The inferiority was already so clear at the break that a debacle threatened. FC Schalke 04 went into the dressing room with a 3-0 loss in the second round of the DFB Cup at TSG Hoffenheim and could still be happy with the interim result.

The four shots on target by the newly promoted Bundesliga team were offset by 13 from Hoffenheim, who also had 64 percent ball possession. An hour later there was a songless exit, which should have further weakened the position of coach Frank Kramer.

“If you appear here and deliver such a performance, then that can’t be. That was a knockout game. That will have consequences,” announced sporting director Rouven Schröder: “I also hold the team accountable.”

The Gelsenkircheners deservedly lost 1:5. Munas Dabbur (5th and 43rd minute), Angeliño (16th) with his first goal for TSG, Ozan Kabak (51st) and Pavel Kaderabek (63rd) scored in front of 15,633 spectators in Sinsheim against a completely overwhelmed Royal Blues. “Kramer out! Kramer out!” shouted the visiting fans who had traveled with them after the fifth goal conceded.

“I’m speechless,” said Kramer: “There’s no way to continue like this. We have to act differently,” and said in the direction of the team: “I have to be able to start from the basic virtues.”

Four days after the 0: 3 in the league against the Kraichgauer, the Schalke professionals seemed discouraged and unimaginative for long stretches. So it was the fifth competitive defeat in a row for the penultimate table and Kramer, who had recently been given another deadline by the sporting management around sports director Rouven Schröder. It is unclear whether the 50-year-old will still be on the bench in Sunday’s game at Hertha BSC.

In any case, Schalke, who last won the DFB Cup in 2011, can now concentrate entirely on the relegation battle. From the first few seconds, the guests were exposed to their opponent’s strong combination game. After just a minute and a half, Angeliño’s low shot whizzed just wide of the far post. Winning the ball and a through ball from the former Royal Blue Kabak then led to the early 1-0: Dabbur completed a ripped off goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow.

Before that, there had already been a cup duel between the two teams: in 2013/14, the Kraichgauer S04 bowled out of the round of 16. However, in 20 years in the competition, TSG has never made it past the quarter-finals. Under their new coach André Breitenreiter, once a head coach at Schalke himself, Hoffenheim are now in the round of 16 and recommended themselves with a strong performance for the hit on Saturday against FC Bayern Munich. Her top scorer Andrej Kramaric was absent again because of his ankle injury.

Danny Latza fired the first dangerous shot from Gelsenkirchen just before the break. The ex-Leipziger Angeliño and again Dabbur had duped Schwolow twice more. Otherwise, the score and what was happening on the field gave the impression that the game was already decided at half-time. Kabak made it 4-0 with a header when keeper Schwolow dived into space before substitute Kaderabek was allowed to score. The 1:5 by Dominick Drexler then fell out of nowhere, but it didn’t change the desolate impression of S04.

Like Schalke, Bundesliga side Mönchengladbach have already been eliminated. Borussia tore the expected complicated hurdle SV Darmstadt 98. The Foals lost 1:2 (0:1) at the leaders of the second division. After the goals of Phillip Tietz (23rd minute) and Aaron Seydel (79th), the Darmstadt team cheered in front of 15,850 spectators in the sold-out stadium at Böllenfalltor about reaching the round of 16.

“It is another festival that we celebrate here. But this time it’s a special one because it’s against a higher-class opponent,” said the winning goalscorer.

The interim equalizer from Luca Netz (48th) was not enough for Gladbach. And it got even worse for the guests: Both goalkeeper Yann Sommer and national player Jonas Hofmann had to be replaced injured.

The first personal setback came after 13 minutes when Sommer had to leave with an ankle injury. At the break, Hofmann, who had previously held his shoulder, was also over. The injuries fit into the image of an unfortunate first half from Gladbach’s point of view. Ten minutes after the summer substitution, Tietz was free in front of the Borussia goal after a fine offensive combination. Substitute Tobias Sippel had no chance with his shot from close range. Another ten minutes later, Matthias Bader almost made it 2-0, his powerful shot hit the crossbar.

The guests needed time to get used to the game. The leaders of the 2nd division performed with great self-confidence. Driven by their fans, the Darmstadt team created their opportunities again and again. But Gladbach also became more dangerous. Borussia coach Daniel Farke had ordered Netz to replace Ramy Bensebaini as left-back in the starting XI – and it was worth it. Shortly after the break, Netz completed an attack that was too quick for Darmstadt with a low shot into the corner to make it 1-1.

The goal fitted into the picture that was beginning to emerge. Gladbach had become more dangerous before the break. However, Marcus Thuram (37′), Nathan Ngoumou (40′) and Alassane Plea (41′) had all missed good chances. The guests took more and more control of the game. What was missing, however, was the decisive breakthrough. And that paid off. First Bader (76th) missed again from a few meters. Three minutes later, summer substitute Sippel undertook an unfortunate goal kick, and Seydel, who had been substituted just before, completed the direct counterattack.

VfL Wolfsburg barely won the cup derby at Eintracht Braunschweig and reached the top 16. In front of 22,000 spectators, the goals of Mattias Svanberg (8th minute) and Jakub Kaminski (65th) ensured the ambitious Bundesliga club’s hard-fought 2-1 (1-1) victory in the neighborhood duel against the newly promoted second division. In the 40th minute, Maurice Multhaup made it 1-1 for the heavily weakened outsider.

The highly emotional derby was accompanied from the start by pyrotechnics and flares from the Wolfsburg fans. During the first half, VfL managing director Jörg Schmadtke went to the fence in the away block to talk to the supporters. The police marched inside the stadium.

After six second division games without a defeat, the Braunschweig team once again put in a passionate performance. But they paid a high price for it. After defender Brian Behrendt suffered a serious injury (torn muscle), his teammate Filip Benkovic and captain Jannis Nikolaou (both infections) were out of action before kick-off. Playmaker Immanuel Pherai was injured after half an hour. At the beginning of the second half, Nathan de Medina (knee injury) was added as the fourth pillar of the recently strong defensive group.

From Eintracht’s point of view, everything that could go wrong went wrong in the game itself. While Fabio Kaufmann missed his first big chance after just 30 seconds, it was 0:1 after Wolfsburg’s first chance. Everything looked like a one-sided evening at this point.

But under this impression, the Wolfsburg team did far too little and gave the Braunschweig emergency team the feeling: Something is going on here!

Only at the beginning of the second half did the difference in quality become visible, at least in phases. The Belgian de Medina was injured during a rescue operation against VfL attacker Patrick Wimmer (50th). Kaminski’s winning goal came after a nice one-two with Lukas Nmecha.

Eintracht put up a lot of effort afterwards, but only had one good chance through Lion Lauberbach (83′).

The bottom of the Bundesliga, VfL Bochum, was just able to avert a disappointing end. Thomas Letsch’s team won 1-0 (0-0) at third division leaders SV Elversberg and is in the round of 16. The decisive goal in front of 6911 spectators was scored by Anthony Losilla (85th minute). For Letsch it was the second win in four games since taking office in September. The hosts from Saarland had thrown Bayer Leverkusen out of the cup in round one.

Even before Bochum’s Pyro ignited and Elversberger’s white and black balloons were waving, the hosts had announced a message before kick-off: Captain Kevin Conrad is extending his contract, which is due to expire at the end of the season, by one year until June 30, 2024. On the pitch, Conrad was able to relax Autumn temperatures didn’t help for too long, after just 15 minutes he had to leave the field due to an injury. But even without their captain, the Saarlanders started convincingly in front of their home crowd.

As with the furious 4:3 win over Champions League starter Leverkusen in the first round at the end of July, there was no difference in class this time either. “It is a good feeling. We impress the league. Beating Leverkusen was a great experience for all of us,” said Elversberg’s coach Horst Steffen before kick-off at Sky. He fears that the top clubs are now playing “no longer at half throttle” against Elversberg.

But for the fact that Bochum was warned, head coach Letsch’s team had a lot of problems. Elversberg acted more resolutely and purposefully in the first half, veteran Kevin Koffi (formerly AS Roma) could have scored the outsider’s early lead with a direct acceptance (15th). Bochum’s best opportunity came from Christopher Antwi-Adjei, who courageously held onto the post from an almost hopeless position scored (40th). Otherwise, the first 45 minutes remained largely poor in climaxes.

After the change, Elversberg was initially lucky: The dynamic Antwi-Adjei prevailed on the right and put a sharp shot in the middle, where the hosts were able to clear in dire need. Shortly thereafter, the previously ineffective Bochum center forward Philipp Hofmann (55th) headed just wide of the goal. Elversberg was challenged at the back, but remained dangerous: Jannik Rochelt hit the crossbar with an artful shot after just under an hour. The decisive goal came at the very end by Losilla after a set piece.

RB Leipzig – Hamburger SV 4: 0

Stuttgarter Kickers – Eintracht Frankfurt 0:2

Waldhof Mannheim – 1. FC Nürnberg 0:1

VfB Lübeck – Mainz 05 0: 3

TSG Hoffenheim – Schalke 04 5:1

Eintracht Braunschweig – VfL Wolfsburg 1:2

SV Elversberg – VfL Bochum 0:1

Darmstadt 98 – Borussia Mönchengladbach 2:1

Wednesday, 6 p.m.:

Hannover 96 – Borussia Dortmund

SC Freiburg – FC St. Pauli

SV Sandhausen – Karlsruher SC

SC Paderborn vs. Werder Bremen

Wednesday, 8.45 p.m.:

FC Augsburg – FC Bayern Munich

VfB Stuttgart-Arminia Bielefeld

1. FC Union Berlin – 1. FC Heidenheim

Jahn Regensburg – Fortuna Düsseldorf