Convincing performance, but not without disappointments

Seldom this season have the Schalke fans’ feelings been toyed with as much as during the 2-2 draw on Friday (25.01) with Hertha BSC. Schalke led twice, but both times Hertha had an answer. A good game, but unfortunately three players were lost due to injury. As a result a lot of the reactions from the players is a bit deflated.

“We have to accept the result,” said coach Domenico Tedesco, remarking on the missed opportunity for three points away from home. Mark Uth felt similarly, stating, “On the basis of our chances we should not have lost the two points,” said the forward after the game.

Rekik apologises for hard foul on Schöpf

For 90 minutes, the Hertha players put up an intense fight, however in a few cases, there were some challenges that were a bit too hard. In the 13th minute, Hertha defender Karim Rekik dangerously met the leg of Alessandro Schöpf. The Schalke player managed to continue for another 15 minutes or so before he had to make way due to injury. Rekik apologized on Friday evening on Instagram for the challenge, which referee, Dr. Felix Brych, saw as a yellow card offense. The Hertha defender explained, “I want to apologise to Alessandro Schöpf. It was not my intention to injure him. Get well soon! I hope that you are back to full fitness quickly!”

The two injuries to Alessandro Schöpf and Benjamin Stambouli hurt us.

Domenico Tedesco

To make matters worse, Benjamin Stambouli, who fell to the ground after a clash with Arne Maier, was replaced with a suspected check bone fracture, which also occurred in the first half. “The two injuries to Alessandro Schöpf and Benjamin Stambouli hurt us and will hurt us in the coming weeks,” said Tedesco. If two injuries weren’t already bad enough, Steven Skrzybski also suffered an injury in the second half and couldn’t take part in the final stages of the game.

Despite the comebacks from Hertha, S04 had many chances to decide the game. “We didn’t lose our heads,” said Tedesco on his players, annoyed by the later equaliser in the first half, which happened practically as the whistle was being blown. “Unfortunately we couldn’t make our 2-1 lead last until half-time – that would have been important and changed the complexion of the second half completely,” said Schalke’s coach.

Played well but couldn’t find a third goal

Overall the coach was happy with his players’ performance. Schalke took the lead with some great play from Yevhen Konoplyanka an excellent finish from Mark Uth. Afterwards, the neon green outfit had good chances to decide the game for themselves, which were ultimately thwarted by Hertha keeper Rune Jarstein. “We played a good game of football and nearly got a third goal in the second half,” said Uth about the biggest shortcoming of tonight’s performance.

I’m very happy that the our attacking play is looking better.

Bastian Oczipka

Despite all this, Schalke head into the coming week with a positive feeling. With four points in the first two games of the Rückrunde, Schalke have a positive record to look at. More importantly perhaps, is the fact that their play has improved. “I’m very happy that our attacking play is looking better,” said Bastian Oczipka, after the team “worked intensively” over the winter break. Mark Uth chimed in with similar feelings, saying, “We want to do good things in the Hinrunde and play good football for the fans. So for now we get ready to go again!”

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