Ten-man Schalke beat Frankfurt 1-0
Benito Raman’s 53rd minute goal sealed a 1-0 win for Schalke against Frankfurt on Sunday evening (15/12). S04 saw their captain and goalkeeper Alexander Nübel sent off in the 66th minute, but valiantly held on for the three points.
Matondo replaces Burgstaller
David Wagner made one change to the team that lost 2-1 in Leverkusen last week, as Rabbi Matondo replaced Guido Burgstaller.
McKennie forced into an early exit
The game began without any particular highlights. Schalke were overall the more dominant side, but Benito Raman and Co. were unable to get into the penalty area to give their side the lead. After 13 minutes however, David Wagner was forced into his first change. Weston McKennie had unluckily fallen on his shoulder after an aerial challenge with Bas Dost and could no longer continue. Juan Miranda came on for the American to celebrate his Bundesliga debut.
After the early McKennie drama, the match remained tough. After a little less than half an hour Schalke had the first good chance through Suat Serdar. After the Germany international shot from 18 metres out, visiting goalkeeper Frederik Rönnow was forced to stretch to tip the shot around the post (29′). Raman also had chances to score with a header (38′) and in a one-on-one situation (43′), while Ozan Kabak also had a chance, when his shot from the left flew past the right post in the 41st minute.
Frankfurt had their best opportunity shortly before this through Almany Toure. The defender was offside following a Chandler free-kick. If the ball had gone into the net, it would have been checked anyway. Seconds before the break, Alexander Nübel was tested again, but Mijat Gacinovic’s header did not cause any problems for the Schalke captain.
Raman scores for the fourth game in a row
The first chance after the break belonged to the visitors, as Filip Kostic fired from 22 meters out, but his effort went wide of the right-hand post (47′). Less than three minutes later, Daniel Caligiuri attempted a similar effort, but when the German-Italian tried to curl one into the net, Rönnow was able to punch it clear. After 53 minutes however, the goalkeeper had to finally admit defeat. After dispossessing the visitors, Omar Mascarell found Harit, who produced a killer ball to send Raman through on goal, and the Belgian produced a tidy finish from the left into the bottom right to give Schalke a 1-0 lead. The forward scored in his fourth consecutive Bundesliga game.
Nübel sent off
The visitors pressed hard for a goal once Schalke took the lead, and found themselves with a man advantage after 66 minutes. Alexander Nübel was sent off well outside his area after an extremely high tackle on Mijat Gacinovic. Markus Schubert, just like Miranda in the first half, subsequently came on for his Bundesliga debut, replacing Amine Harit.
Schubert was able to keep to his debut Bundesliga clean sheet, despite an additional seven minutes being added on. The former Dresden shotstopper made a smart stop deny Erik Durm in the 87th minutes, just after Guido Burgstaller had crashed a shot off the outside of the Frankfurt post.
A busy week before Christmas
The Knappen have two games next week before the winter break. The first of those games will come in Wolfsburg (Wednesday 18th, 20:30 CET), before the Royal Blues will play host to Freiburg on Saturday (21/12, 15:30 CET) as they finish the first half of the season.