Germany: Bundesliga
FT
0 - 3
(0 - 2)
Schalke 04
Hoffenheim
R. Skov (11), M. Dabour (45), R. Skov (59)
By Ultan Corcoran@UltanCorcoran

Hoffenheim rout luckless Schalke as pressure mounts on Kramer

Schalke played host to Hoffenheim this evening to get the ball rolling for Bundesliga’s Matchday 10 action. The Gelsenkirchen-based club were looking for their second win of the season, while aiming to bounce back from last week’s defeat to Leverkusen. TSG were hoping it would be third time lucky playing Friday night football two previous defeats on the same day. In the end it was the Sinsheim outfit who prevailed on a 0-3 score line.
The hosts made the worst start possible conceding a penalty after brief deliberation with VAR. Footage from the pitch side monitor showed Greiml catching fellow Austrian Christoph Baumgartner as the latter tried to control the ball. Arbiter Florian Badstübner was left with an easy decision while under pressure boss Frank Kramer looked on in dismay. Skov stepped up to blast the spot kick into the top right corner beyond Schwolow’s fingertips.

Schalke weren’t without chances themselves – Krauß dragged a shot wide while Terodde fired over. Rutter missed a guilt-edged chance of his own after Baumgartner unselfishly fed the Frenchman. Mollet struck the post as the clock hit thirty minutes. Baumgartner tormented Schalke’s rear guard all game and his powerful low drive on 40 minutes almost crept past Schwolow who just managed to regather. Just as Schalke looked like scoring, the Sinsheim side doubled their lead seconds before the interval. Baumann’s awareness sent Rutter on the break who fed Dabbur. The Israeli curled to the net with aplomb.

Ten minutes after the restart and Schalke hit the post again. Bülter flicked his header to the far post while the statue-like Baumann could only watch it trickle out off the aluminium. On a night were everything seemed to go against ‘Die Königsblauen’, another VAR assisted penalty was awarded. This time the ball struck the hand of Ouwejan. Skov took the honours again, burying the ball into the bottom right corner on this occasion.

Kramer made a host of changes as the game entered the final 20 minutes. Drexler, Terodde, and Mollet all made way for Larsson, Karaman, and Polter. The influential Baumgartner was afforded an early rest as Stiller came on, while Bruun Larsen replaced goal scorer Dabbur. Both sides lost their way a bit as the game ambled on. Ultimately, this Schalke side never looked like they would hit the net despite coming agonisingly close on several occasions. Skov had a late chance to bag his hattrick, but it wasn’t to be. TSG’s Finn Ole Becker and Eduardo Quaresma got a run out before the final whistle sounded.

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