S04 draw 0-0 with FCA despite good chances

Schalke had to settle for a 0-0 draw against FC Augsburg on Sunday, despite numerous chances to score.

Rudy and Kutucu move into the starting lineup

Head coach Huub Stevens made two changes to his squad following the 4-2 derby victory against Borussia Dortmund. Sebastian Rudy and Ahmed Kutucu replaced Salif Sané (thigh injury) and Guido Burgstaller, who missed the game to be by his wife’s side in the delivery room.

Schalke with more chances in the first half

Schalke started strong and took control of the game right from the start. Daniel Caliguri had the first chance of the game with a shot from just inside the box (7’). Twelve minutes later, Caliguri attempted to feed the ball to Breel Embolo, but the cross sailed past the striker. Augsburg’s sole attempt in the first half came through a shot from distance by Konstantinos Stafylidis (29’).

Schalke were clearly the better side during the first half, but were unable to capitalise on a counter-attack in the 37th minute following an Augsburg corner. However, Sebastian Rudy’s ball to Breel Embolo was easily cleared by the visitors. Schalke’s best chance to take the lead came just before half-time. Breel Embolo stole the ball off of Augsburg keeper Gregor Kobel, but Suat Serdar was unable to connect properly with the ball (40’). Both sides went into the break scoreless.

Serdar denied at the near post

Schalke were also on the front foot in the second half. Matija Nastasic headed the ball over the crossbar from a Bastian Oczipka corner (47′), before Ahmed Kutucu’s shot was blocked by Ja-Cheol Koo just three minutes later (50′). A vigilant Gregor Kobel came to the visitors’ rescue just two minutes later. Receiving the ball from the left-hand side, Suat Serdar surged towards the Augsburg goal, but he was well denied from five yards out, the young FCA custodian forced into a strong reflex save.

The visitors almost took the lead against the run of play in the 56th minute. Philipp Max’s freekick was flicked on by Michael Gregoritsch, with the ball taking a cruel deflection off of Daniel Caligiuri that required a brilliant instinct save from Alexander Nübel to keep it out. This proved to the best chance of the match for Martin Schmidt’s side, as Schalke grew more and more into the game. Substitute Rabbi Matondo played a one-two to Breel Embolo, wasting no time in shooting from 10 yards, but his shot was deflected and flew over the bar. The resulting corner again saw the ball land at Matondo’s feet, but Kobel made an excellent save to deny the young Welshman from close distance.

The Royal Blues searched for the elusive goal as the full-time whistle loomed, and were nearly rewarded when Suat Serdar had a chance right at the death, but Gregor Kobel once again saved to ensure the game ended a 0-0 draw.

Away at Leverkusen this Saturday

Next Saturday, Schalke face Bayer Leverkusen in their final away game of the season. Kickoff is at 15:30 CEST.

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