“It puts the wind back in our sails”
It came late, but Schalke definitely deserved their win against Lokomotiv Moscow. The three points mean that Schalke finish second in Group D on 11 points, advancing through to the round of 16.
“We had several decent games in the Champions League and one that was very bad, in Porto,” said Domenico Tedesco. Schalke now have at least two more games to come in the competition. The draw to decide which group winners the Royal Blues will face is set to take place on Monday 17 December at 12:00 CET.
Schalke made eight changes from the 2-1 derby loss at the weekend, and they started the game sluggishly. This came as no surprise for Christian Heidel: “We put out a team that hadn’t played together. Domenico Tedesco clearly said that we had to experiment a little, and it’s hard to play a flowing game against such a compact team.”
The winning goal eventually came
As the game went on, Schalke put their opponents under more pressure, but the fans had to wait until extra time for Alessandro Schöpf’s winning goal. “We were dominant over the 90 minutes. It was kind of the story of our season that we had to put in so much effort for the goal,” said Ralf Fährmann.
The captain was also happy for the two Schalke players making their debuts last night: “Benjamin Goller and Ahmed Kutucu were super. A debut in the Champions League – that’s not easy. I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do from now on.”
It was a weird feeling to play against Bene and Jeff.
Fährmann also spoke about how weird it was to play against former Schalke players Benedikt Höwedes and Jefferson Farfan. “It was a weird feeling to play against Bene and Jeff. I think it’s class how they were received by the fans,” said the goalkeeper.
Heidel pleased with how the group stage went
The final whistle last night marked the end of the group stage for Schalke, with a total of 11 points from six games. The Royal Blues finished seven points ahead of third-placed Galatasaray. “When you finish the group stage on 11 points, you can only compliment the team,” said Fährmann. Christian Heidel was of a similar opinion, stating that he can “absolutely see” how well Schalke have done.
Now Schalke need to pull together for the rest of the games before Christmas. “I think that the win puts the wind back in our sails for the upcoming games. We still have three important games ahead of us before the winter break,” added Fährmann.