Both teams started the match at breakneck pace, but it was Werder who drew first blood when Lamine Sane lashed home on the rebound after Ludwig Augustinsson’s header had struck the post. Bremen’s lead lasted just two minutes, however, Milos Veljkovic heading into his own net following a defensive mix-up.
Yevhen Konoplyanka curled a fierce effort wide of the target within minutes of the restart, before Fin Bartels fired over from point-blank range at the other end as play continued to ebb and flow. The game appeared to be heading for a draw until Goretzka - left unmarked in the Bremen penalty area - ghosted in to slot home and earn the Royal Blues all three points.
Watch: Leon Goretzka and Schalke excited to face Bayern Munich!
Man of the match
Goretzka was at the heart of most of Schalke’s best work at the Weser Stadium and got his just rewards with his late goal - his first of the 2017/18 season.
- Sane’s goal was his first ever at the Weser Stadium.
- Ishak Belfodil, a 19th-minute replacement for the injured Max Kruse, won more duels (20) than any other player.
- Breel Embolo made his Schalke comeback in Bremen, 336 days after his last Bundesliga appearance.
- The Royal Blues scored twice from a corner at the Weser Stadium, having managed only two goals from corners in the entire 2016/17 campaign.
Bremen: Pavlenka - Bauer, Sane, Veljkovic - Gebre Selassie (Hajrovic, 84'), Kainz, Eggestein, Delaney (c), Augustinsson - Bartels, Kruse (Belfodil, 19')
Coach: Alexander Nouri
Schalke: Fährmann (c) - Kehrer, Naldo, Nastasic - Caligiuri, Goretzka, Stambouli (Bentaleb, 46'), Oczipka - Harit (Embolo, 80'), Konoplyanka (Di Santo, 60') - Burgstaller
Coach: Domenico Tedesco