BERLIN: Augsburg won 3-0 at Schalke in the Bundesliga on Sunday as coach Heiko Herrlich (pix) made a victorious debut in the dugout after a trip to buy toothpaste ruled him out of last weekend’s game.
A superb freekick by Eduard Loewen and goals from Noah Sarenren Bazee and Sergio Cordova ended a run of six games without a win for 12th-placed Augsburg as woeful hosts Schalke, in eighth, failed to win for a ninth league match.
Schalke’s Europa League hopes took a knock with just seven games left after another dreadful display in front of empty stands in Gelsenkirchen, as both sides played their second game since a two-month coronavirus suspension.
Herrlich, appointed in March, took charge of an Augsburg match for the first time having sat out the 2-1 home defeat by Wolfsburg after breaking coronavirus quarantine by going out to purchase items including toothpaste.
“I practise freekicks a lot in training. It didn’t go very well in the last week of training but luckily in the game it worked,” Loewen told Amazon.
After a minute’s silence for victims of Covid-19, Augsburg kicked off opposite a familiar face, with on-loan Michael Gregoritsch leading the line for Schalke against his parent club but failing to shine.
Schalke goalkeeper Markus Schubert was again preferred to Bayern Munich-bound Alexander Nuebel despite a shaky showing in last weekend’s 4-0 loss at derby rivals Borussia Dortmund.
He could do little about Loewen’s curling sixth minute freekick, getting a fingertip to the ball as it flew into the corner of the net.
Schalke, who also lost Suat Serdar to a knee injury, huffed and puffed in pursuit of a leveller but never came especially close.
Poor defending then allowed Sarenren Bazee to score his first Bundesliga goal with a crisp finish after a counter-attack on 76 minutes. Cordova took advantage of more bad play in the backline to make it 3-0 in stoppage time.
“We expected something very different. I think we showed a reaction to the Dortmund defeat but then there were individual mistakes,” said Schalke captain Daniel Caligiuri.
“We have got to cut out these little errors. I am trying to help the team with my experience. We have to accept the situation and try to look forward.” – dpa