With heart and passion, FC Schalke 04 won their second away win of the season at the last minute and put pressure on the competition in the Bundesliga relegation battle. Thanks to the dramatic 3:2 (1:0) at FSV Mainz 05 at the start of the 31st matchday, coach Thomas Reis’ team left a relegation zone with 30 points and improved to 14th place in the table at least for one night. However, rivals TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (29), VfB Stuttgart and VfL Bochum (both 28) can overtake again on Saturday.

In front of 33,305 spectators in the sold-out Mainz Arena, Marius Bülter scored in the 26th minute and in the twelfth minute of stoppage time with a penalty kick according to video evidence and Tom Krauß (60th) for the promoted team, who had previously only won a win abroad at the beginning of March in the 2nd Bundesliga :0 had succeeded in Bochum. “Crazy”, double goal scorer Bülter called the game on the streaming service DAZN. He had been saved by his opponent in the penalty area before the penalty. “I just notice him. I don’t think it’s very clever of him to pull me because I don’t think I have a chance for the ball. But for me it’s a penalty,” he said. Goal scorer Krauss said: “It was a very emotional victory. It’s just crazy. The win was extremely important because the points would not have been enough.”

For Mainz, who equalized twice through Leandro Barreiro (53rd) and Aaron (70th), the second defeat in a row meant a severe setback in the fight for an international starting place.

“It was very bitter,” said Mainz sports director Martin Schmidt. After the back and forth in the second half, the game ended at 2:2. “In the end, the referee intervenes in a game, which he doesn’t have to do. The decision in the relegation battle is very, very brave of him.” His coach Bo Svensson raged about the penalty in the catacombs: “It’s a scandal that he watches the scene seven times and still gives a penalty!”

From the start there was fire in the fast-paced game. Both teams were up to speed straight away and were looking for a way forward. Driven by around 10,000 fans, the guests recorded the first promising offensive actions, but initially lacked the necessary precision near the penalty area.

The home side therefore had the first chance, who appeared to have recovered well from the recent 0-3 loss in Wolfsburg and the end of their winning streak of ten games without defeat. Karim Onisiwo shot from distance after 20 minutes, but Schalke goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow fished the ball out of the corner.

The royal blues cheered a little later. Bülter moved his opponent Andreas Hanche-Olsen on the left with a step-over and overcame 05 goalkeeper Robin Zentner with a well-placed low shot into the far corner.

The hit had an effect on the Rheinhessen, who struggled to build up the game and had some wobbles in defense. After 35 minutes, Kenan Karaman was on his way to make it 2-0 for Schalke, but he only hit the right outside post from a central position. Shortly before the break, Simon Terodde failed at Zentner from a tight angle.

Schalke’s usury of chances continued after the change when Bülter (51′) ran alone to Zentner, but was unable to overcome the Mainz keeper. That took revenge just 120 seconds later. Following a corner, Hanche-Olsen headed the ball in the direction of the Schalke goal, where Barreiro completed the free-standing shot from close range.

The equalizer changed the game briefly. Now the 05ers were on the trigger and missed the possible lead when Dominik Kohr and Ludovic Ajorque had chances, which the guests managed again in the middle of Mainz’s urgent phase. Krauss completed a counterattack with a nice low shot into the long corner. But again the hosts had an answer ready. Aaron hammered a direct free kick into the net and seemed to have destroyed Schalke’s dreams of victory. But thanks to the penalty kick after video evidence in the final phase, Schalke still celebrated the away win.

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