Match in a sentence
Julian Draxler and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s first half goals saw Schalke complete a league double over rivals Borussia Dortmund in the 143rd Revierderby at the Veltins Arena.
- Jens Keller fielded his side in a 4-2-3-1 with Huntelaar starting upfront. Jefferson Farfan, Michel Bastos and Draxler played behind the Dutch striker, while Marco Hoger and Roman Neustadter protected the back line. Atsuto Uchida also made his return to the starting line up.
- Jurgen Klopp’s men lined up in their traditional 4-2-3-1 with Robert Lewandowski leading the line. Kevin Grosskreutz, Mario Gotze and Jakub Blaszczykowski played behind Lewandowski, while Ilkay Gundogan and Sven Bender were the two holders. Mats Hummels recovered from the flu to make the starting lineup, while Marco Reus started on the bench.
- Ultimately this was a game of two halves, in which Schalke created the better chances in the first half and Dortmund controlled the second. Schalke were keen on dropping into a 4-4-2 and allowing Dortmund to dictate the game. Besides Gotze and Blaszczykowski firing their shots wide, Dortmund failed to create any goal scoring opportunities in the first half.
- There was no surprise that Klopp’s men pressed the Schalke midfield, but early on in the first half, they allowed Joel Matip to carry the ball forward and spread passes across the pitch. As the game continued they began to close down that option as well, but it opened up an outlet for Schalke to break forward early in the game.
- When The Royal Blues got into Dortmund’s third, they were unable to sustain possession. Dortmund dropped deep into a 4-5-1 and they pressed the man on the ball. Blaszczykowski did a superb job of forcing Neustadter off the ball and conceding possession. The pressure from both sides forced the midfielders to drop deeper to pick up the ball. Gundogan was tidy when spreading the play in his third, but once he got near the centre of the pitch Hoger would press him. The German midfielder didn’t have a poor game, but Schalke’s pressure nullified his influence in the first half.
- It was Draxler’s 100th appearance for The Royal Blues, making him the youngest Bundesliga player to reach that milestone. Draxler was superb in the first half, dropping deep to create a midfield three, linking up play with the wide men, finding space in between the lines and he opened the scoring in the game.
- Dortmund’s problem in the first half was down their left flank. Grosskreutz was anonymous going forward and he didn’t provide Marcel Schmelzer protection when Schalke broke free on the counter. Despite Bastos getting forward on the left side, he struggled to get past Lukasz Piszczek. Dortmund’s left hand side was free to attack and Schmelzer was exposed by several Farfan and Uchida overloads. Both goals came from Uchida getting forward, as no Dortmund player tracked his runs.
- Huntelaar doubled Schalke’s lead with a superb header from Uchida’s cross. Neven Subotic allowed Huntelaar to gain a yard, and the talisman nodded his header past Roman Weidenfeller from six yards out.
- Klopp made two changes in the second half by replacing Grosskreutz for Reus and bringing on Nuri Sahin for Hummels. Bender formed a centreback pairing with Subotic, while Sahin and Gundogan sat in the midfield.
- The change gave Dortmund a lift, and some attacking impetus going forward. Sahin sat deep and strung passes out to the flanks, while Gundogan was in an advanced position. With Reus drifting in between the lines and Dortmund pushing for a goal, this forced The Royal Blues to sit deeper.
- Schalke suffered a scare early in the second half as Huntelaar was stretchered down the tunnel after picking up a knock. Teemu Pukki replaced the Dutch striker.
- For all the possession that Dortmund had, they finally pegged a goal back. Blaszczykowski played a lovely ball to Lewandowski, and the Polish striker slipped his shot past Timo Hildebrand.
- Keller’s men had their opportunities to kill the game off, but they were wasteful in front of goal. In the final 15 minutes of the match, Pukki and Farfan both missed chances inside the 18-yard box to put the game out of sight. Uchida was unable to get forward like he did in the first half, because Gundogan and Sahin drifted over to protect Schmelzer. Gotze constantly drifting out to the left also prevented the Japanese defender from pushing forward. Dortmund continued to struggle in Schalke’s final third as more men got behind the ball. Lewandowski and Gotze were constantly dropping deeper but they couldn’t find any pockets of space to exploit.
- After a fantastic result midweek against Shakhtar Dontesk, Dortmund fall to their rivals, and hand the Royal Blues their first league double since the 2009/2010 season. The loss puts Klopp men 20 points behind Bayern Munich, but they still sit in second place as Bayern Leverkusen also lost today.
- Keller’s men have pushed into the top four in the Bundesliga with today’s win over their local rivals. The win will give them the confidence to replicate today’s performance in their second leg clash against Galatasaray in three days time. The loss of Huntelaar could play a key factor in whether this side reaches the quarter-finals and finishes in a Champions League spot at the end of the season.
1. Julian Draxler
2. Joel Matip
3. Jefferson Farfan