Leroy Sane scored a second-half header to salvage a point for a lacklustre FC Schalke 04 in a 1-1 draw with FC Ingolstadt 04 on Saturday.
Keen to bounce back after their midweek DFB Cup exit, Schalke started promisingly, and had Klaas-Jan Huntelaar been able to keep his shot down after lunging to reach a searching cross, they might have had a first-minute lead. Instead, they were stifled by their industrious opponents with visiting goalkeeper Ramazan Özcan only called into urgent action once when he ensured a disappointing end to a promising Max Meyer/Sane-led counter-attack.
With Schalke seemingly in control but unable to find a killer touch, Ingolstadt showed them how it is done. Mathew Leckie was released down the left, and his cross was volleyed home smartly by Tobias Levels.
The half-time introduction of Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting gave Schalke added impetus going forward. Junior Caicara struck a post with a shot from the edge of the penalty area, but it was not until Sane surged forward to head home a Choupo-Moting cross the hosts finally picked a way through their opponents’ sturdy rearguard.
Man of the Match
Without the half-time introduction of Choupo-Moting, Schalke would surely have lost. The Cameroon international added verve to a listless line-up, and superbly picked out Sane for the equaliser.
Schalke's solid start to the season looked to be unravelling with two defeats in their three games ahead of Matchday 11. Is this the kind of battling display they needed to re-find their momentum?
- Schalke have picked up just four points from their last four matches, having suffered just one defeat in their opening seven Bundesliga games.
- Ingolstadt pick up a point after back-to-back defeats.
- Levels claimed his first goal of the season, and only the second in 113 top-flight appearances.
- Sane's strike was his fourth top-flight goal of the campaign.
- This was the first-ever Bundesliga meeting between the pair.
Schalke: Fährmann – Junior Caicara, Höwedes, J. Matip, Aogo – Goretzka (Hojbjerg 68'), Kolasinac (Choupo-Moting 46') – Sane, Meyer – Di Santo, Huntelaar
Ingolstadt: Özcan – Levels, M. Matip, Hübner, Suttner – Bregerie – Hartmann (Bauer 73'), Christiansen, Gross, Leckie (Morales 79') - Kachunga (Hinterseer 56')