Schalke start with a 1-1 draw in the Champions League
FC Schalke 04 began their Champions League campaign with a 1-1 draw against FC Porto on Tuesday, 18th September. Breel Embolo gave the Royal Blues the lead after 64 minutes, before Otavio scored a controversial penalty in the 75th minute.
Four changes to the starting XI
Domenico Tedesco made four changes to his team in his first game in the Champions League. Weston McKennie, Suat Serdar, Alessandro Schöpf and Breel Embolo came into team for Hamza Mendyl, Sebastian Rudy, Franco Di Santo and Guido Burgstaller. Schalke also switched to a 3-4-3 for the game.
Fährmann saves penalty
Both teams started the game very cautiously, with no real action of note in the opening exchanges. Porto then had the first chance of the game, with referee Jesus Gil Manzano awarding a penalty after a Naldo handball. Ralf Fährmann, however, was able to turn Alex Telles’ spot kick round the post to keep the scores level.
The Royal Blues got themselves into the game after the 20 minute mark, although the visitor’s defence gave Schalke no real room for manoeuvre. The majority of play was played in the middle of the park before the half-time whistle.
Embolo tucks home McKennie’s pass
It could have been 1-0 to the guests just moments into the second half, but Ralf Fährmann was on hand to deny Felipe’s close-range effort. Breel Embolo had Schalke’s first big chance, but was unable to keep his shot down after an hour had been played. This was a good sign for Schalke though, and Embolo was in again four minutes later. Weston McKennie slotted an excellent pass through to the Swiss striker, who calmly stroked past Iker Casillas for 1-0.
The Porto equaliser came eleven minutes after Embolo’s opener, with Otavio sending Fährmann the wrong way on this occasion. The decision to award a penalty was a controversial one, as there was minimal contact by Naldo on Porto striker Moussa Marega. Both teams pushed for a winner late on and Yehven Konoplyanka had the best opportunity, although his shot was only deflected behind for a corner.
Bayern up next
Galatasaray won the other game in Group D, beating Lokomotiv Moscow 3-0. Schalke will face the Russian champions next, on Wednesday 3rd October at 18:55 (CEST).
Before meeting familiar faces Benedikt Höwedes and Jefferson Farfan again, Schalke have a number of important games. The first of those is against Bayern Munich on Saturday, 22nd September, which will take place in the VELTINS-Arena at 18:30 (CEST).