With the courage of desperation, Schalke 04 landed a liberation in the fight to stay up and left the direct relegation places for the first time in six months. The Royal Blues prevailed in the hard-fought basement duel against Hertha BSC 5: 2 (2: 1), gave the Red Lantern to the Berliners and climbed to 16th place for the first time since the beginning of October.
“There was a lot at stake, the pressure was great, but we withstood it. We had good control of the game, that gave us security,” said Schalke’s double packer Marius Bülter DAZN. The victory gives “self-confidence, but we know that we haven’t achieved anything yet.”
Tim Skarke (3rd), Bülter (13th, 78th), Simon Terodde (48th) and Marcin Kaminski (90th + 2) scored the goals for the Gelsenkirchen team, who after two defeats with 0:5 goals with their backs stood against the wall. VfB Stuttgart could overtake Borussia Dortmund again with a point win on Saturday (3:30 p.m. / Sky). Stevan Jovetic (45′ + 3′) and Marco Richter (84′) scored for Hertha, who were particularly weak on the defensive. After the sixth game in a row without a win, the first relegation of the Berliners in eleven years is getting closer.
“It was a real slap in the face. We knew how important the game was,” said Hertha sports director Benjamin Weber: “We’re brutally disappointed.” Regarding the future of coach Sandro Schwarz, Weber said: “It is natural that we will turn every stone.” First there is an analysis.
Schalke coach Thomas Reis had changed his team to five positions after the 2-0 defeat at TSG Hoffenheim: Among other things, defensive stabilizer Moritz Jenz, with whom the Royal Blues had not yet lost, returned after thigh problems, second division record scorer Terodde was there for the first time Back in the starting XI for more than two months, captain Danny Latza surprisingly replaced U21 national player Tom Krauss in the six. Defense chief Maya Yoshida was also out. Hertha coach Schwarz only made two changes compared to the 0-1 draw against RB Leipzig: Richter started on the right flank, Jovetic as the second striker.
After exactly one minute, the air was already out – the ball had to be replaced, record-breakingly early. The new ball was in the goal a minute and a half later: Skarke hit the underside of the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area – his first goal for the Royal Blues. Driven by ex-Schalke Kevin-Prince Boateng, who quickly carried the ball to the kick-off point, Hertha responded with furious attacks.
But Schalke was mercilessly effective: After a measured cross from Skarke, Bülter headed in to make it 2-0. On the other side, Jovetic was denied by goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann, who deflected the ball to the post (22′). But the hosts fought for an advantage, the Hertha defense wobbled alarmingly. Schwarz reacted and replaced Tolga Cigerci for ex-Schalke Suat Serdar after just 25 minutes. But initially little changed: Dominick Drexler missed the possible 3-0 with a header (32nd).
Bundesliga: The table situation in the relegation battle
Then Fährmann had to leave the field with a thigh injury – and Hertha loaned Alexander Schwolow back between the Schalke posts for the first time in the second half of the season (36th). The first shot was right there: Jovetic hit the corner.
The noise level rose after the break as Terodde scored his first goal in over five months. The promotion hero, who had announced his departure for the season, scored after assisting substitute Kenan Karaman. Kaminski finished the game with a remarkable free kick.