Bayer Leverkusen rescued a 1-1 draw at Schalke on Sunday as they managed to hold on to held fourth spot place in the Bundesliga with three games left and stayed on track for a Champions League spot.
The draw lifted them to 57 points, one ahead of fifth-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach, who were unfortunate to lose to champions-in-waiting Bayern Munich on Saturday night, while the misery continued for Schalke and coach David Wagner as they set a club record by failing to win for the 13th consecutive league game.
Schalke looked more like the side who impressed during the first half of the season and earned a penalty in the 51st minute which captain Daniel Caligiuri converted.
Yet the familiar frailties crept back in almost immediately as they sat back and tried to defend their slender lead rather than go for the kill, allowing Leverkusen far too much space. The visitors’ persistent pressure paid off in the 81st minute when Schalke defender Juan Miranda turned a Wendell cutback into his own net.
In Sunday’s earlier match, Nigerian forward Taiwo Awoniyi was hospitalised with a severe concussion after a nasty clash of heads during Mainz’s 1-0 loss to Augsburg in Sunday’s Bundesliga relegation battle.
Liverpool loanee Awoniyi, 22, was left briefly motionless after landing awkwardly following an aerial collision with Augsburg defender Felix Uduokhai in the first half.
Awoniyi was stretchered off with his neck in a brace after a long delay while he received medical attention on the pitch.
Mainz said Awoniyi, a former Under-17 World Cup winner, was responsive and taken to hospital for observation.
“We have received the all-clear from the doctors,” said Mainz coach Achim Beierlorzer. “He has regained consciousness and can remember the things that happened.
“He has a severe concussion and has to stay in hospital for observation.”
Awoniyi has yet to make an appearance for Liverpool since joining the club in 2015, spending numerous spells on loan in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Augsburg moved seven points clear of the relegation play-off place with just three games to play after striker Florian Niederlechner scored the only goal just 43 seconds into Sunday’s match.
Bayern can clinch the title on Tuesday with a win at Werder Bremen. Borussia Dortmund are in second place, seven points behind on 66 points.
Mainz 0 Augsburg 1
Schalke 1 Bayer Leverkusen 1