Build on the display and then reap the rewards in the coming games
FC Schalke 04 are still waiting for their second win in the second half of the Bundesliga season. Despite that, the performance in Bremen was an encouraging one. The Knappen improved on their recent displays against Mainz and Düsseldorf. “We showed what we can do,” said Benjamin Stambouli.
The passionate performance was appreciated by the travelling fans, who had driven their players forward for 90 minutes. “The fans support was incredible,” praised the new Head of Sport Jochen Schneider, who had demanded that the side starting performing better and felt they had to an extent.
On the other hand, Schneider also commented: “Obviously we need the points, as they are the only thing that counts at the end of the day. We wanted to see an on-pitch improvement and we did in patches today. Our body language was a lot better and we attacked with a lot more promise. It would have been nice to have improved even more though, as that would have resulted in some points.” The 48-year-old was quick to confirm that Domenico Tedesco will still be charge at Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday (12/3).
Pavlenka makes several great saves
“The team lives,” said Tedesco. Benjamin Stambouli added: “The fight and application was spot on, but unfortunately that wasn’t enough.” The Royal Blues were on top in the first half an hour and played some confident attacking football. Werder coach Florian Kohfeldt admitted: “We had Jiri Pavlenka to thank in the first half an hour, as we could have been more than 0-1 down.” The Czech goalkeeper denied a number of Schalke shots, although he couldn’t keep Breel Embolo out in the 26th minute.
Five minutes after conceding, Bremen equalised through Milot Rashica with their “first chance of the game”, according to Kohfeldt. Referee Martin Petersen didn’t recognise Claudio Pizarro standing in an offside position when Max Kruse’s cross came into the box, and was disrupting Matija Nastasic. The video assistant also didn’t intervene.
Nach zweitem Gegentor Vorzeichen verändert
The referee did then make a key decision in the second, awarding Werder a penalty as Max Kruse went to ground in the box. Jeffrey Bruma accidently clipped Kruse’s heels and the video assistant intervening, with Petersen ultimately pointing to the spot. Kruse stayed calm and sent Alexander Nübel the wrong way to make it 2-1. “I cannot judge whether or not it should have been a penalty or not. The referee came to that decision so we have to accept it”, said Stambouli, who didn’t want to put the blame on the referee for the first two goals.
The second goal took the wind out of our sails a little bit.
“The second goal took the wind out of our sails a little bit and it was hard for the team after that,” commented Schneider. Werder then had more room to counter and more space in Schalke’s half. “After the penalty it was difficult as we had to throw more men forward,” explained Nübel – who then went onto concede a third goal soon after. Breel Embolo then gave the Royal Blues some hope with his second goal in the 85th minute, but the equaliser didn’t come, with Werder instead getting a fourth in the final minute of added time to seal the victory.
Believing in our quality
“In our situation like ours right now, it can be difficult to come back in games as you don’t have that self-confidence,” analysed Schneider. He was still optimistic though: “We can gain a lot of confidence from the way we played up until 2-1. If we carry on like that, and the players coming back from injury can continue to make an impact, then I’m sure we can start taking points again.”
Stambouli agreed with Schneider’s sentiments. “We now to carry on working hard; this mentality will get us some points in the coming weeks. I believe in our quality,” said the Frenchman. Guido Burgstaller also added: “This performance should give us a real boost.”