S04 start the Rückrunde with a 2-0 win over Gladbach

Schalke defeated second-placed side Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-0 on Friday evening (17/1) to begin the second half of the Bundesliga season with an important win. Suat Serdar (48’) and Michael Gregoritsch (58’) scored the goals in a sold-out Veltins-Arena.

Gregoritsch starts – Harit out injured

New signing Michael Gregoritsch made his Schalke debut as he was named in the starting XI. Jean-Clair Todibo, who joined this week, was on the bench having only trained once with his new teammates.

The Royal Blues were without Amine Harit, who is currently nursing a thigh injury. Alexander Nübel (suspension), Jonas Carls (infection) were both unavailable, as well as long-term absentees Salif Sané, Benjamin Stambouli and Weston McKennie.

Chances aplenty, but no goals

Both teams didn’t take long to get into the game, with the match being played at a high tempo. Alassane Plea had the first notable moment as his shot was tipped over the bar by Markus Schubert in the fifth minute. Michael Gregoritsch was then denied a debut goal moments later. The Austrian’s close-range shot was brilliantly saved by Yann Sommer, who also tipped Suat Serdar’s subsequent effort over the bar (6’).

Schalke continued to search for the equaliser, and further chances fell to Benito Raman and Alessandro Schöpf, although neither really troubled the Swiss shotstopper Sommer.

Gladbach’s number one was again on top in the 28th minute. Gregoritsch played Raman in behind, however his one-on-one effort was well saved by Sommer’s legs. Borussia, however, almost took the lead themselves in the 37th minute. Marcus Thuram met a corner with a powerful header and almost gave the visitors the lead, but Gregoritsch was on the line to clear the ball to keep the scores level.

Serdar and Gregoritsch rock the VELTINS-Arena

Schalke took the lead right at the start of the second half, as Suat Serdar ran unchallenged through the Gladbach midfield, before arcing a shot into the right corner beyond the diving Sommer. After the first goal, Schalke didn’t let up, as Daniel Caligiuri had a shot from 15 yards which was deflected out by Matthias Ginter for a corner. (50’) After 58 minutes Schalke doubled their advantage in a move which started when Breel Embolo was caught in possession in the Schalke penalty area, which in turn prompted a blistering counter-attack from David Wagner’s side. Serdar sent Raman through on goal, but the Belgian squared the ball to the oncoming Gregoritsch, who passed his effort into the far corner coolly for his first goal on his first start for the club- Gladbach tried to come back into the came from the 70th minute, but the Schalke defence were resolute, and allowed very few dangerous chances for the away side. These chances posed no huge threat to Schubert and the ‘keeper kept his first clean sheet in his fourth Bundesliga game.

Two away games in a row

Both of the next two games for Schalke will be away from home. On January 25th, Schalke take on Bayern in Munich, and on the 31st the Royal Blues travel to the capital to face Hertha Berlin. Four days after Schalke play the Berlin side, they will reunite in the VELTINS-Arena for their DFB-Pokal clash.

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