With his fourth goal in the fourth game in a row, Benito Raman Schalke 04 has taken a step further on his way back to the European Cup. The Belgian led the Royal Blues to a deserved 1-0 (0-0) victory over Eintracht Frankfurt's marathon footballers. Gelsenkirchener, who had to play numbered after the red card of goalkeeper Alexander Nübel (66th), thus claimed fourth place ahead of record champions Bayern Munich.
The Hessians, who already have 1,080 minutes left, slipped to twelfth after just one point from the last five Bundesliga matches. It was already the 29th game of the season for the Frankfurt team, which fortunately had reached the middle round of the Europa League last Thursday.
Schalke dominated the game until termination and had a clearer chance to score. However, they only managed to take advantage of their benefits over the stressed guests after the breakthrough through Raman (53rd). Nübel saw the red card after a completely unnecessary and brutal emergency brake against Mijat Gacinovic.
The Frankfurt man had to get injured and was taken to the hospital during the game. As Eintracht announced on Sunday night, the 24-year-old received a "serious rib mark", he is "by the circumstances, but as far as good".
"Everyone who knows Alex knows he doesn't do it on purpose. He is totally sorry for me," Schalke midfielder Daniel Caligiuri said after the match Cloud and at the same time praised the fighting spirit of his team: "We fought really well."
Frankfurt coach Rütter rotates – Schalke loses McKennie
Eintracht coach Adi Hütter had switched teams to six positions after the 2: 3 win over Vitoria Guimaraes. Somewhat surprisingly, Bas Dost returned to the starting lineup, a week ago the Hessians had assumed that the Dutch had to take a break for the winter break. Schalke coach David Wagner has had storming talent Rabb Matondo for the first time since the district derby against Dortmund (0-0) seven weeks ago.
Wagner had to reschedule after just ten minutes: Weston McKennie, who was just a temporary aide in the poorly decimated central defense, had to be carried off the field after an air battle with Dost and an unfortunate fall with a shoulder injury. Spaniard Juan Miranda, on loan from FC Barcelona, debuted his royal blue.
Schalke tried to find a gap against the defensively oriented Frankfurt by quick combinations. The attacks went above all through Amine Harit, who on Wednesday had extended his contract to 2024. It was almost half an hour before it became dangerous for Eintracht keeper Frederik Rönnow for the first time: The goalkeeper deflects a long shot from Suat Serdar around the post (28).
Raman scores the winning goal for Schalke
After a solo over half the field, Ozan Kabak missed the goal (40th). Raman, who failed at Rönnow, had the best chance (42nd). It was also only in the first place that Schalke goalkeeper Nübel had to intervene for the first time in a Gacinovic header (45. + 3).
After the break, Daniel Caligiuri forced Rönnow with a long shot to a brilliant parade (50th). The Danes were powerless three minutes later when Raman pushed the ball to 1: 0 after a clever pass from Harit.
Overplayed Schalke with substitute keeper Markus Schubert then had to survive some precarious situations, but was also unlucky when a shot by Guido Burgstaller (83rd), who had recently replaced substitute.