Ten men lose 2-0 at home to Mönchengladbach
FC Schalke 04 have suffered their first defeat of 2019. S04 lost 2-0 at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday evening (2/2) after going unbeaten for the last three games. The hosts were reduced to ten men in the 59th minute after Alexander Nübel was sent off for a professional foul. Christoph Kramer (85’) and Florian Neuhaus (91’) scored the away goals.
Injured trio miss out, Matondo on debut
Head coach Domenico Tedesco made three changes to the side that draw to Hertha BSC last time out. Alessandro Schöpf, Benjamin Stambouli and Steven Skrybski all missed out due to their respective injuries. They were replaced by Suat Serdar, Nabil Bentaleb and Weston McKennie, who was back after being banned for picking up five yellow cards. New signings Rabbi Matondo and Jeffrey Bruma both made the bench, with Matondo making his debut in the 75th minute after replacing Sebastian Rudy.
An even first half
The game took a while to get going: Daniel Caligiuri had the first shot after eleven minutes, before Lars Stindl just shot over in the 15th for Gladbach. Mark Uth had a header go just over too, that two minutes after Stindl’s chance.
Denis Zakaria then had the best opportunity up until then, bursting through the S04 defence. Thankfully for Schalke, Alexander Nübel was on hand to deflect the ball wide. The fans in the VELTINS-Arena would have to wait until the 40th minute for the next notable moment. Daniel Caligiuri’s free kick missed the target by inches, hitting only the side-netting.
Gladbach score twice with a man advantage
Both defences did their jobs excellently at the beginning of the second half again, meaning there were again no notable moments for either side. The players tried their luck with long-distance shots: Zakaria and Konoplyanka were both unsuccessful with their efforts.
The game’s first real talking point came with an hour played. After a long ball, Thorgan Hazard was in behind and got to the ball quicker than the rushed-out Alex Nübel, who subsequently saw the red card for his professional foul. Ralf Fährmann then came on in goal, replacing Yehven Konoplyanka.
The Foals took advantage of their extra man and consistently pushed Schalke back into their last third. Fährmann made his first save from a Lars Stindl free-kick in the 71st minute. Gladbach finally got their goal in the 85th minute: Christoph Kramer’s strike was deflected past Fährmann, leaving him no chance. The guests then had time to double their lead, Florian Neuhaus this time scoring (from another Thorgan Hazard assist) in added time (91’).
DFB-Pokal and then Bayern
04 days after this defeat, Schalke will take on Fortuna Düsseldorf in the last 16 of the DFB-Pokal (6/2, 20:45 CET). The next Bundesliga fixture is next Saturday away at Bayern München (9/2).