Schalke held to draw in Berlin

Dedryck Boyata of Hertha BSC Berlin and Michael Gregoritsch of FC Schalke 04 battle for the ball during the Bundesliga match between Hertha BSC and FC Schalke 04 at Olympiastadion on January 31, 2020 in Berlin, Germany.

Schalke's bid to qualify for the Champions League was dented after drawing with big-spending Hertha Berlin 0-0 on Friday.

Both teams struggled to create any quality chances in a drab contest.

Michael Gregoritsch went closest with a wide header for Schalke in the 87th minute. Hertha left back Maximilian Mittelstadt just missed the target with the last kick of the game.

Schalke had been looking for a win to bounce back from a 5-0 loss to Bayern Munich last week but stayed sixth in the Bundesliga table. 

If Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Monchengladbach both win on Saturday, then Schalke could end up five points off the Champions League qualifying spots.

Hertha was 13th with a declared aim of becoming a “big city club” like Real Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain. The team's results on the field haven't yet matched its ambitions.

Polish striker Krzysztof Piatek made his debut for Hertha as a 63rd-minute substitute after joining from AC Milan on Thursday but was rarely much of a threat in attack.

Schalke goalkeeper Alexander Nubel, who is joining Bayern at the end of the season, returned to the lineup following his four-game ban for kicking Frankfurt's Mijat Gacinovic in the chest last month.

It was Nubel's first game without the captain's armband since Schalke management decided to hand the captaincy to defensive midfielder Omar Mascarell following the keeper's decision to sign for Bayern.

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