S04 lose 3-0 at home to Leipzig
FC Schalke 04 were beaten 3-0 by RB Leipzig at the VELTINS-Arena on Saturday (6/2). Nordi Mukiele, Marcel Sabitzer and Willi Orban scored for the visitors.
Mustafi makes his debut
Head coach Christian Gross made two changes to the team that went out of the DFB-Pokal at Wolfsburg in midweek. Alessandro Schöpf came into the side for Malick Thiaw (bench), while Shkodran Mustafi, who was only allowed out of quarantine after a further negative Covid-19 test on Saturday morning, also started, replacing the injured Timo Becker (thigh). Suat Serdar and Benito Raman were both named on the bench after missing recent games with a cold.
S04 improve after 20 minutes
The majority of the opening stages saw the game played in Schalke’s half, with Leipzig enjoying most of the ball and S04 struggling to break free and start any real attacks. Omar Mascarell blocked a shot from Alexander Sörloth in the fifth minute, before Ralf Fährmann tipped over a powerful strike from Dani Olmo (13’).
Schalke grew into the game more after 20 minutes and had more stability at the back. The first notable attack for the Royal Blues was in the 21st minute. Amine Harit and Mark Uth played a nice one-two on the left-hand side, however Harit’s pass for Hoppe had too much on it.
Mukiele scores just before half time
Aside from a shot from Christopher Nkunku, which Mascarell deflected behind for a corner, Leipzig failed to create any clear-cut chances for a while. At the other end, Mark Uth had Schalke’s best opportunity to open the scoring. He dispossessed Nordi Mukiele around 20 yards from goal and spotted Peter Gulacsi off his line. However, his shot didn’t have enough on it and the RB goalkeeper was comfortably back in time to save it (34’). Five minutes later, Schalke’s number seven was forced with injury, being replaced by Nassim Boujellab.
Just before the break, Hoppe had a half chance after a ball by Harit, but he couldn’t keep his shot down under pressure from Dayot Upamecano (44’). As it looked like the first half would end all square, the visitors took the lead. An Nkunku corner in the third minute of added time was headed home by Mukiele to give RB the lead at half time.
Leipzig pile the pressure on
RB came out of the blocks the better side and put the pressure on Schalke at the start of the second half. They very nearly doubled their lead straight away too – Fährmann made himself big to keep out Sörloth, who was clean through (47’). ‘Ralle’ was on hand again four minutes later to deny Nkunku (51’) and Angelino missed the far post with his effort shortly afterwards (56’).
With just over an hour played, Benjamin Stambouli chipped a ball into the box looking for Nassim Boujellab. Gulacsi got to the ball first, spilling it in front of Hoppe. The American opted for a header from close range, which Gulacsi was equal to (63’).
Sabitzer and Orban seal the win
Leipzig, who were still well on top, grabbed a second goal in the 73rd minute. Olmo played it through to Angelino in the box and he squared it for Sabitzer. The Austrian made no mistake and slotted it in at the near post. After Fährmann kept out a Hee-chan Hwang header, Leipzig added a third from the resulting corner. This time, Willi Orban rose highest to find the back of the net (86’).
Union away up next
S04’s next Bundesliga game is away to 1. FC Union Berlin in a week’s time (Saturday, 13/2, 18:30 CET).