Schalke opened up a four-point lead over local rivals Borussia Dortmund and tightened their grip on second place in the Bundesliga table with their first Revierderby victory since 2014.
Schalke 2-0 Borussia Dortmund
Goals: 1-0 Konoplyanka (50'), 2-0 Naldo (82')
Dortmund began the 92nd Bundesliga Revierderby on the front foot as they looked to make amends for the 4-0 lead they threw away in the previous meeting, but the match quickly levelled out as both sides got stuck in. Alessandro Schöpf forced Roman Bürki into a good save down low to his right before Marco Reus warmed the gloves of Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann with a well struck free-kick from 30 yards. The game remained perfectly balanced in the opening half an hour with four shots each, but the hosts upped the ante with 15 minutes remaining before the break and had another four efforts on goal, though none posed any real threat to the Dortmund goal.
Schalke continued that momentum into the second half and immediately struck after Daniel Caligiuri, an unsung hero for the Royal Blues this season, dispossessed Borussia captain Marcel Schmelzer and played in Yevhen Konoplyanka, who smashed home one-on-one with Bürki. BVB dropped into fourth place in the table after conceding the goal and looked to respond. Reus again tested Fährmann with a snapshot from a loose ball, but it was comfortably gathered by the Schalke goalkeeper. Weston McKennie came on with 20 minutes remaining as Domenico Tedesco looked to shore up his midfield. The three points were secure for the hosts though when their hero from the previous fixture Naldo rifled home a curling free-kick from 30 yards to send the Veltins-Arena into raptures. The result sees Schalke go four points clear in second, while Dortmund slip below Bayer Leverkusen into fourth on goal difference.
- This was Schalke’s first derby win since August 2014 following two losses and four consecutive draws.Schalke's Brazilian centre-back Naldo is the top-scoring defender in the Bundesliga this season with seven. An aerial threat with a blistering free-kick, the 35-year-old has scored 46 goals in his Bundesliga career.Tedesco's side have the second-best defensive record in the division. Only champions Bayern (22) have conceded fewer than Schalke (33).The Royal Blues already have 12 points more at this stage of the season than they managed in the whole of 2016/17 with four games still remaining.Konoplyanka scored Schalke’s 2,500th goal in their Bundesliga history.Reus made his 200th competitive appearance for Dortmund, while Lukasz Piszczek played his 200th game for the club in the Bundesliga.
Watch: Weston McKennie reflects on his first Revierderby win
Schalke: Fährmann (c) – Stambouli, Naldo, Kehrer – Schöpf, Goretzka (McKennie 71'), Bentaleb, Caligiuri – Harit (Di Santo 87'), Konoplyanka (Pjaca 74')– Burgstaller
Unused subs: Nübel, Meyer, Teuchert, Oczipka
Absentees: Nastasic (suspended, knee ligament), Embolo (muscle strain)
Coach: Domenico Tedesco
Dortmund: Bürki – Piszczek, Sokratis, Toprak, Schmelzer (c) (Götze 86')– Dahoud (Sancho 79'), Sahin – Pulisic, Reus, Philipp (Schürrle 46') - Batshuayi
Unused subs: Weidenfeller, Akanji, Castro, Weigl
Absentees: Akanji (illness), Zagadou (thigh), Rode (groin), Guerreiro (match fitness), Kagawa (ankle)
Coach: Peter Stöger