Berlin: Julian Draxler`s late winner against wasteful Monchengladbach gave Schalke a 1-0 win and also helped them tighten UEFA Champions League play-off spot in the opener of the 32nd round in the German Bundesliga football.
Both sides still battle for a ticket in Europa. Schalke remain on fourth position in Bundesliga with 52 points, a Champions League playoff spot. Monchengladbach sit on 7th position, one point away from Europa League.
During Friday`s encounter, the local rivals neutralized each other in the first half. But things changed in the second half as both sides worked out goal scoring opportunities.
Monchengladbach`s Granit Xhaka rattled the bar with a long-range shot following the assistance of Mike Hanke in the 53rd minute.
Schalke responded with an attack two minutes later when Monchengladbach keeper Marc Andre ter Stegen denied Michel Bastos a chance to open the scoring.
Monchengladbach again came close to scoring when the left post denied a Juan Arangos curl in the 63rd minute.
Nonetheless, it were Schalke that grabbed the lead at the 82nd minute as Julian Draxler utilized a through ball from Rafael Caetano de Araujo to break the deadlock. He scored into the near post corner from inside the box.
Monchengladbach responded with frenetic attacks but failed to score.
Schalke wrapped up the 15th win of the season whilst Monchengladbach suffered the 10th loss.
The following fixtures are scheduled for Saturday: Stuttgart face relegated Greuther Fuerth, Hannover see Mainz, Bremen meet Hoffenheim for a relegation battle, Nuremberg encounter third placed Leverkusen, Frankfurt see relegation threatened Dusseldorf and Dortmund encounter newly crowned Bundesliga champions Bayern.