Royal Blues lose 1-0 against Leipzig
FC Schalke 04 failed to take any points on Huub Stevens’ return to the dugout against RB Leipzig. Despite a strong performance against the third-placed team, the Royal Blues slipped to 1-0 defeat. Timo Werner scored the only goal in the 14th minute.
Rudy and Uth in the starting XI
S04 were without Nabil Bentaleb for the game, with the midfielder missing due to his persistent groin problem. Amine Harit was also out of action, having injured his ankle during the final training session.
There were 04 changes to the side that lose 7-0 to Manchester City in the last 16 of the Champions League. Alexander Nübel returned in goal, taking Ralf Fährmann’s place. Sebastian Rudy deputised for Nabil Bentaleb, while Mark Uth and Matija Nastasic (who missed the game in Manchester with a bruised foot) came in for Guido Burgstaller and Yehven Konoplyanka.
Uth’s goal ruled out, Werner stabs home
The ball was already in the net after just two minutes in the VELTINS-Arena. Unfortunately, Schalke’s celebrations were cut short as Mark Uth was in an offside position as he received Sebastian Rudy’s pass. The side, captained by Benjamin Stambouli, showed some real fight and continued to push forward early on. Leipzig started slowly, but then stayed cool to take the lead in the 14th minute. Alexander Nübel initially made an incredible save from Yussuf Poulsen’s close-range shot; however Timo Werner reacted quickly in the six-yard-area and stabbed home to make it 1-0 for RB.
The visitors had the upper hand after securing the opening goal. After 25 minutes the Royal Blues came back into the game and almost levelled the scores. Mark Uth had the chance to equalize but couldn’t get enough power behind his effort which was comfortably saved by Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi in the 32nd minute. Five minutes later, Yussuf Poulsen almost doubled the visitors’ lead as he received an Emil Forsberg pass but directed his shot narrowly wide of the right-hand post.
No answers against RB’s compact defence
The video assistant was called into action early on in the second period, after the ball hit Tyler Adams on the arm, albeit unintentionally. It was ultimately decided that it shouldn’t be a penalty and after that the game petered out somewhat. Leipzig were compact at the back and didn’t give Schalke any space to run into.
Schalke threatened yet again in the 66th minute. Uth beat Willi Orban to Serdar’s cross from the right, but sent his shot just wide of the goal, before Serdar himself saw an effort from 16 yards miss the target by inches in the 76th minute. Ten minutes later, substitute Guido Burgstaller couldn’t convert his chance as he fired over from close range. The Royal Blues’ final hopes of an equaliser fell to defender Jeffrey Bruma in added time, but the Dutchman was unable to convert a lay-off from Breel Embolo.
Leipzig played a more reserved game in the second half with few offensive plays, leaving goalkeeper Alexander Nübel with relatively nothing to do. However, the early goal from Timo Werner was enough to secure all three points for today’s visitors to the VELTINS-Arena.
Schalke to play in the “Trofeo Antionio Puerta”
There will be a two week break in Bundesliga action to make way for the first international fixtures of the year, with some Schalke players representing their countries. Meanwhile, the club will travel to Andalucía, Spain to face Sevilla after accepting the invitation to play in the Spanish side’s annual “Trofeo Antonio Puerta” match on Friday (22/03).