In Sunday's late match, Hertha picked up a 2-0 win in a relegation battle with Paderborn. Earlier Schalke played a goalless draw in Augsburg and now look certain to miss out on the Champions League.
Coming into the match, Schalke had won just once in their last seven league games, and Augsburg had also suiffered a dip in form after their bright season start.
Schalke youngster Leon Goretzka started for the first time this season but lasted just 15 minutes following an early 50-50 challenge in the center of the pitch. Di Matteo's change meant Marco Höger moved up to support Max Meyer in attack, whilst substitute Dennis Aogo protected the back-four.
But the biggest news of the afternoon came before the match had even started. Augsburg confirmed that Markus Weinzierl had extended his contract with the club until the summer of 2019, and Stefan Reuter, the club's sporting director, is now tied down until 2020.
The Bavarians were without Halil Altintop in attack and predictably struggled for invention and inspiration in the final third. A shot from Raul Bobadilla, a rebound off Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's free-kick, was as close as the home side came in the opening 45 minutes. Di Matteo's men fared not much better with a Klaas-Jan Huntelaar eight minutes after the restart the only notable chance for the visitors.
The Dutchman peeled off his opponent on the edge of the box and forced Marwin Hitz into a strong save with a left-footed strike. With 20 minutes to go, Huntelaar forced Hitz into a routine save in a similar situation.
Di Matteo introduced Jefferson Farfan from the bench to bring some much-needed width, but Augsburg held out and looked more likely to score in the final few minutes.
The goalless draw means that Schalke lie fifth in the Bundesliga on 40 points after 27 games with Augsburg one point further back in sixth. The Royal Blues are eight points behind fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen.
Hertha outbattle Paderborn
Sunday's late match in the German capital began in likewise sleep-inducing fashion. Hosts Hertha Berlin seemed content to keep second-to-last Paderborn at a distance, and the visitors were unable to put together any incisive combinations. There were no chances in the first half.
The match remained moribund until shortly before minute 70. Marvin Plattenhardt's free kick hit the crossbar, and Valentin Stocker was on hand to mop up and score his first-ever Bundesliga goal.
Paderborn almost got one back. Jens Wemmer broke through by himself but blasted his shot straight into the face of Hertha Berlin keeper Thomas Kraft, who seemed more amused than hurt by the errant ball.
Hertha had numerous chances to finish Paderborn off in the final phase of the match, but neither Salomon Kalou nor Genki Haraguchi were up to the job. Nico Schulz was. He fired in a hard left-footer two minutes from time to seal a 2-0 win for Berlin.
Paderborn now remain second-to-last, while Hertha shoot up to 11th and are out of imminent relegation danger.