3-2 victory in final friendly
FC Schalke 04 won their final pre-season friendly 3-2 on Friday night against Vitesse Arnhem (16/7). Simon Terodde scored twice and Blendi Idrizi was also on the scoresheet in front of 1,000 fans at the Parkstadion. There was a minute’s silence before the game for the victims of the floods in Germany this week.
3-5-2 formation, Fährmann in goal
Head coach Dimitrios Grammozis again went with a 3-5-2 formation against the Dutch side, who finished fourth in the Eredivisie last season to qualify for the newly founded UEFA Europa Conference League. Ralf Fährmann started in goal, while Florian Flick began in the centre of the back three alongside Malick Thiaw and Marcin Kaminski. Yaroslav Mikhailov, who signed on loan a few days ago after spending three weeks on trial, was in the midfield with captain Danny Latza. Simon Terodde and Marius Bülter were the two strikers in Grammozis’ starting XI. Amine Harit (muscular problems), Omar Mascarell (toe), Matija Nastasic (cold) and Nassim Boujellab (back) were all unavailable.
Roof of the net for Bülter
Both sides began strongly with compact defences, meaning there was no way through early on for either team. In the 11th minute, Reinhold Ranftl looked to find Simon Terodde with a cross, however he was offside. Five minutes later, the away team looked to break through Lois Openda, who played it in behind to Toni Domjgoni. Thankfully for Schalke, Thomas Ouwejan got back in time to deny a possible shot for the Vitesse man.
The left-sided player was involved again soon after. He dribbled into the box and fell to the ground after a tackle by Matus Bero, with referee Nico Fuchs not deeming it a foul (24’). 180 seconds afterwards, Schalke had their first clear-cut chance of the night. Ranftl’s chipped ball into the box found Marius Bülter, and he stuck his left leg out to meet the cross. His shot, though, just flew onto the roof of the net from close range.
No danger for Fährmann
More and more of the game was being played in Vitesse’s half at this stage. The next notable moment saw Thomas Ouwejan receive the ball in the box from Yaroslav Mikhailov, though he couldn’t get his shot away under pressure (28’). Ralf Fährmann was quick off his line in the 35th minute to clear a potential chance for Lois Openda.
Towards the end of the first half, both sides had chances from set pieces. Victor Pálsson headed over from a Ouwejan corner (40’), before Thomas Hajek cleared the Schalke crossbar from a free-kick (44’).
Brace for Terodde
The deadlock was broken soon into the second half. Marius Bülter flicked on a throw-in from Reinhold Ranftl and Simon Terodde converted brilliantly on the turn (53’). It was a deserved lead for Grammozis’ men and they almost doubled it after 56 minutes. A long ball by Timo Becker, who came on at half time for Kaminski, reached Terodde and he was denied by Jeroen Houwen’s outstretched arm from a narrow angle. At the other end, Florian Flick was awake to intercept a dangerous pass by Openda (57’).
After Ouwejan couldn’t get a clear shot on target (63’), Terodde doubled his and Schalke’s tally. Reinhold Ranftl flicked on a Becker ball to Marius Bülter, who squared it across goal to Terodde and he duly made it 2-0 (65’).
S04 concede for the first time in pre-season – Wouters makes his debut
Schalke, who hadn’t conceded a goal throughout the whole of pre-season, finally let one in against Vitesse. Ralf Fährmann initially parried Nikolai Baden Frederiksen’s shot wide, but only to Million Manhoef, who found the back of the empty net from a few yards out (73’). With 15 minutes to play, new signing Dries Wouters made his S04 debut, coming on for Florian Flick.
Idrizi scores for S04, Oroz for Vitesse
Danny Latza played it through to Reinhold Ranftl with nine minutes left on the clock – the Austrian dragged his shot wide (81’). The Knappen still found a third goal despite that. Blendi Idrizi, fresh off the bench, intercepted a Vitesse pass and beat the keeper Houwen to put S04 3-1 up (85’). The entertaining second half continued with another goal, this time for the Dutch outfit. Dominik Oroz hammered an unstoppable drive past ‘Ralle’ to cut the deficit back to one (88’). It would stay at 3-2, meaning Schalke ended pre-season with a win.
First game of the season against HSV
The friendly against Vitesse was S04’s final one before the Royal Blues will kick off the 2021/22 2. Bundesliga season at home against Hamburger SV next Friday (23/7, 20:30 CEST).