GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (dpa) – Schalke continued their revival under new coach Roberto Di Matteo with a 1-0 home win over Augsburg Friday which moves them to seventh in the Bundesliga table.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored the only goal of the game in the 37th minute as he found space in the box to prod home a cross from Atsuto Uchida.
It was a rare moment of quality from Schalke who struggled for rhythm after midfielder Julian Draxler was withdrawn with a thigh injury picked up in the opening seconds of the match.
Augsburg spurned good chances through Alexander Esswein, Dominik Kohr and Halil Altintop and could not prevent the defeat which means they slip to 12th.
“We were clearly the better team,” Augsburg captain Paul Verhaegh told sky. “It’s unbelievable we’ve gone home with nothing, when you look at the whole game.”
Schalke had not lost to Augsburg in six previous Bundesliga meetings and were defending a 100 per cent record against their opponents in the Veltins Arena.
This latest victory, the second in three league matches under Di Matteo, now brings them back into contention for next season’s European spots.
“Today was a dirty victory but it is nice when you get three points,” Huntelaar said. “1-0 is enough but we must play better than we’ll get another goal or two. That almost cost us”
But it was Augsburg who looked the more dangerous early on and Esswein blazed high and wide with a volley following a deep cross from Abdul Baba.
The Schalke defence was called into action to block Kohr after the Augsburg man hesitated on the edge of the box when a quick shot could have proved dangerous.