FC Augsburg have battled to a 0-0 draw away against FC Schalke 04 on Sunday afternoon. Following VfB Stuttgart’s defeat on Saturday, Augsburg had already sealed Bundesliga safety ahead of the trip to Gelsenkirchen. Both teams were unable to find a way through the opposing defences as the even contest ended in a draw.
Augsburg head coach Martin Schmidt made two changes to the side that fell to a 4-1 home defeat against Bayer Leverkusen last week. Ja-Cheol Koo and Julian Schieber came into the starting lineup while Kevin Danso and Marco Richter both dropped to the bench.
Schalke started the match needing just a point to secure Bundesliga survival while the Fuggerstädter were already safe following Saturday’s results. Both sides started the match at a slow pace, sitting back and inviting pressure. The hosts enjoyed more possession in the opening stages but lacked the necessary tempo to breakdown the Augsburg defence. There were few highlights in a first half played mainly between the middle thirds of the pitch.
However, Schalke proved to be the more dangerous side despite failing to fully test Gregor Kobel in the Augsburg goal. Daniel Caligiuri went close twice in the 7th and 38th minutes respectively. Meanwhile, Suat Serdar failed to make the right connection with the ball whilst in a promising position (40’). At the other end, Kostas Stafylidis went closest for FCA but failed to cause too many problems for Alexander Nübel in the Schalke goal (29’). The two teams were level at the break after an uneventful 45 minutes.
Serdar denied by the post – Gregoritsch tests Nübel
After the interval, both teams approached the match with more intensity but it was Schalke who went closest to opening the scoring. Serdar raced through after a clever one-two with Breel Embolo and fired a shot past Kobel onto his near post (52’). At the other end, Augsburg were unfortunate not to score as Michael Gregoritsch fired a shot goal-bound after a clever free-kick with Max. However, after the shot took a reflection, Nübel was able to save the shot with his leg and prevent a certain equaliser. After these chances, both sides started to come forward and attack with more intensity and pace. However, both goalkeepers were not forced into action as the match started to reach its closing stages.
There were few notable chances as the match reached its climax but it was the Royal Blues who were creating the clearer chances to secure all three points. Substitute Rabbi Matondo broke clear and linked up with Embolo before his shot was deflected over the bar by Rani Khedira (80’). Moments later, the Wales international as denied from close range from a corner by Kobel. Augsburg also had a couple of chances late on to steal all three points as Philipp Max tried his luck from 25 metres out (86’). Stafylidis also dragged a shot wide before the final chance of the match fell to Serdar. The Germany U21s midfielder got on the end of a cross but Kobel was on hand to parry his header to safety (90’).
The match ended in a goalless draw as Schalke secured Bundesliga safety while FCA look forward to their ninth season in the German top flight. In their final home match of the season, next Saturday at 15:30 CEST, FCA welcome Hertha BSC to the WWK ARENA.