Goalless draw at home against Köln

FC Schalke 04 had to settle for a draw at home against 1. FC Köln on Sunday (29/1). The home side had some decent chances over the 90 minutes, but couldn’t find the back of the net against the Billy Goats.

Fährmann in goal – Jenz and Skarke in the starting XI

Head coach Thomas Reis made four changes to the team that lost at home to RB Leipzig in midweek. Ralf Fährmann was preferred in goal to Alexander Schwolow and Simon Terodde replaced Michael Frey up front. New signings Moritz Jenz and Tim Skarke came in for Henning Matriciani and Jordan Larsson, who departed the club on Saturday night for FC Copenhagen. Rodrigo Zalazar and Alex Král made the bench for the first time after their respective injuries, and both came on in the second half.

Schwäbe denies Jenz

Although the away side had four corners in the first 15 minutes, Schalke had the best early chance. With less than two minutes played, Tim Skarke delivered a cross into the six-yard box. Moritz Jenz got there in front of two Köln defenders and headed on target, only to see Marvin Schwäbe make a great save.

It was a fiercely contested first half between two of the Bundesliga’s founding members. Schalke had some promising moves, however the final ball or touch often wasn’t good enough. One example of that was in the sixth minute when Tim Skarke couldn’t properly control the ball on a counter-attack from a Köln corner.

Latza volleys over

Ralf Fährmann wasn’t called upon in the first half in the Schalke goal. Linton Maina had a shot blocked from the edge by Jenz (27’) and Timo Hübers saw his effort go over the bar on the turn nine minutes later.

Neither side could find the back of the net in the first half, even if Schalke created some decent opportunities to do so. Danny Latza’s volley from the edge of the area flew over the bar (37’), then the S04 captain tried to pass to Terodde from a decent shooting position in the box (38’), with his pass going out for a goal kick. At the other end, Latza slid in to stop Jonas Hector’s pass into the box (42’).

Krauß heads onto the roof of the net

Köln had the first chance of the second half, and it was the closest they came throughout the game. Florian Kainz’s free-kick was headed onto the bar by Timo Hübers, although it wouldn’t have counted anyway if it had gone in. Referee Dr. Matthias Jöllenbeck blew up for a foul against Effzeh (50’). Following this close shave, S04 had shots from Skarke (52’) and Soichiro Kozuki (55’, 57’), before a Tom Krauß header from Jere Uronen’s corner landed on the roof of the net (64’).

Zalazar introduction gives S04 a boost

Schalke were the better and more dangerous team in the second half, though Köln also threatened from counter-attacks. All the home fans were on their feet in the 67th minute when Rodrigo Zalazar made his comeback from injury, having last featured against Augsburg in early October. He was on the pitch for less than two minutes when he played a sublime ball behind the Köln defence to Kozuki, who had his effort blocked for a corner by Julian Chabot.

Zalazar himself had two chances to win it for Schalke, hitting a shot a few yards wide (73’) and then heading off target from a good Uronen cross (84’). Aside from the Hübers header earlier in the half, Steffen Baumgart’s team failed to really cause S04’s defence any issues in the second period. Their brightest moment came when Sargis Adamyan shot past the post (75’).

Away in Mönchengladbach

Schalke’s next game is away to Borussia Mönchengladbach. The match will be played on Saturday (4/2) at 18:30 CET.

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