Three first-half goals, all resulting from corners, enabled Pellegrino Matarazzo's VfB Stuttgart to rush out to a 3-0 lead. Although Sead Kolasinac, was able to pull a tally back just before the end of the opening 45, the last-place Knappen could never recover.
The Bundesliga's Swabian representatives would later score twice more in the final match to complete a 5-1 shellacking.
Schalke's set-piece deficiencies once again reared their ugly head at the Mercedes Benz Arena on Saturday. By the 26th minute of the side's round 23 encounter against Stuttgart, VfB's Wataru Endo had already netted a brace with two far-post tap-ins off corner kicks. The Japanese international found himself totally unmarked on both situations, scoring off both the right and left corner flags.
Before Christian Groß' men could even begin to contemplate a reaction, Sasa Kalajdzic netted a third goal in the 34th minute. In this particular instance, a short corner skirted outside of the box. Left wingback Borna Sosa was on hand to whip in a cross to the tall Austrian striker. Kalajdzic finished very well on a deft leap.
Matters might have been worse for Schalke still, but third-string keeper Michael Langer made several key saves amid the first-half onslaught. The Gelsenkircheners had absolutely no answer for Sosa on the Stuttgart left. William Furtado and Timo Becker were routinely torched on their right-hand side. Against the run of play, club captain Sead Kolasinac managed to pull a goal back in the 40th after a nice fightback and assist from Benjamin Stambouli.
Shockingly, Groß employed no changes at the half. This proved an colossal error as Sosa continued to have his way with William and Becker. In an embodiment of how impossibly atrocious Schalke's season has been, the side could not convert a spot kick awarded in the 71st. Amine Harit draw a foul in the box. After a prolonged debate with substitute Nabil Bentaleb about who would take it, Harit acquiesced to the Bentaleb. The Algerian shot low straight into the arms of keeper Gregor Kobel.
Instead of pulling within one goal, the NRW-guests would soon find themselves completely humiliated yet again. Endo set up Philipp Klement for a nice finish on the turn in the 88th. Two minutes into injury time, Endo capped a magnificent day by assisting on another goal. Daniel Didavi finished from distance this time.
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga's 15:30 kickoffs, FC Bayern München showed why they remain the German giants with their own 5-1 beatdown of 1. FC Köln. Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry both grabbed braces in the immense demonstration of power. Leon Goretzka picked up three assists.
Borussia Dortmund overcame a sluggish first half against Bielefeld to beat up their guests 3-0 at Signal-Iduna. Incredibly, the VfL Wolfsburg clean sheet record now extends to eight consecutive matches on the trot. Oliver Glasner's Wolfs blanked Hertha Berlin 2-0 at the Volkswagen-Arena.