Despite impressive fan support, Schalke 04 were handed the red lantern at the “home game in Sinsheim”.
15,000 Schalke fans turned Hoffenheim into a second Gelsenkirchen im Kraichgau – but at the end of an unusual “home game” the Royal Blues fell back to the bottom of the Bundesliga table. The 0:2 (0:1) in the basement duel at TSG on Easter Sunday was a tough low blow in the increasingly dramatic struggle for relegation.
So the only thing left for the vocal supporters was to halfway build up the team for the last seven match days. After all, nothing is lost, but the gap to relegation place 16 is two points. The table-15. VfL Bochum is five points away on the first non-relegation zone.
“We knew how important the game was,” assured Schalke striker Marius Bülter. “But we didn’t manage it, it hurts.” At “DAZN” he analyzed: “We weren’t compelling enough. Now we have to continue working together with the fans, they can be our bargaining chip.” Now all eyes are on the cracker on Friday against the penultimate Hertha BSC. “It’s going to be brutal,” said goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann.
An own goal by Alex Kral (22nd) and a goal by Ihlas Bebou from the penalty spot (70th) ensured the victory for Hoffenheim in front of 30,150 spectators, who were further away from the relegation zone thanks to the third three in a row. TSG has a five-point lead over the relegation place.
On the other hand, TSG sports director Alexander Rosen, who has been in office for ten years, made it clear before the start of the game that, despite the rumors about his departure at the end of the season, he expects to stay. “I haven’t just been here for two months – and I’m not on the run,” said the 43-year-old, whose contract runs until 2025.
Bebou has to get the penalty twice
The game started quickly. Schalke would have taken the lead after just 35 seconds, Bülter’s shot touched the bar. A minute later, Christoph Baumgartner missed a similarly large chance with his head.
After that, calm returned. It was only in the 20th minute that Finn Ole Becker tested the ferryman. Two minutes later the keeper was powerless: The Czech Kral scored into his own goal from close range.
Shortly thereafter, Schalke again had aluminum bad luck. Maya Yoshida hit the post with a header (24′). After that, TSG took over the command. Andrej Kramaric (32nd) missed the best opportunity in this phase. Bülter created a threat for the first time in the second half with a long-range shot (53′).
After that it got turbulent on the other side. After Yoshida fouled Baumgartner, referee Matthias Jöllenbeck (Freiburg) rightly pointed to the point. Fährmann was able to parry Bebou’s penalty, but left the goal line with both feet. On the replay, Bebou scored.