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Jubilant Berliners, a bruised Schalke player Kenan Karaman

Photo: Christof Koepsel / Getty Images

Schalke 04 has not been able to stop the downward trend: After the 1:2 (0:1) home defeat against Hertha BSC, the Gelsenkirchen team remains in the relegation battle. There, bottom-of-the-table Braunschweig, who lost to SC Paderborn 1:3 (1:2), does not get off the ground. There was no winner between Holstein Kiel and SV Elversberg - the Kiel team should be annoyed by the 1:1 (1:0) because of numerous unused goal chances.

Just a few months ago, Schalke 04 was a Bundesliga duel against Hertha BSC, but the reunion of the two relegated teams in Gelsenkirchen was only partially respectable for a long time, even for a second division game. Schalke's departure from coach Thomas Reis, for whom Matthias Kreutzer took over on an interim basis, did not change that.

Compared to the 1-3 defeat in Paderborn, he named six new players in the starting eleven, including Justin Heekeren making his debut in goal. For a long time, the 22-year-old didn't get much on goal, the game took place in midfield and was characterized by duels. Then Hertha increased the pressure – and the second shot on goal was already in: Smail Prevljak stuck his foot into a cross that came into the Schalke penalty area as an arc lamp and put the guests in the lead (41st minute).

Fabian Reese, who was trained in the Schalke youth team but is now a Hertha player, first tunnelled Henning Matriciani and then shot the ball through Heekeren's legs (51'). Derry Scherhant hit the post with a header (73'), Schalke could still hope.

Derry Murkin (74') with a long-range shot and Simon Terodde with a volley against the crossbar (79') came close to scoring, Yusuf Kabadayi brought Schalke closer again (80'). However, it remained 1-2 from Schalke's point of view, Jonjoe Kenny missed Berlin's third goal with a shot at the post (85th), Kenan Karaman's yellow-red card took the power out of Schalke's final offensive.

Hertha climbs to ninth place in the table, Schalke are 16th and will hope for a turnaround under a new coach. According to media reports, the Belgian is Karel Geraert's favorite.

Holstein Kiel have missed the jump to second place in the table and are just behind the promotion ranks in fourth. Against newly promoted SV Elversberg, the North Germans could not get beyond a 1:1 (1:0).

The chances for a win were there, but Elversberg goalkeeper Nicolas Kristof had a good day and saved from Steven Skrzybski (10th/12th) and Tom Rothe (19th) before the promoted defender Timo Becker scored from a free kick from the scramble (44th). There was only one danger for the Kiel goal, but Rothe cleared a shot by Luca Schnellbacher in front of the line (16th).

After the break, Kiel remained superior. This time, however, Schnellbacher scored his goal, beat Colin Kleine-Bekel in a running duel and lifted the ball over goalkeeper Timon Weiner into the goal for the equaliser (70'). Elversberg defended the last 20 minutes and took the point.

SC Paderborn's high form continues: The 3-1 (2-0) win in Braunschweig is the third win from the last four games, the team of coach Lukas Kwasniok jumps to seventh place. Mattes Hansen took the lead after a corner kick (11th), Raphael Obermair increased the lead after a one-two with Adriano Grimaldi (26th).

The bottom of the table from Braunschweig still played well and even had more chances, even if the follow-up goal by Robert Ivanov (39th) was more of a coincidence after Paderborn could not clear a corner kick. It was not enough to equalise, instead goalscorer Robert Ivanov lost the ball in injury time to substitute Max Kruse, who played the ball to Sirlord Conteh. Filip Bilbija took advantage of his assist from close range to slot in the game (90'+5').