Bundesliga: Schalke 0 Freiburg 0
Last Updated: 11/04/15 5:00pm
Schalke's hopes of playing in the Champions League next season suffered a near-decisive setback as they were held to a goalless draw at home by struggling Freiburg.
The fans made their feelings clear at the final whistle with the Royal Blues struggling to create any chances and seeing their deficit on the top four grow to 10 points, with only six games remaining.
Freiburg were very disciplined defensively and, after missing the best chance of the game from the penalty spot, they came away with as much as it appeared they had come for - a point which keeps them above the relegation zone.
Freiburg showed more the confidence of a side that have won their last two league matches than the disappointment of one which was eliminated from the DFB-Pokal in midweek as they took to the field in Gelsenkirchen.
The early chances were all theirs with Schalke's fans growing increasingly frustrated with their side's failure to make any sort of impression on the game.
Two volleys from Max Meyer failed to give Roman Burki any work to do in the Freiburg goal before he sent a header over the target as the Royal Blues continued to find it hard to create any openings.
Even though the hosts were dominating the possession stakes, and raised the tempo of the game further before the interval, it was still not enough to avoid the whistles from the fans as they headed to the dressing room at half-time.
The game could have taken a bad turn for Schalke early in the second half when Felix Klaus had Freiburg's first real chance, but Ralf Fahrmann did well to deny him with his foot.
Admir Mehmedi earned Freiburg a penalty shortly afterwards with Benedikt Howedes bringing him down, providing the guests with the opportunity to go in front.
Julian Schuster failed to take it, though, sending his spot-kick over the top of Fahrmann's crossbar, with a mixture of relief and joy in the fans' reaction.
The only applause of the afternoon was reserved for the return to action of Julian Draxler as a replacement for Max Meyer after a five-month injury absence.
He was unable to change the course of the game, though, with Freiburg holding on to a precious point for them, and one which does not help Schalke a great deal.