Schalke kicked off their pre-season tour of China with an entertaining 3-3 draw against English Premier League side Southampton in Kunshan.

Schalke 3-3 Southampton

Goals: 1-0 Konoplyanka (21'), 1-1 Redmond (45'+1), 1-2 Reed (48'), 2-2 Serdar (55'), 2-3 Stambouli (o.g. 68'), 3-3 Skrzybski (84')

Coach Domenico Tedesco started with a line-up that combined both experience and youth, but included a first Schalke start for new signing Mark Uth. USA international Weston McKennie was used at the heart of defence. Both sides set out to attack from the off in humid conditions near Shanghai, but it was the Royal Blues who struck first thanks to Yevhen Konoplyanka’s deflected effort. Southampton had pushed but rarely looked like beating goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann until first-half injury time and Nathan Redmond’s strike from Charlie Austin’s flick.

Both sides sent out completely different teams for the second half as Tedesco and former Bayern Munich striker Mark Hughes looked to get minutes into their players’ legs. It meant Schalke debuts for midfielders Suat Serdar, Omar Mascarell and Steven Skrzybski. It was former Mainz man Serdar who brought the game back to 2-2 after Harrison Reed’s early goal, curling the ball exquisitely beyond the reach of former England goalkeeper Fraser Forster. The Saints took the lead again with 20 minutes remaining as Jake Hesketh’s shot deflected off Benjamin Stambouli and past the helpless Alexander Nübel, but another new face, Skrzybski, fired home a swerving effort late on to ensure Schalke start their pre-season undefeated as they gear up for a return to UEFA Champions League football. The next match of their tour is on Wednesday against new partner club Hebei China Fortune.

Line-ups

Schalke first half: Fährmann – Kehrer, Wiemann, McKennie, Baba - Goller, Kübler, Bentaleb, Konoplyanka – Teuchert, Uth
Schalke second half: Nübel – Riether, Stambouli, Insua (Geis 72’), Czyborra (Boujellab 72’) – Skrzybski, Serdar, Mascarell, Tekpetey – Di Santo, Kutucu (Krüger 84’)
Absentees: Sane, Harit, Burgstaller, Schöpf (all holiday), Embolo (World Cup), Oczipka (groin), Höwedes (considering future)
Coach: Domenico Tedesco

Southamption first half: McCarthy – Stephens, Hoedt, Targett – Redmond, Lemina, Höjbjerg, Armstrong, Bertrand – Long, Austin
Southampton second half: Forster – Valery, Romeu, McQueen – Sims, Reed, Clasie, Ward-Prowse, Hesketh (Slattery 90’+2) – Gabbiadini, Gallagher
Absentees: Yoshida, Soares (both holiday), Elyounsoussi (joining later)
Coach: Mark Hughes

Match stats

  • Schalke and Southampton had never met before in a competitive fixture.
  • Serdar and Skrzybski both scored on their debuts for Schalke.
  • Schalke beat Besiktas and drew with Inter Milan on their last tour of China.
  • New signing Uth netted 14 goals in the Bundesliga last season – third behind Robert Lewandowski and Nils Petersen.
  • Charlie Austin was Southampton’s joint-top scorer (7 goals) last season alongside Dusan Tadic, who has left for Ajax.

As it happened

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