There was nothing to separate the sides as a disciplined Schalke earned a point in a 0-0 draw at Borussia-Park in Monchengladbach on Saturday evening.
Saturday’s late match got off to a good start with both sides starting strongly. The home side bossed possession, but neither was able to seriously trouble the other's goalkeeper initially. The best chance arrived when Schalke’s Benito Raman used his trademark pace to spring the offside trap and run through on goal, but he was let down by a wayward slice off the outside of his boot. That opportunity gave the game an injection of intensity, with the rest of the first half played at a frantic pace, although clear sights of goal remained at a premium.
The two sides re-emerged after the break unchanged and ready to go out and grab a goal. Alassane Plea had the best chance of the match after being put through on goal via a mistake by Matija Nastasic; he did well to beat Alexander Nübel but his shot agonisingly found only the upright. Five minutes later, it was Schalke’s turn to rue missed chances. Nastasic was fed in the box by Weston McKennie but his shot was directed straight into the arms of Yann Sommer. With less than fifteen minutes remaining, Breel Embolo made way for Raffael, who made an immediate impact with a fierce shot forcing a pure reaction save from Nübel and announcing a pulsating end to the match. There were shots, but nothing could beat the keepers today.
- Marcus Thuram, son of world and European champion Lilian, made his Bundesliga debut, making him the sixth Frenchman to play for Mönchengladbach.
- New Gladbach coach Rose has never lost a competitive home game as a first-team coach in professional football (W42, D11).
- Gladbach’s starting XI had an average age of just 25.3 years. In all of last season, Gladbach never fielded such a young side.
- Gladbach are now unbeaten in six Bundesliga games against Schalke (W3, D3), winning both last season.
- Gladbach had twice as many attempts on goal (16) as Schalke (8).
- Meetings between these two sides almost always mean goals: The last time both teams failed to score was in early 2006.
Gladbach: Sommer (c) – Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Wendt – Benes, Zakaria, Neuhaus (Johnson 63') – Embolo (Raffael 77') – Thuram (Traore 82'), Plea
Unused subs: Sippel, Lang, Herrmann, Beyer, Bennetts, Herzog
Out: Stindl (broken leg), Kramer (ankle), Hofmann (knee), Villalba (muscle injury)
Coach: Marco Rose
Schalke: Nübel (c) – Kenny, Stambouli, Nastasic, Oczipka – Mascarell, Harit (Mercan 90+3'), McKennie (Sane 85') – Caligiuri, Burgstaller, Raman (Reese 74')
Unused subs: Langer, Kutucu, Skrzybski
Out: Bentaleb (adductor), Schubert (hip), Carls (ankle), Kabak (fitness)
Coach: David Wagner