Goalless draw in Gladbach despite good S04 performance

An intense game ended goalless as Schalke 04 visited Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday (04/02) evening. The Royal Blues were the side closer to taking three points but a good performance by Gladbach number one Jonas Omlin prevented Thomas Reis’ side from taking all three points.

Balanta and Král in the starting eleven

Head coach Thomas Reis made two changes to the starting XI that drew 0-0 against 1 FC Köln. New signing Éder Balanta, who joined on loan from Club Brugge during the week, was handed his debut in defensive midfield as Danny Latza missed out with a knee problem. Alex Král also came into the side for Marius Bülter.

Royal Blues compact at the back

There were early chances for both sides at Borussia-Park, but the two goalkeepers were not really called into action. Ramy Bensebaini’s shot was blocked by Maya Yoshida after two minutes, before Tim Skarke headed off target at the other end (5’).

After the early exchange of blows, the game settled down and there was not much attacking action to speak of. Thomas Reis’ side stood compact and were very disciplined in defence, reducing space for the home side’s attack, lead by Marcus Thuram. Gladbach also did well defensively and didn’t give Schalke many opportunities to break the deadlock. Soichiro Kozuki tried his best to do so, producing an overhead kick after controlling a Skarke cross, but the ball went over the bar. It was Kozuki’s fellow countryman and former Schalke player Ko Itakura who had the next chance. The defender found space and got past some S04 defenders before shooting, only to be denied by Ralf Fährmann. Schalke’s number one produced another save three minutes later, turning Kouadio Koné’s volley behind for a corner.

Koné had another go in the 39th minute but his shot was blocked by Cedric Brunner, before Kozuki had a left-footed shot saved by Gladbach’s Jonas Omlin at the other end (43’). The Gladbach goalkeeper launched a quick counterattack that ended with Marcus Thuram bearing down on goal, only for Moritz Jenz to chase back and produce a fantastic tackle to knock the ball away for a corner as the French forward was about to pull the trigger. After the resulting corner, Itakura found himself in possession on the edge of the area and shot low, but Ralf Fährmann got down to save with his leg, before Maya Yoshida then deflected a Christoph Kramer shot behind.

Good chances in the second half

S04 came close to scoring on several occasions soon after the break. Tom Krauß headed just wide after a Tim Skarke corner (50’). Two minutes later, Král’s pass deflected into the path of Simon Terodde, but the striker was under pressure and unable to poke his effort past Omlin, who made a good save.

The hosts were quiet to begin the second half, with Marcus Thuram’s off-target shot being Daniel Farke’s side’s most notable second-half chance on the hour mark. Shortly afterwards, substitute Michael Frey picked up on an underhit backpass from Nico Elvedi but Omlin was able to get out to clear the danger (67’).

Lars Stindl had a good chance for Borussia in the 72nd minute, but was unable to steer Thuram’s cut back on target from close range. Moments later, Marius Bülter failed to connect with a cross from Dominik Drexler.

After 85 minutes, Frey met a Thomas Ouwejan cross from the right, but Omlin saved from close range. In added time, Skarke then produced a fine long-range effort, but Ommlin pulled off another good save to keep the scores level. Frey met the ball from the resulting corner but put the ball over the bar. Despite the Royal Blues upping the ante late on, the winning goal never came. Marius Bülter also had one chance late on as he burst away down the right, but he dragged his shot across goal (90’+4).

Back at home against Wolfsburg

Thomas Reis’ side will next be in action against VfL Wolfsburg, who visit the VELTINS-Arena on Friday (10/02) at 23:30 CET to kick off matchday 20.

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