Five pivotal first-half minutes effectively ended Schalke’s hopes as goals from Hamit Altintop and Burak Yilmaz turned the game on its head after Roman Neustädter’s opener. Michel Bastos rekindled the hosts' hope, but as they searched for a winner, Umut Bulut was on hand to put the encounter to bed for the visitors.
Home from home
Galatasaray, urged on by more than just the pocket of fans packed together in a sea of gold and red, started brightly with Altintop firing off the first warning shot before Didier Drogba blasted wide. The visitors were laying siege to the Schalke goal, yet it was the home team who broke the deadlock when Neustädter tucked the ball in after Jefferson Farfan’s corner sparked a frantic goalmouth scramble.
Galatasaray didn't lose heart and continued to pepper Timo Hildebrand's goal, as they once again went close through Wesley Sneijder. The visitors soon reaped their reward, though, when former Schalke midfielder Altintop unleashed a fierce drive from nearly 35 yards, which beat Hildebrand with the aid of the inside of the post. The travelling fans’ celebrations had hardly died down when they were on their feet for a second time, celebrating Yilmaz's composed finish, which put their side in the driving seat.
Schalke hopes revived
Schalke emerged for the second half knowing they needed to score twice without conceding to progress, and Benedikt Höwedes sounded the battle cry after a group huddle which set the tone. However, his mistake nearly allowed Yilmaz, the competition's top scorer, to grab a third only for Sneijder to make a mess of his pass, much to the German defender’s relief.
Julian Draxler, who had spent much of the first half in the shadows, suddenly burst onto the scene and looked to have inspired Schalke. His winding run and shot just off target was the prelude to the equaliser, which came seconds after Marco Höger rattled the crossbar. Farfan picked up the rebound and the ball eventually found its way to Atsuto Uchida, who squared for Bastos to revive Schalke’s hopes.
Gala snatch it late on
Draxler led the Royal Blues forwards again in search of a winner as Galatasaray packed out their backline. Chinedu Obasi and Max Meyer were thrown on by Schalke coach Jens Keller for the last five minutes, but not even the fresh legs could help break down a regimented Turkish side.
Instead it was the visitors who broke forward to truly end the Bundesliga side’s hopes of reaching the last eight as substitute Bulut added a third deep into stoppage time.
Schalke: Hildebrand - Uchida, Höwedes, Matip, Kolasinac - Höger (Meyer 85'), Neustädter (Fuchs 46') - Farfan, Draxler, Michel Bastos - Pukki (Obasi 85')
Galatasaray: Muslera - Eboue, Nounkeu, Semih (Zan 80'), Riera - Sneijder ( Amrabat 69'), Selcuk Inan, Felipe Melo, Hamit Altintop - Drogba, Burak (Umut Bulut 86')
Goals: 1-0 (Neustädter 17'), 1-1 (Hamit Altintop 37'), 1-2 (Burak 42'), 2-2 (Bastos 63'), 2-3 (Umut Bulut 90+4')