Gelsenkirchen - Joel Matip’s second-half header helped give FC Schalke 04 a 2-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in the Royal Blues’ 1600th Bundesliga fixture on Wednesday.
Goals: 1-0 Matip (76’), 2-0 Sane (90+1’)
Frankfurt came into the game unbeaten in four, but Schalke's Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting served notice of the hosts’ intentions with a shot Lukas Hradecky fielded with difficulty in the early minutes. The Finland international goalkeeper was more assured in shooting up a hand to halt Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's close-range effort midway through the opening period. Frankfurt's attacking ambitions were stunted by Haris Seferovic limping off, though Luc Castaignos might have given them a half-time lead had he been able to reach an Alex Meier cross that flashed across goal.
Makoto Hasebe, whose workrate and crossing from the right posed the hosts a constant threat, volleyed narrowly wide after the Schalke defence had failed to clear a corner properly, and Alexandar Ignojovski then pulled the ball across the face of goal only for no Frankfurt player to have gambled on him doing so. A Johannes Geis free-kick found the head of Matip, who headed straight at Hradecky, but when the pair linked up from a corner just two minutes later, the Eintracht goalkeeper was beaten by the Schalke centre-back's powerful, well-directed header. Ralf Fährmann turned away a Stefan Aigner header and a Marc Stendera strike with Matip adding a last-ditch clearance when Meier appeared certain to equalise as Schalke clung on. Leroy Sane showed remarkable poise in rounding Hradecky twice, before scoring to seal victory in added time.
Man of the Match
Matip provided the breakthrough for Schalke, but his block on the goalline – when Meier must have thought he would level – was just as valuable.
They may have been beaten, but Frankfurt showed enough in Gelsenkirchen to suggest they could trouble those at the top end of the table. Are we seeing the Armin Veh effect in Frankfurt once again ?
- Frankfurt came into the game unbeaten in four Bundesliga outings.
- Frankfurt remain without a win in Gelsenkirchen in the 21st century. They last won there in May 1999.
- Matip has scored 15 of his 16 Bundesliga goals from set-pieces.
Schalke: Fährmann - Riether , Matip, Neustädter, Kolasinac - Geis - Höger (Sane 70’), Meyer (Höwedes 83’), Goretzka - Huntelaar, Choupo-Moting (Di Santo 76’)
Frankfurt: Hradecky - Ignjovski, Russ, Zambrano (Abraham 52’), Oczipka - Reinartz - Hasebe, Stendera - Meier - Seferovic (Aigner 26’), Castaignos (Waldschmidt 78’)