A sensational battle between Schalke and Augsburg at the VELTINS-Arena ended with a Daniel Caligiuri penalty sending the hosts into second spot in the standings after Domenico Tedesco's men had previously surrendered a two-goal lead against their dogged opponents.
Schalke 3-2 Augsburg
Goals: 1-0 Di Santo (44'), 2-0 Burgstaller (47'), 2-1 Caiuby (64'), 2-2 Gregoritsch (pen 79'), 3-2 Caligiuri (pen 83')
Looking to build on a nine-game unbeaten run - their longest in nearly eleven years - Schalke stormed out of the blocks and almost took the lead when Weston McKennie failed to convert following some fine build-up work from Guido Burgstaller. Augsburg had failed to win in six previous trips to the VELTINS Arena yet Michael Gregoritsch sought to put an end to that sequence with a free-kick from distance that goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann struggled to hold. However, with the hosts bossing possession a Royal Blue goal appeared more likely, and it arrived on the stroke of half-time with Franco Di Santo's smartly struck effort.
Hoping to leapfrog RB Leipzig into second spot, the hosts doubled their lead almost immediately after the restart with Burgstaller latching onto the end of Naldo's header from a Bastian Oczipka corner. Losing just one of their six games before this, Freiburg rallied and pulled a goal back through Caiuby's header midway through the half. Now buoyed, the visitors went in search of an equaliser and when Gregoritsch was felled in the area by Oczipka, the Austrian dusted himself down before planting home the subsequent penalty. There was still time for yet more drama and after Augsburg 'keeper Marwin Hitz impeded substitute Amine Harit, Schalke's chance for a reprieve was grasped by Caligiuri from the penalty spot.
- Di Santo made his 100th Bundesliga appearance. The Argentinian now has two goals in his last four games having failed to register at all last season.Augsburg's opener was scored from the game's first corner.Burgstaller's goal was his fourth in five games.Schalke are currently enjoying their longest unbeaten league run ten games) in almost 11 years.FCA have only won one of their 13 top-flight games against Schalke.The Royal Blues have never lost at home to Augsburg, winning six of the seven matches between the two teams at the VELTINS Arena.
Schalke: Fährmann (c) - Stambouli, Naldo, Nastasic – Caligiuri, Meyer, McKennie, Harit (Kehrer 87'), Oczipka – Di Santo (72'), Burgstaller (Reese 86')
Subs: Nübel, Konoplyanka, Reese, Kehrer, Riether, Coke, Embolo
Absentees: Bentaleb (shin), Insua (pericarditis), Goretzka (lower leg), Schöpf (knee)
Coach: Domenico Tedesco
Augsburg: Hitz - Opare, Hinteregger, Gouweleeuw, Max - Khedira (Danso 62'), Baier (c) (Schmid 87') - Koo, Gregoritsch, Caiuby – Finnbogason (Cordova 73')
Subs: Luthe, Heller, Khedira, Schmid, Callsen-Bracker, Cordova, Framberger
Absentees: Thommy (ankle), Moravek (flu), Stafylidis (flu)
Coach: Manuel Baum