Leroy Sane and Max Meyer stole the show as FC Schalke 04 recorded a deserved 2-0 win away to SV Darmstadt 98 on Matchday 19.
A Johannes Geis free kick that rattled the upright with Darmstadt goalkeeper Christian Mathenia beaten looked like being the highlight of a stop-start first half not exactly helped by wet and blustery conditions. Schalke got their noses in front before the break, though, with Sane forcing Mathenia into evasive action at his near post and Meyer holding his nerve to sweep home the follow-up from close range.
Meyer returned the favour shortly after the restart with a beautifully threaded pass for Sane, who calmly fired under the advancing Mathenia to give Schalke a comfortable two-goal lead. Darmstadt had picked up seven points from losing positions this season, but the Lilies only managed to threaten Ralf Fährmann’s goal in the dying stages as Schalke eased over the finish line to post their first Bundesliga win of 2016.
Man of the match
Showcasing his expert touch, movement, turn of pace and finishing ability, 21-year-old Sane underlined his status as German football’s next big thing.
Some fantastic combination play between Knappenschmeide youth academy graduates Meyer and Sane was the catalyst for a priceless Schalke win in the context of the UEFA Champions League places.
- Meyer’s opener represented his first goal away from the VELTINS Arena since December 2014.
- Sane has scored five Bundesliga goals so far this season.
- Meyer has only ever been directly involved in two goals in a single match once before.
- Schalke have kept six clean sheets this term.
Darmstadt: Mathenia - Garics, Sulu (c), Rajkovic, Caldirola - Niemeyer, Gondorf (Sailer 77’) - Heller, Rausch (Kempe 61’) - Rosenthal (Vrancic 61’) - Wagner
Schalke: Fährmann - Junior Caicara, J. Matip, Neustädter, Kolasinac - Geis, Goretzka - L. Sane (Schöpf 89’), Meyer (Höjbjerg 84’), Choupo-Moting - Huntelaar (c) (M. Friedrich 90')