S04 lose 5-1 in Stuttgart
FC Schalke 04 suffered a heavy defeat on Saturday afternoon away at VfB Stuttgart. A brace from Waturu Endo (10’, 26’) and goals from Sasa Kalajdzic (34’), Philipp Klement (88’), and Daniel Didavi (90+2’) sealed a 5-1 victory for Pellegrino Matarazzo’s side. Sead Kolasinc had pulled one back for S04 shortly before half time (40’), while Nabil Bentaleb missed a penalty in the second half.
Three changes to the starting XI
Michael Langer was in net for S04 in place of the injured Ralf Fährmann (broken rib) at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. There were two more changes to the starting XI from the derby defeat last weekend as Shkodran Mustafi returned to central defence after overcoming a thigh problem. He replaced Bastian Oczipka, while Omar Mascarell came in for the injured Nassim Boujellab in midfield.
Stuttgart take the lead from a corner
Less than five minutes after kick-off, Amine Harit had an opportunity to open the scoring. After a good cross from Timo Becker on the right-hand side, the Moroccan controlled well before firing in a shot. VfB goalkeeper Gregor Kobel was switched on however, and was able to pull off a great reflex save. Shortly after this, the home side had their first chance and punished S04 as Sosa took a corner that found Waturu Endo in space. The Japanese made no mistake as he volleyed home the opener with his right foot to give Stuttgart the lead (10’).
Less than 15 minutes later, the Swabians almost scored a second but Philipp Förster was unable to control a Sosa cross from the left. The rebound fell to Silas Wamangituka, but his shot flew over the crossbar. VfB succeeded in doubling the advantage soon after, with Endo again the scorer from another corner, assisted by Gonzalo Castro (26’).
With their two-goal cushion, Pellegrino Matarazzo’s team remained in control. Michael Langer made a brilliant save to tip Marc-Oliver Kempf’s long-range effort around the post in the 34th minute, but the resulting corner saw Sasa Kalajdzic head the ball beyond the Schalke keeper to make it 3-0.
Two minutes later, Kalajdzic almost netted again but this time failed to beat Michael Langer in the Schalke net, with Gonzalo Castro curling the rebound over the bar. The Royal Blues were able to reduce the deficit five minutes before the interval through Sead Kolasinac. Benjamin Stambouli crossed from the right-hand side and picked out the Bosnian, who finished through the legs of Konstantinos Mavropanos (40’).
Bentaleb misses penalty
VfB started the second half strongly and created another good chance almost immediately, as Sosa again picked out Sasa Kalajdzic who could only steer his header onto the roof of the net. Michael Langer was called into action not long after, as Orel Mangala lined up an effort from long range that Langer was able to stop (52’).
Despite not quite penetrating the Stuttgart defence, Schalke succeeded in getting a foothold in the game as the second half progressed. Suat Serdar had S04’s first chance of the second period as he forced Gregor Kobel into a superb reflex stop in the 67th minute. Five minutes later, Kobel was again on hand to deny the Royal Blues as he dived to his left to parry away Nabil Bentaleb’s penalty after Amine Harit was brought down by Waturu Endo.
With a quarter of an hour left on the clock, Schalke’s goalkeeper was again forced into a good save to stop a Konstantinos Mavropanos header from a Klement free kick. Alessandro Schöpf had the next chance for S04 but was again denied by Gregor Kobel in the 82nd minute, as the midfielder’s long-range shot was deflected round the post by the VfB keeper.
In the last few minutes of the game, Stuttgart again pushed forward and were rewarded for their efforts. Philipp Klement was able to beat Langer with a left-footed effort from 17 metres, before substitute Daniel Didavi fired home into the top left corner in the second minute of added time to make it 5-1.
Home game against Mainz 05
FC Schalke 04 get matchday 24 underway next Friday as they welcome 1. FSV Mainz 05 to the VELTINS-Arena (5/3, 20:30 CET).