A goalless draw against the reigning Russian champions
After blowout victories in their first two pre-season friendlies, FC Schalke 04 recorded a 0-0 draw against reigning Russian champions Zenit St. Petersburg on Saturday (3/7). New signing Marvin Pieringer had the best chance of the game, but missed a penalty in the 65th minute.
New kit, new face
While the new Schalke shirts got their first taste of action, Marius Bülter celebrated his S04 debut against the Russian champions. The new signing from Union Berlin took his place up front alongside Simon Terodde in a 3-5-2 system. Benito Raman (calf problems), Amine Harit (unfit after prolonged absence from training), Can Bozdogan and Matija Nastasic (reduced workload) were not in the squad. Training guest Yaroslav Mikhailov, however, was involved again, this time in the starting XI against his parent club. The Russia youth international from Zenit St. Petersburg is participating in Schalke’s Mittersill training camp.
Fährmann with a string of saves – Bülter with two attempts on goal
The first chance of the game fell to the Russians after a cross from the left found Sebastian Driussi in the middle – his header from close range was kept out well by Ralf Fährmann. Marius Bülter (5’) and his strike partner Simon Terodde (7’) had an attempt on goal each in the opening stages, but failed to properly test Zenit goalkeeper Mikhail Kerzhakov.
With a quarter of an hour gone, St. Petersburg had their next opportunity. Alexandre Yerokhin let fly from the edge of the area, but Schalke’s shot-stopper was on hand again. Seven minutes later, Fährmann pulled off his best save so far, putting his arm up just in time to deny Andrey Mostovoy from close range.
The rest of the first half was fairly uneventful. Zenit had more control of the game but had no further attempts, while Marius Bülter ended the half with a dangerous run into the area looking for a chance to shoot. The defenders cleared the danger though and the teams went in to the half-time break with the score at 0-0.
Pieringer misses from the spot
Head coach Dimitrios Grammozis made just one change at half-time, bringing on Michael Langer for goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann. In the 63rd minute, the coach would give more players the chance to prove themselves as he made eight changes.
The Royal Blues were able to keep Zenit at bay in the opening minutes of the second half. Simon Terodde found himself with a golden opportunity to score after Zenit goalkeeper Daniil Odoyevskiy missed catching a cross into the area. Terodde was prepared to sweep it home, but missed the target (54’). Eleven minutes later, Odoyevskiy was the hero for Zenit as he saved Marvin Pieringer’s penalty. The rebound bounced back into play, but Schalke were unable to poke home the opener.
The next opportunity also fell to the Royal Blues, as Blendi Idrizi just missed in the 75th minute. In the final 10 minutes, it was Langer who was called upon to make the save to deny Zenit from taking the lead. Former HSV man Douglas Santos’ volley was kept out by the S04 keeper. In the end, the two sides had to settle for a 0-0 draw.
Further friendlies against European opposition
Schalke’s training camp in the holiday region Hohe Tauern National Park will end on Saturday (10/7). The Royal Blues will play one final friendly the day before their return home to Gelsenkirchen against Ukrainian league runners-up Shakhtar Donetsk. The match will kick off at 18:00 CEST on Friday at the Stadion Mittersill.
Schalke: Fährmann (46′ Langer) – Becker, Thiaw, Kaminski (63′ Flick) – Ranftl (63′ Aydin), Palsson (63′ Mascarell), Ouwejan (63′ Calhanoglu) – Latza (63′ Idrizi), Mikhailov (63′ Mercan) – Terodde (63′ Pieringer), Bülter (63′ Boujellab)
St. Petersburg: Kerzhakov (46′ Odoyevskiy) – Krugovoy, Chistyakov, Rakitskiy, Douglas Santos – Sutormin, Kavtsov, Yerokhin (67. Belokhonov) – Malcom, Mostovoy (67′ Wendel), Driussi
Referee: Altmann (Austria)
Highlights: Odoyevskiy denies Pieringer from the spot (65′)