Schalke end season eight points clear in second place
A deserved win to finish the season for the Royal Blues as Guido Burgstaller scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt. The Austria international’s goal in the 36th minute meant Schalke end the season eight points clear in second place.
Two changes to the starting XI
Domenico Tedesco made two changes to his starting XI as Bastian Oczipka came in to face his former side and Amine Harit returned in place of Alessandro Schöpf and Franco di Santo respectively.
Burgstaller gets his eleventh goal of the season
The game began with a bang. After 45 seconds, Weston McKennie studs popped the match ball. After a change of ball, the game got to a good start. Both teams were highly committed and looking to get the opening goal. However, neither side possessed the cutting edge. Naldo and Leon Goretzka came close for the Knappen, while Mijat Gacinovic and Sebastian Haller threatened the Schalke goal but failed to convert.
The deadlock was eventually broken in the 26th minute. Guido Burgstaller headed home Daniel Caligiuri’s delightfully inviting dead ball to make it 1-0. It was the striker’s 11th goal of the campaign. The goal gave the Royal Blues momentum as they pushed for a second. Amine Harit went closest before the break but dragged his effort wide.
Nübel celebrates his VELTINS Arena debut
The beginning of the second half saw Domenico Tedesco make an unexpected change. Alexander Nübel came on for Ralf Fährmann as a reward for his impressive performances in training. It was his first ever appearance in the VELTINS Arena. Minutes later, Abdul Rahman Baba made his first appearance in Royal Blue since returning on loan. The Ghana international picked up a serious injury back in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and it was his first game in almost 18 months in blue and white.
After the break, Frankfurt started to get a foothold in a game that became increasingly stretched and end-to-end. Daniel Caligiuri was denied by an impressive stop from Frankfurt’s Lukas Hradecky. Alex Nübel was forced to produce an impressive stop to deny Ante Rebic and, from the resulting corner, Danny Da Costa poked an effort inches wide.
In the closing minutes, SGE threw men forwards but Nübel was not to be beaten. As VfB Stuttgart won in Munich, Frankfurt finish the season in eighth and must win their DFB-Pokal final to play European football next season.
A successful finish to an excellent season
With another three points on the board, Schalke reinforced their incredibly impressive season. In the next few weeks, the team will go separate ways as, while some go on holiday, others are off to the World Cup with their national teams.