S04 thrash Fiorentina 3-0
Schalke 04 warmed up perfectly for the season, defeating ACF Fiorentina 3-0 in the VELTINS-Arena on Sunday 11th August. The goals were scored by Weston McKennie (69.), Steven Skrybski (75.) and Cedric Teuchert (84.).
Three Schalke players celebrated their debuts in the VELTINS-Arena; Salif Sané, Steven Skrzybski and Mark Uth. Although none of the players were in Domenico Tedesco’s starting XI, they were all introduced during the game. Two other new signings will have to wait for their debuts, with Suat Serdar left on the bench due to his knock and Omar Mascarell still not training due to his muscle strain.
Fiorentina were also able to give a debut to a new signing. It was the familiar face of Marko Pjaca, who spent the second half of last season on loan for S04. He made his debut having signed on loan from Juventus just a few days before, playing just under half an hour.
Embolo’s goal ruled out
The game started at a quick pace, with the Royal-blues building lots of pressure in the Fiorentina half. However the Italians had the first chance of note, with Ralf Fährmann on hand to spectacularly deny Marco Benassi’s volley from just inside the area.
The ball was in the back of the net for the first time after 23 minutes, with Breel Embolo slotting home a through ball from Amine Harit. However referee Markus Wollenweber ruled it out, with Embolo just centimeters offside. Daniel Caligiuri came the closest to scoring in the remainder of the first-half, striking two free-kicks over. Ultimately, Schalke played some nice football in the first half, without ever being too dangerous.
Three goals in 15 minutes
At the start of the second half Tedesco switched from a back three to a back four, also bringing three new players on. Almost immediately into the second half Fiorentina had a golden chance to take the lead, with Fährmann making a great save against Federico Chiesa, before Giovanni Simeone missed the follow-up. Just over a minute later, Matija Nastasic hammered a free-kick onto the post, with Fiorentina keeper Alban Lafont left without a chance.
After these golden chances for both teams the game was less lively, with both defences allowing no space in their final thirds. However the deadlock was finally broken in the 69th minute. After an excellent cross from the right-hand side by Daniel Caliguiri, Weston McKennie was there in the six-yard box to tap into an empty net.
Soon after, substitute Steven Skrzybski celebrated his first appearance in the VELTINS-Arena by doubling Schalke’s lead, almost moments after coming on. The new signing from 1.FC Union Berlin stroked home a through ball in the 75th minute. The third and final goal was smashed home by U21 international Cedric Teuchert, after a clever ball from Benjamin Goller.
“That was a fantastic day back in our arena. Now we have to carry on working hard to apply the final touch,” said Domenico Tedesco. The result wasn’t necessarily the most important thing, but it never hurts to beat a good team by three goals.
Competitive start in Schweinfurt
The season opening takes place on Sunday 12th August on the grounds of the VELTINS-Arena. The gates will open at 11.04 (CEST) with free entry once again. Excitement will continue to grow for the fans and players alike, with the first competitive game on Friday 17th August. The Knappen will travel to Bavaria to take on fourth-division side 1.FC Schweinfurt 05 at 20:45 CEST in the first round of the DFB Pokal.
Schalke: Fährmann – Stambouli (61. Uth), Naldo (46. Sané), Nastasic – Caligiuri (74. Goller), Schöpf (46. McKennie), Bentaleb, Baba – Embolo (74. Skrzybski), Burgstaller (61. Teuchert), Harit (46. Di Santo)
Fiorentina: Lafont – Milenkovic, Benassi, Hugo (62. Checcerini) – Pezzella, Norgaard (74. Veretout), Gerson (74. Dabo), Eysseric (46. Mirallas), Birgahi – Chiesa (62. Pjaca), Simeone
Goals:1:0 McKennie (69.), 2:0 Skrzybski (75.), 3:0 Teuchert (84.)
Referee: Wollenweber (Mönchengladbach)