Bottom FC Schalke 04 has at least partially stopped its negative trend in the Bundesliga and fought a goalless 0-0 against 1. FC Köln in a weak game. The Cologne team remain unbeaten this year, but unlike last time they didn’t convince.
The Domstädter now have eight points ahead of the direct relegation zone. “We were able to keep Schalke at bay and it was our first game to keep a clean sheet. I’m satisfied.”, said Cologne coach Steffen Baumgart. The tabular counter helped Schalke little. The Knappen remain Bundesliga bottom with ten points.
Lots of fighting in the first round
Schalke did not start on Sunday (January 29th, 2023) like a team in crisis: After two minutes, new signing Moritz Jenz demanded everything with a header from FC goalkeeper Marvin Schwäbe, shortly afterwards Dejan Ljubicic intercepted a dangerous Schalke counterattack at the very last second.
From then on, the game was mainly emotional and with many duels or fouls, but without great chances to score. “pure relegation battle” was Baumgart’s conclusion afterwards. In this battle of attrition, Schalke seemed a little more active than Cologne. Shortly before the break there was the first injury of the game: Davie Selke had to leave the pitch before the break in his first start for Cologne.
Game without highlights
Two Steffen Tigges stormed for Selke at half-time. In addition, captain Jonas Hector remained in the dressing room with a suspected concussion, Kingley Schindler now defended at the back left for the guests. For the time being, this did little to change the level on the pitch. Tom Krauss had the best chance, whose header landed on the goal net after a corner (64th minute).
The short wake-up call was followed by an almost lethargic phase without any highlights. As in the first half, the hosts were the slightly better of two bad teams. “The guys threw themselves everywhere today. We showed a good reaction”, S04 coach Thomas Reis was satisfied. Ultimately, both teams were not dangerous offensively and were good defensively – consequently no goals were scored.
Schalke in Gladbach, Cologne against Leipzig
On the 19th matchday of the Bundesliga, 1. FC Köln have a tough home game against RB Leipzig ahead of them (Saturday, February 4th, 2023 at 3:30 p.m.). Schalke are fighting for important points in the relegation battle in Gladbach three hours later.