S04 win their fourth straight away game in Stuttgart

FC Schalke 04 have ended the first half of the season with a win. Domenico Tedesco’s men defeated VfB Stuttgart 3-1 on Saturday (22/12), thus winning their fourth straight away win at Stuttgart. The goals were scored by Steven Skrzybski (10’), Salif Sané (70’) and Ahmed Kutucu (78’).

Three changes to the starting XI

Amine Harit’s footballing year was already over before kick off, after injuring himself in the game against Bayer Leverkusen. Steven Skrzybski came into the side for the Moroccan. There were two further changes: Yehven Konoplyanka and Suat Serdar replaced Haji Wright and Weston McKennie.

Skrzybski opens scoring

The home side started stronger, but it was the Royal Blues who stayed ice cool in front of goal – taking their first chance of the game after 10 minutes. Yevhen Konoplyanka set Bastian Oczipka away down the left and his cut back was turned home by Steven Skrzybski.

Schalke had Ralf Fährmann to thank for their lead at half time as the captain led by example between the sticks, turning away a series of Stuttgart shots to preserve the slender advantage including a wonderful flying save to deny Emiliano Insua’s rasping drive that was headed for the top corner.

Alessandro Schöpf had a chance to double the lead on the stroke of half time, but he was unable to keep his effort down.

Kutucu scores first Bundesliga goal

The second half almost began with disaster. Fährmann’s misplaced pass was pounced upon by Nicolas Gonzalez leaving the forward with an open goal from 17 yards, but everyone in  Royal Blue was relieved to see the resulting effort come back off the post. Schalke’s first chance of the half came on the hour, when substitute Weston Mckennie looped a dangerous header onto the roof of the Stuttgart net.

Mckennie then forced a fine save from Zieler as the Royal Blues went after a second. It duly came from the resulting corner as Salif Sané’s flick on was turned into his own net by Mario Gomez.

The hosts responded to set up a tense finish when Gonzalez atoned for his earlier miss by heading home Akolo’s cross. The hope didn’t last long for the home side, as within 120 seconds youth team striker Ahmed Kutucu was wheeling away in celebration after restoring Domenico Tedesco’s side two-goal advantage. The hosts kept pushing as the clock ticked down, but couldn’t find a way through Salif Sané and co at the back.

2019 to begin with a training camp in Benidorm

The Royal Blues will now go into the winter break, starting back up again on Janaury 4th, 2019. The first training session will be in the training camp in Benidorm. The second half of the season begins with a home game against VfL Wolfsburg on January 20th, 2019.

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