Hamburg will go into the final game of the season determined to avoid a relegation play-off after the Bundesliga's 16th placed team rescued a draw against Schalke, Pierre-Michel Lasogga's injury-time strike cancelling out Guido Burgstaller's first-half header.
Their hopes of European qualification faint prior to this encounter, Schalke nonetheless set about their opponents in what was the last home game of the season for the Royal Blues. Amid a spectacular atmosphere at the VELTINS ARENA, the hosts forged ahead in the 25th minute with winter signing Burgstaller heading home Nabil Bentaleb’s centre for his his ninth goal in a Schalke shirt. Indeed, things almost got even better for Markus Weinzierl’s team with Klas-Jan Huntelaar - in his final home appearance - nodding against the HSV upright.
Hamburg have never been relegated from the Bundesliga, but with their top-flight status in serious peril this year, the Red Shorts emerged with renewed ambition after the restart. Matthias Ostrzolek tested the strong reflexes of Ralf Fährmann, the goalkeeper responding admirably. Schalke’s shot-stopper was busy again as HSV searched frantically for the equaliser, substitute Luca Waldschmidt denied from a tight angle before Lewis Holtby smashed over the top. After Huntelaar waved goodbye to the home fans, Bobby Wood fluffed a golden opportunity to draw the teams level. Undeterred, HSV came again, Lasogga firing in for the most dramatic of finishes, almost trumped by Sead Kolasinac's disallowed effort at the other end.
Man of the match
The drama unfolding all around him, it was nonetheless all about Huntelaar at the VELTINS ARENA and the departing striker - in his seventh season at Schalke - didn't disappoint with a solid performance that almost brought a first-half goal, the 31-year-old heading against the post.
Just when it seemed Wood's last gasp miss would cost HSV dearly, Lasogga collected Holtby's pass in injury time before stroking home a valuable equaliser for the visitors, leaving them two points behind next week's opponents Wolfsburg in what is shaping up to be a pre-relegation play-off.
- Schalke can no longer qualify for Europe.
- Huntelaar failed to add to his 82 Bundesliga goals for the Royal Blues in what was his last home game for the club.
- Burgstaller is now top scorer at previous club Nürnberg and Schalke this season.
Schalke: Fährmann - Coke, Höwedes (c), Nastasic, Kehrer - Goretzka, Bentaleb (90+1') - Caligiuri (Avdilaj 61'), Kolasinac - Huntelaar (Stambouli 80'), Burgstaller
Coach: Markus Weinzierl
Hamburg: Mathenia - Diekmeier (Lasogga 85'), Papadopoulos, Jung, Ostrzolek - Janjicic (Gregoritsch 78'), Sakai (c) - Jatta (Waldschmidt 72'), Holtby, Kostic - Wood
Coach: Markus Gisdol
Watch: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar reflects on his final home game as a Schalke player
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