1-0 defeat at Köln on the final day
FC Schalke 04 ended the 2020/21 season with a 1-0 defeat away to 1. FC Köln. Sebastiaan Bornauw scored the winning goal late on to secure the relegation play-off place for the hosts, meaning Werder Bremen will join the Royal Blues in the second tier next season.
Dimitrios Grammozis made two changes to the team that beat Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend. Goncalo Paciencia came into the side for an injured Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
Matthew Hoppe replaced Mark Uth, who wasn’t included in the squad after a discussion with the sporting management. Sead Kolasinac, who was banned against Frankfurt, still couldn’t feature due to an injury.
Hoppe with Schalke’s best chance
Köln took control of the game on the final day, looking to get long balls up to Sebastian Andersson, although Schalke were able to defend this tactic well. The first chance of the game came after 16 minutes, with Salih Özcan’s low drive not causing Ralf Fährmann any problems.
Fährmann had to be alert again in the 23rd minute. Marius Wolf played it to Benno Schmitz, who shot from a tight angle. Fährmann was able to divert it for a corner with his foot. Three minutes later, Köln had further opportunities. Ondrej Duda’s shot was blocked by Salif Sané, before Fährmann denied Florian Kainz.
With just over half an hour played, Schalke could have taken the lead. Goncalo Paciencia played it through to Matthew Hoppe, who took it past Rafael Czichos. His shot, though, was deflected wide by Sebastiaan Bornauw (31’). S04 grew into the game more after this chance, but failed to threaten in the rest of the first half.
Köln win it late on
The home side came out of the blocks quickly in the second half. Jonas Hector had a great chance to make it 1-0, however Fährmann fished out his shot from the far corner. Schalke’s number one was again on song to keep out Marius Wolf (52’).
At the other end, Amine Harit hit the side-netting from a narrow angle. Köln, in desperate need of a winner, continued to push forward and create chances. They looked to have opened the scoring in the 71st minute. Sebastian Andersson converted at the back post from a Jonas Hector free-kick. After intervention from VAR, referee Daniel Siebert watched the scene back and chalked the goal off because Salih Özcan had unfairly blocked off Salif Sané while in an offside position.
This blow didn’t seem to affect Köln particularly, as they continued to pile forward. Hector was again denied by Fährmann and he then headed onto the roof of the net (75’). In the 86th minute, Fährmann was finally beaten. After blocking Andersson’s strike, Jan Thielmann crossed to the back post. Sebastiaan Bornauw met it perfectly and headed home the winner for the Billy Goats.
New season to start on 23rd July
The 2020/21 season is now over. Schalke will be in Bundesliga 2 next season, with the campaign beginning on 23rd July. Full details on pre-season and friendlies will be announced on schalke04.de in the coming weeks.