Klaas-Jan Huntelaar gives Schalke victory

23

Schalke rode their luck to pick up three precious Bundesliga points against Augsburg on Friday night, moving above their guests into seventh place. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored the only goal of the game against the run of play in the 37th minute with the Royal Blues struggling to create chances from start to finish. Augsburg showed more attacking intent, but were unable to make the breakthrough at the Arena Auf Schalke. Schalke suffered a setback after no more than 10 seconds of the game when Julian Draxler pulled up in pain, holding his right hamstring. He was unable to continue and the quickest substitution of the season was made with Chinedu Obasi coming on and Roberto Di Matteo forced to shuffle his pack. Given the way the Germany international was carried away from the field, it looks like Di Matteo may have to find different plans for several weeks if not months to come. The game struggled to get going after the early pause, but Augsburg started first to raise the tempo of the game with Raul Bobadilla working energetically around the Schalke defence. Tobias Werner had a shot saved by Ralf Fahrmann with play brought back for a free-kick which did not produce anything. Schalke then took the lead with their first attack with most of the merit going to Atsuto Uchida. The Japanese full-back picked up the ball deep in his own half and raced unchallenged all the way to the goal line before pulling the ball across to Huntelaar, who knocked it in with his shin at the far post. It was the maximum result with the minimum effort for Schalke, who were happy enough to focus on defending for the remainder of the game. Halil Altintop came closest to bringing Augsburg level midway through the second half after being set up by Bobadilla while Tim Matavz dragged a shot wide of the far post in stoppage time with only the Bavarians playing. Schalke managed to hold on to the points, but the loss of Draxler will cause concern going into the midweek Champions League tie with Sporting Lisbon and probably beyond.