When Guido Burgstaller scores, it means points for Schalke

When Guido Burgstaller rifled the ball into the net with 11 minutes on the clock in Leverkusen, one thing became clear: FC Schalke 04 weren’t going to lose this game. Schalke have never lost when the Austrian has found the target. Sunday’s victory meant the run has now extended to 11 wins and 3 draws.

Jubel nach dem Tor von Guido Burgstaller in Leverkusen

However, it wasn’t just this statistic alone which meant Schalke picked up a crucial three points on the road on Sunday afternoon. Domenico Tedesco’s side put in a spirited performance and kept Leverkusen at bay, while creating chances of their own against a fellow side fighting for a European spot next season. “Before kick-off, we emphasised that we weren’t there to play for a point,” said Franco di Santo. “Everyone of us wanted that win. Without a doubt. I think you could see that. We fought like lions!”

The win was down to more than just fight though. The team combined desire with skill as epitomised by Guido Burgstaller’s opening goal which was a real contender for Schalke’s goal of the season. The Austrian brought down Daniel Caligiuri’s pin-point long-range ball with aplomb, flicked the ball over Leverkusen’s Panagiotis Retsos and smashed the ball into the bottom corner, leaving Bernd Leno rooted to the spot in the hosts’ goal. “It was an unbelievable goal,” praised Domenico Tedesco. When asked if Burgstaller’s effort was a fluke, Domenico Tedesco threw it out the question. “Burgi does stuff like that in training.”

Burgi does stuff like that in training

Guido Burgstaller

The striker himself said: “I’m no street footballer.” His perfect finish was only possible as Daniel Caligiuri played an unbelievable pass. Guido Burgstaller unfortunately won’t be able to carry on his form into Saturday’s home clash with Hertha BSC as he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the BayArena on Sunday. “I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed from the stands,” said the 28-year-old.

Max Meyer had a similar fate when Schalke won against Hoffenheim as he sat out through suspension. It made the U21 European Championships holder even hungrier to face the Werkself last Sunday. “It was a very important win against a rival. We can be happy with not only the result but the performance too,” explained the midfielder. “Being third isn’t what’s important right now. I think getting points on the board is what matters most.”

Domenico Tedesco was also keen to quell the excitement after the win as “ten very tough Bundesliga games are still to come. The fans can dream of the Champions League sure but we can’t for two reasons. One, the table is incredibly close and, two, we risk losing our focus.”