Schalke defeated by Hertha despite early Harit goal

FC Schalke 04 were beaten 2-1 at home by Hertha BSC on Wednesday (12/5). Amine Harit gave S04 an early lead, before goals from Dedryck Boyata and Jessic Ngankam gave the visitors the win.

FC Schalke 04 - Hertha BSC

Idrizi makes his professional debut

Head coach Dimitrios Grammozis handed another Knappenschmeide product a first-team debut. Blendi Idrizi, a 23-year-old midfielder who has played 31 times in the Regionalliga this season, was included in the starting XI against Hertha. Salif Sané also started a game for the first time since December 2020, while Kilian Ludewig was named on the bench – his first squad inclusion since breaking his foot over four months ago.

FC Schalke 04 - Hertha BSC

Harit opens the scoring, Boyata equalises

The ‘Old Lady’ had the first chance of the game from a long ball which Schalke didn’t deal with. It fell to Javairo Dilrosun, who just cleared the bar with his powerful effort (3’). At the other end, Schalke found the back of the net with their first real attempt. The ball came to Amine Harit via Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Sead Kolasinac and he dribbled into the box and curled the ball into the far corner to give Schalke the lead (6’).

The first half was a relatively even game, with Hertha enjoying slightly more of the play. They then grabbed an equaliser in the 19th minute from a set piece. Marvin Plattenhardt’s free-kick was met by an unmarked Dedryck Boyata, who powerfully headed home. Six minutes later, the visitors were celebrating again, albeit only briefly. A long ball by Boyata was headed away by Fährmann and then directed back towards goal by Mathew Leckie. His ball found Krzysztof Piatek, but the striker was clearly offside as he found the back of the empty net (25’).

FC Schalke 04 - Hertha BSC

Huntelaar misses the target

In the 37th minute, Schalke had the next big chance to score. Matthew Hoppe’s effort with the outside of his boot fell to Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, however his shot went over the bar on the turn. Just before the half-time whistle, Dilrosun had two more chances from narrow angles for the Berliners. Both, though, cleared Fährmann’s goal by some distance.

FC Schalke 04 - Hertha BSC

Huntelaar hits the side-netting

The second half was fairly similar to the first in terms of the run of play. Hertha had more of the ball, while Schalke still had some chances. The first one fell to Blendi Idrizi, who burst through the midfield and looked to bend the ball into the top corner, but cleared the bar (48’). Nemanja Radonjic then hit the side-netting for Hertha four minutes later.

Set pieces proved to be particularly dangerous for Schalke once again. Ralf Fährmann tipped a header from Piatek wide (55’), before the same combination for Hertha’s opener almost worked again. Boyata’s header from another free kick from Plattenhardt could only find the post on the occasion (63’). In between those chances, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar hit the side-netting after a poor touch from Boyata almost gave him an empty net to hit (59’).

FC Schalke 04 - Hertha BSC

Ngankam wins it – Schalke hit the post twice

The Berliners scored the winner in the 73rd minute. Dodi Lukebakio played it wide to Radonjic, who found substitute Jessic Ngankam in the box. The young striker beat a defender and then fired it past Fährmann from close range. Radonjic could have sealed the three points himself shortly afterwards, but couldn’t get enough height on his dink over Schalke’s number one (83’). Lukebakio then saw a second yellow card for a bad foul on Steven Skrzybski (88’). With a man advantage, Schalke pushed for a point in added time and came so close to earning it. Amine Harit’s free-kick was headed onto the far post by Shkodran Mustafi. Incredibly, the rebound was then smashed onto the same post by Benito Raman from close range and Hertha escaped with the three points.

Eintracht Frankfurt up next

Schalke’s next home game – and final one of the season – is up next. The Royal Blues will host Eintracht Frankfurt at the VELTINS-Arena on Saturday (15/5, 15:30 CEST).

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