S04 pick up their first win of the season against Hertha

FC Schalke 04 defeated Hertha BSC 3-0 on Saturday afternoon (31/8). Niklas Stark’s own goal gave the Knappen the lead at the break, before Karim Rekik also turned the ball into his own net just after half time. Jonjoe Kenny sealed the victory just before the final whistle.

Sané replaces Nastasic at the back

David Wagner made one change to the side that lost 3-0 to FC Bayern last week. Salif Sané replaced Matija Nastasic at centre back, with the Serb missing due to an infection. Alessandro Schöpf and Mark Uth both returned to the bench after their long-term injuries.

S04 control the game, but Nübel denies Lukebakio

Schalke began with more of the possession and Benito Raman had the first shot after just three minutes. Hertha pressed high and looked to counter the home side, as Darida had their first effort with a long-range shot that cleared the crossbar.

The visitors best chance came in the tenth minute: after Weston McKennie lost possession in midfield, the ball came to Dodi Lukebakio whose shot was well denied by Alex Nübel’s legs.

Schalke looked to play down the right-hand side with Jonjoe Kenny particularly prevalent in attacks, although the hosts couldn’t force out any clear-cut chances in the first half an hour. Guido Burgstaller then almost scored a Goal of the Season contender with a powerful volley from the edge of the box, but unfortunately the Austrian’s effort just flew past Rune Jarstein’s post. Less than a minute later, Weston McKennie met a Bastian Oczipka cross, but couldn’t find Caligiuri with his pass.

Stark own goal puts S04 ahead

Schalke upped the ante towards the end of the first period and eventually got their reward. Amine Harit played a lovely ball to Jonjoe Kenny, who then gave it to Daniel Caligiuri. The 31-year-old’s cross was then turned home by Hertha defender Niklas Stark (38’).

Vedad Ibisevic headed just past the post in the 43rd minute for the side from the capital, before Schalke should really have doubled their lead on the stroke of half time. Niklas Stark was dallying on the ball in the six-yard area and Guido Burgstaller stole it off him and shot at goal from close range. The strikers shot flew over the crossbar and thus the first 45 minutes ended 1-0 to Schalke.

Rekik own goal after Burgstaller’s shot

It didn’t take the Royal Blues long to add their second goal in the second period. Amine Harit played a sensational backheeled pass to Weston McKennie, who was able to drive deep into the Hertha half. The USA international then played in Guido Burgstaller, who let fly from inside the box. His effort wasn’t goalbound, but Karim Rekik slid in and diverted it into his own next – the second own goal of the day for Hertha!

Ibisevic’s goal disallowed

120 seconds later there were great celebrations among the Hertha fans, albeit only for a moment. Alexander Nübel saved a 16-metre shot from Ondrej Duda when poacher Vedad Ibisevic seized on the rebound, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Kenny wonder goal, Schöpf makes his return

The closing stages of the game were dominated by a wonder goal in the 85th minute by Jonjoe Kenny. Schalke’s players combined with a beautiful passage of play ending in the penalty box, as Bastion Oczipka’s low cross found Jonjoe Kenny who fired across the goalkeeper with a sensational effort that left goalkeeper Rune Jarstein with no chance.

In the 88th minute there was a standing ovation when Alessandro Schöpf came on as a substitute to replace Omar Mascarell. Schöpf, who was sustained a bad injury in last season’s game at Hertha, has been unable to complete a game for the first team for more than seven months. In the third minute of injury time, the Austrian almost scored himself but was denied by Hertha goalkeeper Rune Jarstein. It finished as a 3-0 win for Schalke – the first home win since January.

International break before Paderborn

After the international break, Schalke travel to Paderborn in two weeks for their next competitive match, with many Schalke players playing in the interim with their respective national teams. On 15 September, the Royal Blues will play away at Paderborn at 18:00 (CEST).

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