S04 lose 4-2 at home to Darmstadt

FC Schalke suffered a 4-2 defeat at home to SV Darmstadt on Sunday 7th November, which sees the Lilies overtake the Royal Blues in the Bundesliga 2 table, as S04 drop to fifth on 22 points.

Two changes to the starting XI

Midfielder Dominick Drexler returned to the starting line-up after recovering from a flesh wound, replacing Rodrigo Zalazar, and Mehmet Can Aydin came in for Reinhold Ranftl as Schalke set up in a 3-5-2 formation.

Three first-half goals

The spectators at the VELTINS-Arena did not have to wait long to see the first chances of the game, because both teams quickly looked to take the lead. The first opportunity fell to Mehmet Can Aydin after a corner, and his effort from 20 yards just flew past the right post (6’). Two minutes later, Simon Terodde had a great chance for 1-0, but his close-range effort was blocked by Thomas Isherwood at the very last moment and the ball went out for a corner. Thomas Ouwejan then put in a cross from the resulting corner, which Marius Bülter flicked on and into the path of Darmstadt’s Luca Pfeiffer, who turned the ball into his own net to give Schalke the lead (8’).

The Lilies replied pretty quickly as Phillip Tietz drew SVD level in the 11th minute. Braydon Manu flicked a long ball on towards the striker, who charged at the S04 defence, worked some space around Ko Itakura and then slotted the ball home into the bottom right corner from 15 yards. Schalke hoped that the attacker would be adjudged offside, but the goal was eventually awarded following a VAR check.

Things began to calm down in the VELTINS-Arena after the opening two goals. Malick Thiaw had a chance to make it 2-1, but he couldn’t get on the end of Thomas Ouwejan’s free-kick (19’). The pair linked up again just a few moments later when the centre-back attempted to head the wing-back’s corner into the Darmstadt net, but his effort went off target. Shortly afterwards, the Lilies took the lead through Mathias Honsak. Played through by Klaus Gjasula, he went past two Schalke defenders before tucking it away from seven yards (22’).

Simon Terodde almost made it 2-2 in the 28th minute. Some quick build-up play saw the striker get a chance on the edge of the six-yard box, and he attempted to curl the ball into the corner, but it went past the post. This chance for S04 was followed by a flurry of opportunities for the guests and we were under some pressure for a good few minutes. The Royal Blues had a chance just before half-time, but they were not able to capitalise on a good set-piece cross from Thomas Ouwejan.

Schalke get back in it, but Darmstadt reply straightaway

The start to the second half was rather uneventful despite Schalke’s courageous efforts to get back into the game, because Darmstadt organised themselves well and did not allow S04 any space to play in. They were also ice-cold in front of goal themselves, converting a counter-attack to make it 3-1 (63’). Tobias Kempe picked the ball up after a Schalke error and sent Phillip Tietz on his way, and Martin Fraisl could do nothing from the one-on-one situation to stop Tietz scoring his second of the game.

At the other end of the pitch, second-half substitute Rodrigo Zalazar tested SVD’s Marcel Schuhen from 18 yards out (67’), but the keeper was equal to that shot just as he was to Simon Terodde’s effort on the turn. Schuhen then had to pick the ball out of his own net in the 70th minute, as Malick Thiaw thought he had made it 3-2, tapping in the rebound off of an Ouwejan free-kick which had bounced off the post, but because the defender was initially offside, the goal did not stand.

Tietz then had another effort on Schalke’s goal from twenty yards out, but the ball just whistled past the post (76’). Dimitrios Grammozis then made a very attacking change, subbing on Marvin Pieringer for Ko Itakura. The substitute made an instant impact and made it 3-2, giving us some hope going into the final minutes of the game (88’). The striker won back possession just outside the left of the Darmstadt area and then smashed the ball into the opposite corner.

Benjamin Goller replied to this goal almost instantly: the Darmstadt substitute, formerly of Schalke 04, found himself in a position to shoot after a Mehlem pass was left for him to slot the ball home from twelve yards and put the game to bed for the Lilies (89’).

A weekend off before S04 travel to Bremen

Two teams who competed in the Bundesliga last season will meet on matchday 14, when Schalke make the journey up to Werder Bremen for a match on 20th November (20:30 CET kick-off). There won’t be any games next weekend due to the upcoming international break which will see a few S04 players leave to go on international duty.

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