Another draw, but two points dropped

After a week of hard-earned celebrations following the Knappen’s comeback in Dortmund, there was something of a comedown in the Royal Blue camp after Saturday’s 2-2 draw at home to bottom of the league Köln. "This point does not feel as good as the one in the derby," said Christian Heidel.

Schalkes Team gegen Köln.

“We were hoping for more and we are disappointed,” said Guido Burgstaller, who put his side 1-0 up 37 minutes into proceedings: “I would rather have not scored and won,” added the Austrian, whose goal came courtesy of some excellent build-up play from Caligiuri: “I was shouting for it and Calli had the composure and the vision to square it for me perfectly. That’s typical of our team spirit and understanding; that goal belongs to him.”

Burgstaller’s goal was the only one in the first half: “At half time we knew this goal would not be enough for the win,” explained Leon Goretzka, but the team did not quickly double their lead. Instead, the ball was soon nestling in captain Ralf Fährmann’s net. “We were caught napping at times,” criticised Amine Harit. Schalke did retake the lead, however, midway through the second half with the Morocco international on target once again: “I am pleased to have scored my first goal in the VELTINS-Arena,” said the 20-year-old.

We were hoping for more and we are disappointed.

Guido Burgstaller

With the Royal Blue siege gaining more and more momentum, Köln’s Sehrou Guirassy, who had made it 1-1 earlier in the game, struck from the penalty spot to level the score again. The penalty was awarded for a Benjamin Stambouli handball, but there can be no talk of intent from the Frenchman, as Christian Heidel explains: “The ball struck Benji’s hand from close range; he can’t exactly chop his hand off, can he? I’ve heard from several experts of the game that there has to be intent, and there wasn’t any in this incident.” Last week, for instance, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was not penalised for handling the ball in scoring Dortmund’s first goal. Heidel concluded: “We can talk until the cows come home about this, it won’t change anything.”

Guido Burgstaller is keen for the boys to shrug off this draw: “Nothing can change the result now. We will analyse the game over the next few days and then we’ll be fully concentrated on the next one against Borussia Mönchengladbach,” said the striker, before adding that “another difficult task” faces the Royal Blues next weekend.