The Royal Blues made just two changes to the team that beat PAOK in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, but they showed no sign of fatigue as Schöpf tucked home Daniel Caligiuri’s left-wing cross to give Markus Weinzierl’s side the lead with just over a minute on the clock. Leon Goretzka struck the foot of the post just after the half-hour mark, before Anthony Modeste restored parity two minutes before half time with a clinical finish past a stranded Ralf Fährmann.
Cologne started the second half with more urgency and Yuya Osako went within a whisker of giving the hosts the lead with a dipping drive that whistled just the wrong side of Fährmann’s left-hand post. Guido Burgstaller and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting both spurned golden opportunities to earn the visitors all three points in the closing stages, as both sides were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.
Man of the Match
Schöpf not only gave Schalke an early lead, he also covered more ground than any other player at the RheinEnergieSTADION. The Austria international has become a permanent fixture in Weinzierl’s side in recent months - and it does not take a genius to work out why.
The draw extends Schalke’s unbeaten run in all competitions to five matches. As well as collecting four points from league games against Bayern Munich (1-1) and Hertha Berlin (2-0), Weinzierl’s team also registered comprehensive wins over Sandhausen in the DFB Cup and PAOK in the Europa League, ensuring that the Royal Blues are fighting on all three fronts going into the final three months of the campaign.
- Schöpf’s second-minute strike was Schalke’s fastest goal this season.
- Caligiuri now has more assists for the Royal Blues this campaign (two) than he managed for former club Wolfsburg in the Hinrunde.
- The last Cologne player to net 17 goals in his first 21 appearances of a league campaign was Klaus Allofs in 1984/85.
65 - Alessandro Schöpf has scored the fastest goal for @s04_en in the Bundesliga since 2014. Beginning.— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) February 19, 2017
Cologne: Kessler - Sörensen, Subotic, Heintz - Olkowski, Höger, Hector (c), Rausch - Jojic (Zoller 75'), Osako - Modeste
Coach: Peter Stöger
Schalke: Fährmann - Höwedes (c), Naldo, Badstuber - Stambouli - Schöpf, Goretzka, Bentaleb (Kehrer 90+2'), Kolasinac - Burgstaller (Choupo-Moting 78'), Caligiuri (Meyer 67')
Coach: Markus Weinzierl
Watch: Schalke's Bentaleb believes his side possibly could have had more from the game in Cologne: