11 April 2016

Schalke picked up an important point in their quest for Champions League football last Sunday in a 2-2 draw against Dortmund this season’s Revierderby rematch. Although their rivals have a massive 23 point edge on the table, Breitenreiter’s side battled hard to get off their inconsistent slum having won only 4 games out of 10 Bundesliga matches.

Absentees
Among Dortmund’s MIA list were Joseph-Claude Gyau who’s still recovering from a year-long knee injury and Neven Subotic with an arm injury.  Schalke on the other hand had Kolasinac suspended for unruly behavior while Sam Sidney, Leon Goretzka, Fabian Giefer, Benedikt Howedes, Marco Hoger, Matija Nastasic and Atsuto Uchida are still recovering from injury.

Match Review
Despite the obvious shortage of attacking players in Thomas Tuchel’s starting 11, Dortmund kicked off the match with a clear intention to win. Teenage winger Christian Pulisic played like a veteran, sprinting down Dortmund’s right flank time and time again. In one of his runs, the 17-year-old prodigy found enough space and time to attempt a shot on Ralf Fahrmann’s goal, beating the goalkeeper but also missing the target. After a timid first half, the breakthrough came just minutes after the restart. A quick passing sequence between Shinji Kagawa and Moritz Leitner on the edge of the Schalke box allowed the Japanese international to place a wonderfully chipped ball over the top of Fahrmann and into the far corner of the net. Schalke responded quickly, when a rushed attack saw Caicara hit a strong shot from the right only for Burki’s parried save to land at the feet of the on-running Sane which lead to an equalizer.

Dortmund regained their lead five minutes later with a free kick from Henrikh Mkhitaryan which Matthias Ginter headed in a dull effort to pull the visitors in front.  Schalke dragged themselves back in to the game when Klaas-Jan Huntelaar broke through the middle of Dortmund’s defense before he was brought down in the penalty area by a careless tackle from  Sokratis. The Dutch striker then stepped up to the spot and fired the ball home for Schalke’s second equalizer of the afternoon.

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