Schalke go second with 3-2 win against Augsburg

FC Schalke 04 rose to second place in the Bundesliga table after a 3-2 win at the VELTINS Arena over FC Augsburg. In a hard-fought battle, Franco di Santo, Guido Burgstaller and Daniel Caligiuri scored the goals to keep the three points in Gelsenkirchen.

Schalke jubelt gegen den FC Augsburg.

Stambouli and Burgstaller return to the starting XI

Head coach Domenico Tedesco made two changes to the team which drew in Mönchengladbach. Benjamin Stambouli came into the defence for Thilo Kehrer and, further up the pitch, Breel Embolo was replaced by Guido Burgstaller.

Di Santo scores a beauty

Initially, Augsburg made life difficult for the Knappen by defending deep and compactly. However, Schalke did have their chances in the first half. Weston McKennie was unable to bundle the ball over the line after Guido Burgstaller’s low cross wreaked havoc in the FC Augsburg penalty area. As the first half drew to a close, it seemed neither side was going to break the other down yet the Royal Blues had other ideas. After great work down the right flank by Amine Harit, his cross was met by Franco di Santo whose intelligent run ensured he was first to the ball and proceeded to finish with a plomb. He flicked the ball with the heel of his right boot past a helpless Marwin Hitz in the FC Augsburg goal to give Schalke a 1-0 lead at half-time.

An eventful second half

Schalke started the second half firing on all cylinders. After Bastian Oczipka squandered a great chance with the goal gaping in the 46th minute, Guido Burgstaller poked home from the resulting corner to make it 2-0 in the 47th minute. The Austrian got his foot on the end of a Naldo header for his seventh Bundesliga goal of the season. After that, the visitors changed to a much more offensive outlook as Ja-Cheol Koo and Alfred Finnbogason went close but were denied by Ralf Fährmann. Unfortunately, the Schalke captain was powerless to prevent Caiuby’s header from a Philipp Max corner as the game became 2-1 in the 64th minute.

This goal swung momentum in FCA’s favour and, soon, it was 2-2. Michael Gregoritsch scored from the penalty spot after the incident was consulted with the Video Assistant referee. However, Schalke didn’t let the equaliser get to them. Within a matter of minutes, the referee had awarded a penalty at the other end as Amine Harit was fouled by Marwin Hitz. Daniel Caligiuri kept his cool and slotted home to make it 3-2 and the game finished that way. Augsburg threw everything forward towards the game’s end but the scoreline finished 3-2.

Schalke head to Frankfurt for final Bundesliga game of 2017

Two games await the Knappen ahead of the winter break. On Saturday, Domenico Tedesco’s team face Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday at 15:30 CET. Three days later, FC Schalke 04 play their final fixture of 2017 in the DFB-Pokal against 1. FC Köln on Tuesday 19th December at 20:30 CET.

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