Schalke beats Gladbach to cement 4th in Bundesliga
BERLIN (AP) — Julian Draxler scored late for Schalke to win 1-0 at Borussia Moenchengladbach and consolidate fourth place in the Bundesliga on Friday.
The 19-year-old German international struck with eight minutes remaining after receiving a pass from Raffael that went through the legs of a defender to seal Schalke’s first win in Moenchengladbach since 2006.
“It’s simply great fun to play with him,” Draxler said of the Brazilian.
Both sides wasted a host of chances to take the lead, with Moenchengladbach hitting the post through Granit Xhaka in the 55th minute and Juan Arango eight minutes later. Schalke forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar forced goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen into a good save shortly afterward.
Martin Stranzl almost equalized in injury time, only for his effort to fly narrowly over from close range.
“We couldn’t really (afford to) lose today,” Ter Stegen said. “Maybe Schalke had the clearer chances, but I don’t think their win is completely deserved. A draw would have been a fairer result.”
Having played a game more, Schalke is six points clear of Eintracht Frankfurt in the last Champions League qualification place.
“It was very important to win,” Draxler said. “Last week we took a decisive step (with a 4-1 win over Hamburger SV) and now we’ve built on that.”
Frankfurt can cut the gap with a win at home over Fortuna Duesseldorf on Saturday. Just two rounds remain after this one.