Taking better advantage of goal scoring opportunities will lead to success

Schalke’s disappointment over their 0-2 defeat to Werder Bremen in the DFB-Pokal semi-finals on Wednesday (3/4) can still be felt. Especially since the game could have easily gone in a different direction.

Sebastian Rudy knows that Schalke could have scored against Werder Bremen. “We could have used some of our chances better,” said the 29-year-old, and pinpointed what may have been Schalke’s biggest problem last night.

Last night’s DFB-Pokal semi-final saw Schalke fail to convert on several good scoring opportunities. “We have to use our chances better and be stronger inside the penalty box,” said Guido Burgstaller, who had Schalke’s best chance of the night but wound up hitting the post in the 52nd minute.

Bremen strike first, despite strong start from Schalke

Just thirteen minutes later, the deadlock was finally broken by Bremen. After Schalke failed to counter, the ball fell at the feet of Milot Rashica, who sent a long distance shot sailing past Alexander Nübel. After a strong start to the second half, Schalke managed to create several chances in front of the net.

But, luck was not on the home team’s side. “With a bit of luck, we could have gone up one and then it would have been a completely different story,” said Burgstaller. “If we continue to play the way we did against Bremen, then we will be successful.”

If we continue to play the way we did against Bremen, then we will be successful.

Guido Burgstaller

However, luck wasn’t the only factor in Bremen’s victory. “Bremen played a good game and took advantage of our mistakes,” said Sebastian Rudy. Guido Burgstaller agreed: “We gave up some easy balls, which allowed Bremen to counter. We can’t let that happen against any of our opponents.”

After Davy Klassen scored the deciding goal to make it 2-0 (72’) Schalke were unable to mount a comeback.

Stevens still pleased with Schalke’s effort

Despite the loss and their subsequent elimination from the DFB-Pokal, head coach Huub Stevens was still pleased with Schalke’s showing. “The team gave it their all, to no avail. I’m not unhappy with how we played,” said the 65-year-old.

As Schalke’s prepare to face fourth place Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday (6/4), the team will have to learn from their mistakes, and take advantage of their chances in front of the goal. “We have to play better against Eintracht Frankfurt, since they are a really strong team,” said Sebastian Rudy. Schalke will be looking for the success that eluded them against Bremen as they seek to hand Frankfurt their first league loss this year.

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