Schalke draw at Union Berlin to stretch winless run to 12 games
Schalke 04 equalled a club record by going 12 consecutive league matches without a win as they rescued a 1-1 draw at Union Berlin on Sunday, scoring for only the second time in their last five Bundesliga games.
The Royal Blues, who were battling for a Champions League spot midway through the season, have now failed to win since Jan. 17, equalling the club’s worst ever winless run set in the 1993/94 season. They stayed in 10th place on 38 points.
Union, who have gone seven games without a win, climb up to 13th on 32, four points above the relegation playoff spot.
Both teams’ players as well as the match officials went down on one knee before kickoff in tribute to George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose death in US police custody has triggered protests around the world.
Some 30 Union fans had gathered outside the stadium, empty of spectators due to coronavirus restrictions, chanting and cheering but they kept to social distancing rules.
The hosts got off to a strong start and had carved out three good chances before Robert Andrich was sent clear by Anthony Ujah in the 11th minute to beat keeper Alexander Nuebel.
It was Andrich’s first goal of the season from his 48th shot.
Union still had Schalke on the backfoot when the visitors equalised against the run of play thanks to a low drive from Everton’s on-loan fullback Jonjoe Kenny.
Schalke’s Nuebel, who will join Bayern Munich next season, repeatedly had to come to the rescue, stopping Ujah and then denying Keven Schlotterbeck from point-blank range in the 87th minute.
Bayern Munich are top on 70 points, seven ahead of second-placed Borussia Dortmund with four games remaining.
Wolfsburg win away to push Werder Bremen closer to the drop
VfL Wolfsburg striker Wout Weghorst scored with only eight minutes remaining to hand the visiting team a 1-0 win at Werder Bremen on Sunday and push their hosts closer towards relegation from the Bundesliga.
A return to form for the Dutch international ensured Wolfsburg moved up to sixth place, jumping above Hoffenheim, and putting themselves back in place to qualify for next season’s Europa League.
Werder Bremen, who have been in the Bundesliga longer than any other club, remained second from bottom as their winless run at home in the German league was stretched to 13 games.
They are six points adrift of 15th-placed Mainz, who are just above the relegation zone, with just four games remaining.
Both clubs were full of endeavour in the rain at the Weser Stadium but did not create many clear-cut chances.
Wolfsburg had the first real effort of the game after 12 minutes when Josip Brekalo shot wide, followed immediately after by a breakaway opportunity for Weghorst, who cleverly pushed the ball around a defender but proved unable to do the same to home goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka.
At the other end, Wolfsburg’s keeper Koen Casteels pulled off a good stop to save from Yuya Osako’s curling shot just past the half-hour mark.
It took until the last 10 minutes for the next decent opportunity as Wolfsburg’s Xaver Schlager thundered a shot against the crossbar followed quickly by the goal.
It was set up by strong defensive work from Swiss international Kevin Mbabu, who initiated the counter attack that was completed when Weghorst peeled off from his defenders to head home at the near post, and end a run of four games without a goal.
Wolfsburg can consolidate their bid for European club competition next season by beating Freiburg next Saturday.
Werder are next away at bottom-placed Paderborn on Saturday, desperately needing points in their bid to stay up.