Nabil Bentaleb gave the Royal Blues the lead from the penalty spot inside three minutes following Orel Mangala’s challenge on Thilo Kehrer. Stuttgart responded well, however, and went close to equalising through Benjamin Pavard and Simon Terodde, before Chadrac Akolo eventually restored parity four minutes before the interval.
The hosts flew out of the traps after half-time, scoring twice in as many minutes to put the game beyond the Swabians’ reach. Naldo headed home Bastian Oczipka’s pin-point delivery to make it 2-1 before Guido Burgstaller’s first goal of the season extended Die Knappen’s advantage. Terodde went close to pulling one back for Hannes Wolf’s charges, but Schalke held on to seal the points.
Man of the match
Naldo celebrated his 35th birthday in style on Sunday, his towering header from Oczipka’s cross giving the hosts the perfect start to the second half. He went close to doubling his tally eleven minutes from time, smashing a free-kick against the crossbar from fully 40 yards.
Watch: Naldo reflects on turning 35
- Bentaleb has now scored all three of his penalties for Schalke in the Bundesliga.
- Congolese midfielder Akolo netted his first Bundesliga goal at the VELTINS Arena.
- The Royal Blues found the net with their first two attempts of the second half.
- Naldo scored his first home goal for the Gelsenkirchen club on his 35th birthday.
- Burgstaller is the first Austrian to score ten Bundesliga goals for Schalke (compatriot Alessandro Schöpf is currently on nine).
Schalke: Fährmann - Kehrer, Naldo (c), Nastasic - Stambouli, Goretzka, Bentaleb (Caligiuri, 46'), Oczipka - Harit (McKennie, 76'), Meyer (Burgstaller, 46') - Konoplyanka
Coach: Domenico Tedesco
Stuttgart: Zieler - Beck (Asano, 72'), Pavard, Baumgartl (c), Kaminski, Aogo - Mangala (Ascacibar, 62'), Gentner - Akolo (Donis, 60'), Brekalo - Terodde
Coach: Hannes Wolf