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15.30 Kickoffs:
Latest Schalke loss pushes club league winless run to 29 matches

By Peter Vice   @ViceytheSS

The final round of 2020 Bundesliga 15.30 kickoffs saw many clubs play above their level. Unfortunately for Huub Stevens and FC Schalke 04, perhaps the best chance to end a historic winless run slipped through their fingers. 
Huub Stevens.
Huub Stevens.Photo: Wolfgang Zink, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0
Sixty-seven year old football coaching legend Huub Stevens took to the sidelines on Saturday to begin his fourth stint in charge of Schalke 04. A simple 4-2-3-1 sought to bring die Königsblauen back to basics against one of the league's weakest opponents. As expected, Benito Raman got his turn at lead-striker. Nassim Boujellab worked behind him as a ten with Alessandro Schöpf and Hamza Mendyl working the flanks.


The changes did little to alter the overall demeanor of the team, who appeared tentative and insecure from the start. Visiting Bielefeld got the better of the early chances. Sergio Cordova, Christian Gebauer, and Manuel Prietl all got looks in within the first quarter of an hour. After 15 minutes during which Arminia controlled the flow of the match, Schalke lost captain Omar Mascarell to injury in the 16th.

As has been the case for most of the campaign, die Knappen could only manage long-range low-percentage efforts that came nowhere close to looking dangerous. Schöpf, Raman, and Suat Serdar tried their own individual shots in the dark in flailing attempts to get something going. Bielefeld came back stronger, forcing Ralph Fährmann into a save in the 39th and hitting the post at the stroke of half-time.

The opening goal came eight minutes after the restart. Bielefeld striker Fabian Klos had no problem splitting central defenders Ozan Kabak and Salif Sané to touch down a Nathan de Medina cross and take his time with the finish. Stevens brought on Amine Harit, Ahmed Kutucu, and Steven Skrzybski in an effort to add more power to his attack, but it was the DSC who continued to generate chances. Cordova, Hartel, and Ritsu Doan missed chances the increase their side's lead.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga's 15.30 kickoffs, Leipzig dominated ball possession and engineered no fewer than seven quality scoring chances against FC Köln. Julian Nagelsmann's men lacked the finishing touch, however, and the match ended 0-0.

In Mainz, another fixture destined to end 0-0 swung Bremen's way when recently promoted youth academy prospect Erin Dinkci converted a header in the 90th minute on his Bundesliga debut. Hoffenheim also beat Gladbach 2-1 in a match somewhat overshadowed by a red card for Marcus Thuram after a spitting incident.

Aided by an Augsburg own-goal, Eintracht Frankfurt eventually put down the Fuggerstädter 2-0.


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