D.imitrios Grammozis was served. He was “surprised” about the weak performance of his team, said the visibly angry coach of FC Schalke 04 after the “totally deserved” 0: 4 (0: 2) defeat at SC Freiburg. “I am not satisfied with the way we presented ourselves here,” said the 42-year-old, criticizing the dispassionate performance of his players. “We have to pull the lever as quickly as possible.”
The tender hopes of the knocked-down bottom of the table on a possible turnaround in the season’s final spurt were put on a bitter damper on Saturday. As early as next Tuesday at Arminia Bielefeld, the Royal Blues could be relegated from the Bundesliga for the fourth time. Lucas Höler (7th minute), Roland Sallai (22nd / foul penalty) and Christian Günter (50 / 74th) scored for the Breisgauer, who after four defeats in the previous five games at least kept their small chance of participating in the European Cup.
Schalke, who celebrated their first win in more than three months against FC Augsburg (1-0) last week, are still 13 points behind relegation place 16 – with only five games left. The Revierklub have already lost 20 times this season. Only in the 1982/1983 season did he collect so many – and in the end he was relegated.
Schalke mistake before 0: 1
Right from kick-off, in front of national coach Joachim Löw in the stands, the hosts tried to curb the little bit of enthusiasm that Schalke had taken from the previous week – and they succeeded. The Baden dominated and did not allow a Schalke shot on goal in the first half. “We had a conviction with and against the ball, were very handy,” said coach Christian Streich, praising his Freiburg team. When they hit, they also benefited from the guests’ mistakes.
The early 1-0 was preceded by a miserable attempt at clarification by Schalke’s defender Benjamin Stambouli. Baptiste Santamaria took advantage of the space on the right and gave the ball sharply inside, Höler sank at the second post. About a quarter of an hour later, the Royal Blues’ hope for a storm, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, ran out his arm against Sallai in his own penalty area. Referee Tobias Reichel looked at the scene again after a hint from the video assistant and decided on a penalty – Sallai hit flat and in the middle to make it 2-0.
With the 3-0 win shortly after the break, the one-sided game was already decided. After the Schalke player Suat Serdar lost the ball, Sallai served Günter – and the captain shot into the lower right corner. It was already the 74th goal conceded for Schalke this season. Goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann barely prevented number 75 when he steered a free kick from Jonathan Schmid over the bar (55th). But when Günter shot another shot, the goalkeeper was powerless. From a good 20 meters, Freiburg’s defender chased the ball up into the right corner and thus tied up the double pack.
Schalke, who have not won 25 league games away, remained largely harmless in the second half. The best opportunity had Huntelaar, who got stuck with Freiburg goalkeeper Florian Müller five minutes before the end. “Up until the time against Augsburg, the players had done really well, had a great intensity. There’s a setback today, ”said Grammozis of the approaching relegation. “We watch from game to game. Everything else will happen when it’s supposed to. ”And that could be soon.
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