Stefan Kießling grabbed a dramatic late winner as Bayer 04 Leverkusen clinched a 1-0 win against ten-men FC Schalke 04 in Matchday 14’s curtain-closer.
FC Schalke 04 0-1 Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Goals: 0-1 Kießling (89')
With Benedikt Höwedes suspended and Matija Nastasic out injured, the game got off to a terrible start for Schalke, who found themselves a man down and without a recognized centre-back with less than five minutes played after Naldo felled Chicharito as the last man. Nevertheless, the hosts posed the greater threat in the opening half an hour with Yevhen Konoplyanka twice going close to breaking the deadlock. With Schalke sitting deep, Leverkusen lacked the pace or creativity to break them down but almost took the lead with their first real sight of goal, only for Kießling to drag his effort wide as the sides went in level at the break.
Leverkusen head coach Roger Schmidt brought on Kai Havertz and Vladlen Yurchenko at the break to try and swing the game in his side’s favour, but there was little change to proceedings as Schalke continued to carve out chances on the counter. Konoplyanka snatched at an effort with teammates better placed before Sead Kolasinac’s volley dipped just wide of Bernd Leno’s goal. The visitors turned up the pressure in the final 20 minutes and, after Jonathan Tah’s tap-in was ruled out for offside, Kießling was on hand to head home a 89th-minute winner to break Schalke hearts and send Leverkusen home with all three points.
Man of the match
Kießling’s first goal of the season could not have come at a better time as it spared Leverkusen’s blushes in Gelsenkirchen. The striker put in a real shift up front, winning 15 challenges, but it will be his match-winning heroics that will get tongues wagging.
- Naldo has been sent off three times in his Bundesliga career. All three have been straight reds for last-man challenges on home soil.Only three players have been sent off faster than Naldo (204 seconds) in Bundesliga history: Youssef Mohamad (93 seconds), Andreas Ivanschitz (188 seconds) and Markus Babbel (193 seconds).Stefan Kießling scored in the Bundesliga for the first time since 14 May 2016 against FC Ingolstadt 04.
Schalke: Fährmann (c) - Kehrer, Naldo, Kolasinac - Geis (Avdijaj 90+1’) - Schöpf, Goretzka, Meyer (Bentaleb 79’), Baba - Choupo-Moting, Konoplyanka (Stambouli 87’)
Coach: Markus Weinzierl
Leverkusen: Leno (c) - Henrichs, Tah, Toprak (Dragovic 58’), Wendell - Aranguiz (Havertz 46’), Baumgartlinger (Yurchenko 46’) - Brandt, Calhanoglu - Chicharito, Kießling
Coach: Roger Schmidt