaches on Matchday 6, his Hoffenheim side narrowly edging out Domenico Tedesco's impressive Schalke at the Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena.
Hoffenheim 2-0 Schalke
After an enterprising start, Nagelsmann's Hoffenheim took a deserved, early lead. Havard Nordtveit had already drawn a superb save from Ralf Fährmann by the time Dennis Geiger fired into the bottom corner to put the hosts ahead. Tedesco's Schalke responded well to going behind, however, and dominated proceedings before the break: cutting in from the flanks, both Amine Harit and Yevhen Konoplyanka drew good saves Oliver Baumann.
Schalke continued in positive fashion after the restart, Konoplyanka hitting the bar in the 49th minute. Nagelsmann responded by introducing Sandro Wagner in an attempt to change his side's tactics, but little could stem the Royal-Blue tide. Harit was everywhere for the visitors, who went close through substitute Guido Burgstaller and Naldo before time was up. Ultimately, though, as Schalke threw everything forward, Hoffenheim struck on the break, Lukas Rupp sealing the win.
Man of the Match
Unflappable, unflustered and unerring in possession, Geiger only misplaced one pass in the first half. His maiden Bundesliga goal was deserved reward for a fine display in which he pulled the strings in Hoffenheim's midfield. The 19-year-old gets better with every passing game.
- Nagelsmann and counterpart Tedesco, who both completed their coaching studies in 2016, are the two youngest current Bundesliga bosses.Geiger's first Bundesliga goal came with only his second shot on target in the top flight.The only goalscorer younger than Geiger in the current season is Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic.Naldo made his 323rd Bundesliga appearance, overtaking Dortmund legend Dede. Among Brazilians, only Ze Roberto (336 appearances) is ahead of the Schalke centre-back.
HOFFENHEIM: Baumann - Nordtveit, Vogt (c), Hübner - Kaderabek, Geiger, Amiri (Rupp, 29'), Zuber (Schulz, 73') - Kramaric, Gnabry (Wagner, 54') - Uth
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
SCHALKE: Fährmann (c) – Kehrer, Naldo, Nastasic – Caligiuri, Stambouli, McKennie (Goretzka, 74'), Harit – Meyer (Embolo, 78'), Konoplyanka – Di Santo (Burgstaller, 55')
Coach: Domenico Tedesco
Watch: McKennie feels the coach's trust in him