Gelsenkirchen - FC Schalke 04 emerged victorious in an electrifying 145th Ruhrderby, overcoming arch rivals Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at the Veltins Arena.
The hosts were largely in command before the break and Cameroonian internationals Joel Matip and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting put them into a two-goal lead. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulled one back for Dortmund, but the visitors were unable to make their second-half dominance count, eventually paying dearly for mistakes before the break.
Schalke settled into their rhythm quickly against their Ruhr district opponents, repeatedly passing their way towards the Dortmund goal in the opening stages. Sidney Sam gave Dortmund a first serious warning only two minutes into the game, seeing his effort saved by Roman Weidenfeller, before Choupo-Moting was thwarted. The BVB keeper was eventually beaten in the ninth minute, however, when Royal Blues centre-back Matip was left to head home.
It was the wake-up call BVB needed, with Jürgen Klopp's men slowly starting to find a way into the game in. Both Kevin Großkreutz and Ciro Immobile saw their sides' first attacking efforts blocked after 15 minutes of play, but it were the home side who remained the more threatening side. They were soon able to double their advantage when Choupo-Moting took advantage of a poor clearance from Adrian Ramos to lash in a second.
Dortmund had been victorious in three of the sides' four previous meetings at the Veltins Arena, and they nevertheless responded well to the setback, as Ramos set up Aubameyang to sweep home from inside the box and notch in this fixture for the second season running. Lukasz Piszczek then came close to levelling matters shortly before the break, with Ralf Fährmann doing well to keep the Polish right-back's effort out.
The visitors kept up their momentum after the interval, breaking forward with pace and purpose and as they began to enjoy the larger share of the possession. Immobile and Piszczek from distance, as well as Aubameyang with a free-kick, all sent purposeful efforts towards the Schalke goal, but none could beat an alert Fährmann on his 26th birthday.
No joy for Kagawa
Intending to add creativity to his Dortmund attack, Klopp threw on Shinji Kagawa near the hour stroke of the hour, with the Japanese settling into the five-time champions' offensive midfield, but clear-cut goalscoring chances became increasingly difficult to come by as the game wore on against a stiff Royal Blues defence.
The Japanese international was at the heart of most of Borussia's action as Schalke's disciplined back line largely held the Schwarz-Gelben to long-range efforts. Dortmund threw bodies forward in the dying stages, but it was Schalke that almost grabbed a third through Huntelaar in added time. The final whistle sounded soon afterwards to signal Schalke's first home win of the season and allow Jens Keller's side to equal Dortmund's record of 30 Revierderby victories.
Felix-Seaman Höschele reporting at the Veltins Arena
Line-ups and statistics