S04 draw 1-1 at Werder Bremen
FC Schalke 04 took a point from Saturday’s away game at the Weserstadion (30/1). Omar Mascarell put the Royal Blues ahead after 38 minutes, however the hosts were on top after the break and found an equaliser through Kevin Möhwald (77’).
Kolasinac back in the team
Sead Kolasinac returned to the starting XI after recovering from his thigh problem, replacing Bastian Oczipka. Aside from the Bosnian, Omar Mascarell and Alessandro Schöpf also came into the side for Suat Serdar and Benito Raman, who both had a cold. New signings Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and William were both named on the bench and came on in the second half.
Best move of the first half results in a goal
It took less than two minutes for Matthew Hoppe to get involved in the action in the Werder penalty box. The American striker latched on to a wayward header by Theodor Gebre Selassie, which was intended for his goalkeeper. Hoppe rounded Pavlenka, but his shot from a narrow angle didn’t find the back of the net. The Royal Blues were the better side across the first 45 minutes, enjoying more of the ball against a Werder side that looked to sit back and give S04 no chances.
Florian Kohfeldt’s side aimed to attack Schalke on the break and only mustered two long-range shots from Josh Sargent (14’) and Romano Schmid (16’) in the first half. At the other end, Timo Becker came close with a powerful low drive from the edge of the box, narrowly missing the far post (19’).
Schalke’s best move of the first half came after 38 minutes – and it led to the opening goal too. After combining with Timo Becker, Amine Harit cut the ball back for Omar Mascarell. Schalke’s number six took the shot first time and beat Pavlenka with a clinical finish.
Werder on top in the second half
The hosts, who made three changes for the second 45, put the pressure on right away and looked to take the game to Schalke in search of an equaliser. Ralf Fährmann was busy from the off, denying Ömer Toprak (50’) and Maximilian Eggestein (52’) at the start of the second period.
Schalke’s dominance from the first half was gone and it took Gross’ men a while to find their feet after the interval. Werder came extremely close to levelling proceedings in the 74th minute. From Schalke’s perspective, Ralf Fährmann and the bar were to thank. He brilliantly tipped Yuya Osako’s close-range header onto the woodwork to preserve S04’s lead.
Nonetheless, the hosts got their goal shortly afterwards. Osako played it through to Milot Rashica and he cut it back to Kevin Möhwald. His shot nestled into the bottom corner from the edge of the box (77’). After the equaliser, Werder pushed on trying to find a winner. Fährmann again was on hand for the Royal Blues, diverting a Rashica header over the bar with three minutes left to play.
As the clock ran down, it looked like Bremen had found a late, late winner. Gebre Selassie’s cross found Eggestein at the back post and he found the back of net (94’). However, after intervention from VAR, it was clear that Gebre Selassie was in an offside position, and – thankfully for Schalke – the goal was chalked off.
DFB-Pokal game at Wolfsburg, then at home to Leipzig
Schalke have another busy week coming up with another mid-week fixture. Firstly, Christian Gross’ side will face VfL Wolfsburg away from home in the DFB-Pokal round of 16 on Wednesday (3/2, 18:30 CET). That cup clash is then followed by a league game at home to RB Leipzig (6/2, 15:30 CET).