New Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco got his tenure off to the perfect start as the Royal Blues put in a disciplined performance to record a 2-0 win over last season's Bundesliga runners-up RB Leipzig.
Schalke 2-0 Leipzig
Goals: 1-0 Bentaleb (pen. 43'), 2-0 Konoplyanka (73')
It was an evenly-balanced encounter at the Veltins Arena, with the hosts forming a solid unit in new coach Domenico Tedesco's first game in charge to deny Leipzig any space to work in. Schalke were also unafraid to play long balls forward to get around the visitors' relentless pressing, and the tactic paid dividends when Franco Di Santo latched onto a pass and was felled in the box by Dayot Upamecano. Nabil Bentaleb expertly converted the ensuing spot-kick to give Schalke the lead.
The introduction of Emil Forsberg at half-time breathed greater guile into Leipzig's play and last season's leading assist provider thought he'd added another to his tally after teeing up Yussuf Poulsen to put the ball in the net, only for it to be ruled out for offside. The away side continued to push for an equaliser but were caught out by a counter-attack they themselves would have been proud of. Yevhen Konoplyanka was played through one-on-one with goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi and made no mistake to seal a confidence-boosting win for the hosts.
Man of the match
With a fierce dipping drive early in the first half and a clinical penalty to break the deadlock, Bentaleb was impressive throughout for Schalke, helping control the midfield to stun Leipzig.
Take note ✍️ That's how you take a penalty ☄️ https://t.co/ZX6TxS12kM— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) 19 August 2017
- Stefan Ilsanker ran further (11.75km) than any other player on the pitch.
- Konoplyanka's strike was only his second ever goal in the Bundesliga.
- Leipzig collectively covered more ground (115.7) than Schalke did (114.5).
- Schalke are now unbeaten in eight at home (W4, D4) - Amine Hamit had an impressive Bundesliga debut for Schalke, setting the team's second goal and winning an impressive 62 per cent of all challenges.
Fährmann (c) - Kehrer, Nastasic, Naldo - Caligiuri, Goretzka, Bentaleb, Oczipka – Harit (McKennie 78'), Konoplyanka (Meyer 89') - Di Santo (Reese 63')
Coach: Domenico Tedesco
Leipzig: Gulasci - Klostermann, Orban (c), Upamecano, Halstenberg (Forsberg 46') - Keita, Ilsanker - Sabitzer, Laimer (Augustin 76'), Poulsen (Bruma 75') - Werner
Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl
Watch: Bentaleb: "Important win over Champions League team"