2-2 draw against Freiburg to end 2019

FC Schalke 04 finished the Hinrunde with a 2-2 home draw against SC Freiburg. Suat Serdar and Ahmed Kutucu scored for the hosts, while Nils Petersen and Vincenzo Grifo both converted penalties for the visitors.

FC Schalke 04 - SC Freiburg

Two changes to the side

David Wagner made two changes to the team that drew 1-1 with Wolfsburg on Wednesday night (18/12). Rabbi Matondo and Benito Raman replaced the two strikers Guido Burgstaller and Fabian Reese.

FC Schalke 04 - SC Freiburg

04-minute silence for Drüse

There was no noise to be heard in the opening four minutes at the VELTINS-Arena. The fans paid their respects to Drüse, the Schalke fan who passed away in Wolfsburg on Wednesday, with a tifo.

Schalke had more possession early on, although it was the visitors who had the first chance. Nils Petersen met Christian Günter’s cross on the volley, but couldn’t direct it on target.

FC Schalke 04 - SC Freiburg

Serdar puts S04 ahead, Schubert at his best

Schalke’s first notable attacking move came in the 11th minute, as Suat Serdar’s long-distance effort was parried by Mark Flekken. It was a fairly even game thereafter – without much excitement though. That was until the 27th minute, however. Ozan Kabak won the ball well on the edge of his own box and gave it to Serdar. The Germany international drove forwards and fed Benito Raman, who’s cross-cum-shot was then turned in by the incoming Suat Serdar past Flekken from close range.

Serdar was again the focus in the 35th minute after a potential handball call. The penalty wasn’t given, despite VAR intervention. Benito Raman came close moments later with a speculative volley, before Markus Schubert denied Jonathan Schmid on the stroke of half time with an excellent double save.

Two Freiburg penalties turn the game on its head

The Royal Blues came out strongly from the half-time break, and were unlucky not to score a second goal. Juan Miranda’s powerful shot just missed the Freiburg far post. Just two minutes later though, Ozan Kabak caught Lucas Höler in the box. The referee initially allowed play to continue, before eventually going to review the footage. Nils Petersen scored the resulting penalty, sending Schubert the wrong way (54’).

It was a case of déjà vu for Schalke 12 minutes later – Juan Miranda was the culprit this time as he fouled Chang Hong Kwon in the box directly after a fantastic Schubert save. Vincenzo Grifo took over the penalty responsibility, beating Schalke’s number 23 with a ‘Panenka’ to give Freiburg the lead.

Kutucu rescues a point

The Royal Blues threw everything they could at Freiburg in the final exchanges and got their reward in the 80th minute. Minutes after Flekken pushed a Harit effort away, substitute Ahmed Kutucu hammered home a half-volley from the edge of the box to level the game.

S04 continued to believe that they could win the game and nearly did. Omar Mascarell carved open the SCF defence to find Kutucu, who timed his run perfectly, but, unfortunately couldn’t beat Flekken once again (87’).

First game of 2020 against Gladbach

The Knappen will now enjoy their well-earned winter break, before their preparations for the remainder of the season will commence on 2nd January in Fuente Alamo. The second half of the season will begin with a home game against high flyers Borussia Mönchengladbach (17/01/20, 20:30 CET).

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