Schalke pick up first point of the season in 1-1 Union draw

The first point is finally on the board for FC Schalke 04. Manuel Baum’s side came from behind to draw 1-1 against Union Berlin on Sunday evening (18/10) thanks to Goncalo Paciencia’s first Royal Blue goal. Former Schalker Marvin Friedrich scored the opener for the visitors.

Ludewig debut – Baum’s first home game

New signing Kilian Ludewig made his Royal Blue debut against the Berliners, starting at right back. Can Bozdogan, whose contract extension until 2024 was announced shortly before kick-off, was also in the starting XI.

In addition to the suspended Ozak Kabak and the injured duo of Ralf Fährmann and Suat Serdar, Manuel Baum was also without Mark Uth, who missed out with a muscular complaint.

Rönnow heroics in goal

Both sides began with high intensity and it was the hosts who had the first effort with a strike from the left which was deflected off target by former Schalker Marvin Friedrich (5′). Union’s first attempt came in the 17th minute when Robert Andrich fired narrowly over with a drop-kick from outside the box.

The effort put a spring in Union’s step and they followed up with two good chances, both saved superbly by Danish shotstopper Frederik Rönnow. The first, a close-range block to deny Prömel (21′); the second a speculative effort from just outside the box (22′).

The Royal Blues improved after the half-hour mark, Nabil Bentaleb picking out Benito Raman with a diagonal ball, but the Belgian’s shot took a vital deflection after a good piece of skill with the back-heel (31′)

Paciencia heads Schalke level

Rönnow was called into action again just two minutes into the second half, getting the better for Christopher Lenz at point-blank range. But moments later, Schalke’s standout performer was beaten by Friedrich at the near post.

The goal unsettled Schalke initially, but Baum’s side soon rediscovered their composure and found a deserved response in the 69th – Mascarell’s corner headed in by the recently-substituted Paciencia, also at the near post. It was the Portuguese’s first goal since joining Schalke in the summer-

The equaliser boosted the Royal Blues, who are yet to win this season, but Union proved a stubborn opponent. Both Matija Nastasic (88′) and Salif Sané (90+1′) had chances late on, but in the end a point was all that could be earned on the night.

Next up: Revierderby

A huge game awaits next week when the Royal Blues face a trip to Dortmund for the first Revierderby of the season. The game kicks off at 18:30 CEST on Saturday, 24th October.

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