First goals and first win for Schalke against Hertha Berlin
Schalke finally got off the mark in 2019/20, registering their first Bundesliga goals and first win of the season in a 3-0 victory at home to Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
Schalke 3-0 Hertha Berlin
Goals: 1-0 Stark (o.g. 38'), 2-0 Rekik (o.g. 48'), 3-0 Kenny (85')
Schalke's new bold, possession-based playing style under David Wagner almost got them into trouble in the early stages of the game, as Hertha's high pressing forced them into mistakes. Vladimir Darida and Dodi Lukebakio were very nearly the beneficiaries, but the former dragged his shot from the edge of the box wide of the target, before Alexander Nübel saved a fierce drive from Lukebakio. The hosts had posed very little threat in the final third, but nevertheless took the lead shortly before the break when Daniel Caligiuri's cut-back from the right was diverted into the net by Hertha defender Niklas Stark. Guido Burgstaller should have made it two moments later, but he blazed over an open goal after robbing Stark of the ball on the edge of the six-yard box.
The Austrian forward made amends of sorts early in the second half, latching onto Weston McKennie's pass before shrugging off his defender and firing a shot at goal that was inadvertently bundled over the line by Karim Rekik. The visitors thought they had pulled a goal back almost instantly, but Vedad Ibisevic's effort was correctly disallowed for offside. Hertha boss Ante Covic responded by making three attacking substitutions in a bid to find a way back into the game, but aside from a Rekik header from a free-kick that tickled the roof of the net, they never seriously troubled their hosts. Instead, it was Schalke who found the net again, Jonjoe Kenny drilling in a superb goal from the edge of the box to seal the points late on.
- McKennie made his 50th Bundesliga appearance here, just three days after his 21st birthday. The USA international has started all three of the club's league games this season.
- Schalke boss Wagner kept the same starting XI for the first two games of the season. With Matija Nastasic absent through illness, however, he made his first change of the campaign by bringing Salif Sane into the backline.
- Hertha scored two own goals in one game for the first time ever.
- The Royal Blues scored their first Bundesliga goals of the season here, the last top-flight club to find the net this term.
- Schalke have beaten Hertha 21 times in the Bundesliga since the turn of the millennium, which is more than they have any other team.
- Kenny scored his first ever Bundesliga goal here. It was Schalke's first shot on target all game.
Schalke: Nübel (c) – Kenny, Stambouli, Sane, Oczipka – McKennie, Mascarell (Schöpf 88') – Caligiuri (Kutucu 81'), Harit, Raman (Serdar 64') – Burgstaller
Unused subs: Schubert, Kabak, Uth, Skrzybski, Mercan
Out: Bentaleb (groin), Matondo (foot), Nastasic (ill)
Coach: David Wagner
Hertha: Jarstein – Klünter, Stark, Rekik, Plattenhardt – Grujic, Darida – Lukebakio (Leckie 77'), Duda, Mittelstädt (Dilrosun 61') – Ibisevic (c) (Selke 61')
Unused subs: Kraft, Skjelbred, Löwen, Kalou, Torunarigha, Redan
Out: Boyata (thigh), Esswein (compassionate leave), Maier (knee)
Coach: Ante Covic
Watch: Kenny: "A massive win"
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