FC Bayern Munich’s draw at home to Mainz had opened an unlikely door for Leipzig to put a touch more pressure on the league leaders. Knowing that a win would take them six points behind the men from Munich, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side duly began with their customary aggression, overwhelming the home side in the early stages.
Emil Forsberg flashed a free-kick over the bar, before Timo Werner expertly glanced a Yussuf Poulsen cross into the far corner for the opening goal. Crippled by nerves and misplaced passes, Schalke could not establish any kind of rhythm and could have fallen two behind had Forsberg done better with another good chance inside the box.
Schalke had created very little of note going forward in the first half, but they responded by making a flying start to the second period, veteran striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar stooping low to head in an equaliser within a minute of the restart. Leipzig were knocked out of their stride by the goal, although Schalke needed a brilliant goalline clearance from Holger Badstuber to prevent the visitors re-taking the lead.
As the game progressed, however, the goalmouth action at either end dried up, resulting in Werner and Forsberg being withdrawn after very quiet second-half displays. Neither side were able to muster much of an effort to go for a winner, and a draw was about the fair result.
Man of the Match
Werner stood out favourably for the away side for his superbly-taken goal and excellent first-half performance, although he faded in the second period.
Their slim chances of catching Bayern at the top of the table will have receded after this result, but Hasenhüttl's side remain on course to finish second, which would be an outstanding achievement in their debut Bundesliga season.
- Leipzig have not lost this season after scoring first, winning 19 and drawing four.
- Werner opened the scoring against Schalke in the Hinrunde as well.
- Huntelaar’s goal was only his second of the league season. He last netted against Cologne back in September.
Schalke: Fährmann – Coke, Höwedes, Badstuber, Kolasinac – Caligiuri (Schöpf 49’), Stambouli, Bentaleb, Meyer (Riether 82') – Burgstaller (Di Santo 74’), Huntelaar
Coach: Markus Weinzierl
Leipzig: Gulacsi – Bernardo, Orban, Compper, Halstenberg – Forsberg (Ilsanker 76'), Demme, Keita, Sabitzer – Werner (Burke 83'), Poulsen (Selke 90')
Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl
Watch: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was delighted to make a scoring return to the side.