Schalke responded to back-to-back defeats by beating Hoffenheim 2-1 and restoring contact with the top four in the battle of the Bundesliga's youngest coaches on Saturday evening.
Schalke 2-1 Hoffenheim
Goals: 1-0 Kehrer (11'), 2-0 Embolo (28'), 2-1 Kramaric (78')
Schalke got off to a flyer with Thilo Kehrer heading in after Leon Goretzka nodded on a corner, with just ten minutes on the clock. The Royal Blues were celebrating a second just a handful of minutes later, but Breel Embolo's joy lasted just a few minutes before the referee struck the goal off due to an offside which Video Assist picked up. The Royal Blues nevertheless established a two-goal lead before half-time, and they had Kevin Vogt to thank as he gifted Embolo the ball right in front of goal, and there were no questions asked about the Swiss forward's strike on this occasion.
After a delay following an injury to one of the linesmen, with the fourth official substituting him but leaving his position vacant for one of Julian Nagelsmann's assistants to signal their first substitute, Schalke nearly netted a third with Guido Burgstaller cheekily using his backheel to turn a corner goalwards, although Oliver Baumann was on hand to deny him.
Burgstaller then turned on the style to lift the ball over Andrej Kramaric before volleying just wide of the far post, but Kramaric got sweet revenge with a stooping header to set up a grandstand final ten minutes. It was backs-to-the-wall stuff from Schalke as Hoffenheim piled on the pressure, with substitute Robert Zulj making a nuisance of himself and Adam Szalai lifting an effort over. It was torture for Schalke as seven minutes were added on, largely due to the linesman's injury, but they saw it across the line as Domenico Tedesco got the better of Julian Nagelsmann in the battle of the Bundesliga's youngest coaches.
Watch: Tedesco and Nagelsmann: The Bundesliga's new wave of coaches
Schalke: Fährmann (c) - Kehrer, Naldo, Nastasic - Goretzka, Stambouli - Schöpf (90+6' Oczipka), Caligiuri – Embolo (83' Harit), Di Santo (75' Pjaca), Burgstaller
Unused subs: Nübel, Riether, Teuchert, Tekpetey
Absentees: Baba (fitness), Insua (ribs), Meyer (suspended)
Coach: Domenico Tedesco
Hoffenheim: Baumann – Bicakcic (58' Zulj), Vogt (c), Hübner - Kaderabek, Grillitsch, Amiri (67' Rupp), Schulz (52' Zuber) - Kramaric, Uth, Szalai
Unused subs: Stoltz, Nordtveit, Polanski, Akpoguma
Absentees: Demirbay (knee and ankle)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
- Kehrer's goal was his first of the current season, and his first with his head.Breel Embolo started successive Bundesliga matches for the first time since February 2016.Schalke are unbeaten in their last seven home games against Hoffenheim, winning six,Mark Uth, who is Hoffenheim’s leading scorer this season (10), will join Schalke in the summer.Nagelsmann (30) and Domenico Tedesco (32) are currently the two youngest coaches in the Bundesliga. Andrej Kramaric has scored four of his six Bundesliga goals this season in his last three outings.