Schalke and 1. FC Köln share the spoils
Schalke had to settle to a 2-2 draw against 1. FC Köln. Guido Burgstaller and Amine Harit scored in front of a sold out VELTINS Arena but both strikes were cancelled out by goals from 1. FC Köln forward Sehrou Guirassy.
Two changes to the starting XI
Domenico Tedesco made minor changes to the team which started in last weekend’s derby. Matija Nastasic, who came on at half-time last Saturday, started in place of Thilo Kehrer in the Schalke defence. Also, Amine Harit returned to the starting XI after impressing when coming on against Borussia Dortmund. Franco di Santo made way.
Burgstaller makes it 1-0
The Knappen controlled the tie from the off and created a number of chances. Guido Burgstaller hit the bar seven minutes into the game after a lovely pass from Amine Harit. The visitors did occasionally threaten but Ralf Fährmann was solid between the sticks to prevent any breach of his goal in the first half. After 36 minutes had been played, Guido Burgstaller put the Royal Blues ahead. Daniel Caligiuri snuck behind the 1. FC Köln defence and squared the ball to Burgstaller who slotted the ball into the gaping goal. Schalke had further chances to extend their lead before half-time but neither Bastian Oczipka or Yevhen Konoplyanka were able to put the ball in the visitors’ net.
Guirassy scores twice
A mere five minutes into the second half and there was an equaliser. Sehrou Guirassy poked the ball home after a free-kick from Milos Jojic. The goal knocked the wind out of the Knappen’s sails but, after the hour mark, Schalke turned up the pressure once again. Eventually, with 73 minutes on the clock, Schalke retook the lead. After intricate play from Guido Burgstaller and Breel Embolo, Amine Harit prodded the ball home to send the Veltins Arena into uproar.
However, there was a quick response from the visitors. Sehrou Guirassy netted from the penalty spot in the 77th minute after Benjamin Stambouli was adjudged to have handballed in his own penalty area. The referee himself did not give the penalty to begin with but the penalty was awarded following consultation with the Video Assistant Referee. In the final 15 minutes, Schalke pulverised the visitors’ penalty area but were unable to get a winner. Naldo came closest in the dying seconds of the game as his header went centimetres wide of the post.
A tricky away test awaits
Next Saturday, Schalke are once again in action at 18:30 CET against Borussia Mönchengladbach. It will certainly be a tough game as Gladbach won their last home game 2-1 against table toppers Bayern Munich.