Struggling Schalke held at home by Mainz on Grammozis’ debut


Berlin (AFP) – Bundesliga bottom side Schalke were held to a goalless draw at home to fellow strugglers Mainz on Friday as the hosts’ new coach Dimitrios Grammozis earned a point in his first game.

Grammozis was named Schalke’s fifth head coach this season on Tuesday and his contract until June 2022.

However, the second season of that deal looks likely to be in the second division unless he can turn results around.

This is his first coaching job in the Bundesliga.

The 42-year-old Greek-German now has ten games left to bridge the eight-point gap needed to get Schalke off the bottom and out of the relegation places.

Schalke have won just one league game all season and are on course to be relegated after 30 consecutive years in Germany’s top flight.

The away point moved Mainz up one place to 16th and level on 18 points with Arminia Bielefeld and Hertha Berlin who are all fighting relegation.

Mainz, who earned a shock win over Moenchengladbach a fortnight ago, peppered the Schalke goal with 19 shots on target, while the hosts managed just two.

Their best chance came eight minutes from time when 20-year-old striker Jonathan Burkardt forced a stunning reflex save from Schalke goalkeeper Frederik Roennow.

Former Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi came closest for Schalke when his powerful header ricocheted of the legs of Mainz goalkeeper Robin Zentner after only 18 minutes.

Schalke were dealt a blow before kick-off when playmaker Amine Harit dropped out with an injury.

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