Augsburg suffered a bitter home defeat against Schalke on Sunday evening. Despite a good performance and having led the visitors twice, in the end FCA lost 3-2.
After his team kept a clean sheet for the first time this season against VfL Wolfsburg, Martin Schmidt saw no need to change his starting lineup and named the same team against Schalke. Augsburg began with a lot of momentum and could easily have taken an early lead. Marco Richter first tested visiting goalkeeper Alexander Nübel in the second minute, and shortly after, another of his shots went narrowly wide of the post (4’). The guests, despite Salif Sané to injury early on, managed to get more possession as the game went on (9’). But because FCA defended very well, the Royal Blues were initially unable to take advantage of their chances.
FCA made a couple small mistakes every time they won back possession, but there wasn’t much going on before the two goals. It was only very dangerous after around half an hour, when Richter lifted the ball into the path of Florian Niederlechner, who failed to score past Alexander Nübel at close range (27’). FCA were not deterred by the wasted chance however, and shortly after took the lead. After some good work down the right side, the ball came to Daniel Baier on the edge of the box, who unleashed a vicious curling shot into the top corner of the Schalke net, scoring his first goal in around three years (38’).
After it looked like Augsburg would go into the break 1-0 up, Schalke struck in added time out of nowhere. A free-kick by Daniel Caligiuri was unfortunately met by FCA defender Stephan Lichtsteiner who headed into his own net past the stranded Tomas Koubek (45+1). So despite no Schalke player scoring, the game went into half-time at 1-1.
After the break, the game continued at a similar pace. First, Richter’s attempt missed the goal narrowly (49’), while at the other end Koubek was called into action for the first time to parry a shot from Bastian Oczipka (50’). Schalke made a more determined start to the second half than the first, but again it was Augsburg who took the lead. Oczipka blocked an Alfred Finnbogason cross with his hand in the penalty box and referee Patrick Ittrich pointed to the spot after the decision was confirmed by VAR. The Icelandic striker stepped forward and converted the penalty to restore FCA’s lead and make it 2-1 (60’).
Afterwards, FCA withdrew a bit, but hardly dropped in their performance levels. After a foul by the hosts though, Schalke scored from the resulting set-piece, as a free-kick from Caligiuri was glanced past Koubek by Schalke striker Ozan Kabak to make the score 2-2 (71’). It got worse for the hosts not too long after, as Amine Harit seized on a sloppy backpass by Reece Oxford and rounded Koubek to make the score 3-2 (82’). In the closing stages of the game, Augsburg threw everything forwards, and bar a header from substitute Michael Gregoritsch that sailed over the net, Augsburg lacked bite in front of goal and failed to equalize.
So despite a great performance from FCA, they succumbed to a bitter home defeat.On Saturday, 9th November (15:30 CET), Augsburg travel to SC Paderborn.