Klaas-Jan Huntelaar celebrates Schalke's opener at the BayArena. - © © gettyimages / Baron
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar celebrates Schalke's opener at the BayArena. - © © gettyimages / Baron

Huntelaar: 'A draw's a fair result'

There was frustration in both camps after Bayer 04 Leverkusen scored a late equaliser to draw 1-1 at home to FC Schalke 04 on Sunday evening.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1-1 FC Schalke 04

Goals: 0-1 Choupo-Moting (50’), 1-1 Riether (o.g. 85’)

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke forward): “If you’re leading so close to the final whistle then obviously you want to win the game. Unfortunately we weren’t able to, but a draw’s a fair result overall I think. We showed we can compete with a Champions League team, and we played especially well in the second half. It’s a shame we lost two points here through such an unfortunate own goal.”

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Schalke forward): “It’s annoying to concede so close to full time. We should have held on for a few more minutes, but if you view the match objectively then a draw is an OK result. Leverkusen had some good chances just before the break. It’s a shame we couldn’t win today. On a personal level the goal will do me good, but if we play well as a team then the goals will come anyway. Leon [Goretzka] played a perfect through-ball and I was relieved to see the ball go in. Now we have to continue working on finishing off our counterattacks with greater purpose.”

Sascha Riether (Schalke defender): “There’s no doubt that we’d have loved to have taken all three points. We started well but allowed Leverkusen into the game more and more. We lost the ball too frequently. We had some decent chances on the counter after the break and if we’d scored a second goal then we’d have won. Their equaliser was just really bad luck. I had to be where I was in case Chicharito pulled the ball back into the middle. Ralf [Fährmann] blocked the ball and I just couldn’t get out of the way. Obviously I’m down after scoring such a silly own goal, I certainly did score it deliberately.”

Benedikt Höwedes (Schalke defender): “There’s not a lot Sascha could do about the own goal. We should have prevented that situation arising by defending better before it got to that point. It’s frustrating to share the points, especially as we had some chances on the break to extend our lead. It’s annoying that we weren’t able to take a bigger step forward.”

Andre Breitenreiter (Schalke coach): “It’s very frustrating that we conceded the equaliser through an own goal just before the final whistle. But overall I think 1-1 is a fair result given the way the game panned out. We started well but became more careless after 30 minutes or so. We were lucky to go into the break with the score at 0-0. We corrected a few things at half-time and after the interval we played well and scored a quick goal. Unfortunately we weren’t able to finish off a few counter-attacks after that though.”

Roger Schmidt (Leverkusen coach): “We needed a bot of time to get going in the first half but then we created some good chances. Unfortunately we weren’t able to go in front. The team played very passionately. Our problem this season is that we aren’t scoring the goals all of our efforts around the opposition penalty are deserve. It was hard for us after Schalke went 1-0 up. We needed 15 minutes to get a hold of ourselves again. We may have been a bit lucky with the own goal, but we got the reward for our hard work.

Kevin Kampl (Leverkusen midfielder): “We had a lot of good chances in the first half. We needed a few minutes to get into the game but then we did really well. We should have gone in front because then it’s easier after that. As it turned out though, we ended up chasing the game at home in order to get a point. We need to learn to take the lead and then to professionally and clinically finish matches off.”

Karim Bellarabi (Leverkusen midfielder): “We were much the better team in the first half and had a few really good chances. I think we can be pretty satisfied with a 1-1 draw even though I think we could have won today. Chicharito is a typical goalgetter. He’s always in the right place, so he’s very important for us.”