Huub Stevens‘ last game as coach ends goalless

FC Schalke 04 finished the 2018/19 season with a 0-0 home draw against VfB Stuttgart. It was Huub Stevens’ last game as head coach, after he took over as interim manager in March. He will now return to his position on the supervisory board.

Two changes, one debutant

George Timotheou from the U23s, who already had been an unused sub on three occasions, made his Bundesliga debut on the final matchday. The Australian replaced the injured Matija Nastasic. There was one further change to the team that drew 1-1 in Leverkusen: Suat Serdar, who missed that game due to illness, came in for Omar Mascarell, who has a foot problem.

Stambouli hits his own crossbar

Both teams looked to start well and pushed forward as they looked for an early goal. After an even opening period, Stuttgart managed to gain control of the game, although they failed to create many dangerous chances. The Royal Blues were worried for a few seconds after 16 minutes, when the ball was in the back of their net. Mario Gomez, however, was in an offside position when he scored and thus his goal was ruled out.

The next notable moment came in the 26th minute, when Daniel Didavi hit a shot across the box. Benjamin Stambouli slid in to block the effort; however his deflection took the ball towards his own goal. Thankfully, the ball hit the crossbar and bounced back out. Guido Burgstaller then had Schalke’s first real chance. The Austrian had an opportunity to score from Daniel Caligiuri’s free kick, but ex-Schalke defender Holger Badstuber managed to clear the danger at the last moment. A few moments later, Burgstaller had another chance to score. Ron-Robert Zieler was on hand to deny the striker’s next effort though (32’).

Goosebumps as Riether comes on for final appearance

It was a quiet start to the second half and it remained that way until full time. The Royal Blues made an improvement on their first half performance, but struggled to link up properly in the dangerous areas throughout the game. The same could be said for the visitors, who failed to pose a dangerous threat to Alexander Nübel over the 90 minutes.

One of the more memorable moments of the second half was the introduction of Sascha Riether into the game, who replaced Daniel Caliguiri in the 88th minute. The 36 year old will retire at the end of the season and was given a rousing reception by Royal Blue fans around the ground. Also applauded by his teammates, it was undoubtedly an unforgettable moment for the defender.

David Wagner to take the reigns

After today’s draw, the Royal Blues end the 18/19 Bundesliga season in 14th place – which the team and club cannot be pleased about. The objective next year is clear – to be successful on the field once again, and preparations will begin in order to do so. It is not yet confirmed when incoming head coach David Wagner will begin pre season with his new side. All relevant information will be published on in due course.

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