The Revierderby took a while to get going on Sunday afternoon, however the match didn’t disappoint as a explosive second half saw FC Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund battle it out for a 2-2 draw.
Going into the match Dortmund hadn’t tasted defeat since December and they knew another win was needed if they were to continue to fight for the title. Anything less then a win would see Bayern Munich firmly in control of the top spot.
Schalke suffered a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Ingolstadt last week and they went into the game looking to make up for the performance and there would be no better way than denting their rivals title hopes.
Too close to separate in the first half
The first goalkeeper to be tested in the derby was Schalke’s Ralf Fährmann, a cross into the area saw Christian Pulisic’s high looping header forced Fährmann into clawing the ball away from goal before having to react quickly to punch the ball out for a corner as the ball dropped kindly for Shinji Kagawa.
Schalke’s first effort on goal came from a freekick, Sokratis was penalised for a foul on Klaas-Jan Huntelaar twenty-five yards out. Johannes Geis stepped up for the home side, however he could only fire his freekick over the bar.
On the twenty minute mark Dortmund threatened again as Adrián Ramos found Moritz Leitner inside the area and his volley was excellently blocked as Pierre-Emile Højbjerg managed to race back to deny the young midfielder.
American youngster Pulisic was the bright spark for Dortmund in the first half and he came agonisingly close to scoring his first professional goal twenty-three minutes into the match. The youngster was played through and after marching towards the near post his shot from an angle had Fährmann beaten, unfortunately the effort also beat the post by a couple of inches.
Schalke came close themselves just after the half hour mark, Leroy Sané picked up the ball just outside the area and his powerful effort forced Roman Bürki into making a terrific save to flick the ball past the post.
The last action of the first half saw Júnior Caiçara beat Eric Durm for pace down the right and the fullback tried his luck from a tight angle and the effort didn’t pay off, much to the frustration of Huntelaar who was free had his team mate played the ball across goal.
Superb second half showing
The first half was disappointing in terms of goal mouth action and there was a feeling the game would blow wide open once the net finally rippled. Fortunatley for the watching fans it didn’t take long for the scoring to be opened in the second half. Dortmund’s Leitner brought the ball forward down the right and the youngster played a perfectly weighted pass to Kagawa and the Japanese midfielder provided a delightful chipped shot from the edge of the area to lift the ball over Fährmann and into the left top corner.
The opening goal caused an eruption inside the Veltins-Arena and Sané managed to cause another one as fired in an equaliser for Schalke. The home side responded just two minutes after conceding, Caiçara once again shot from an angle and this time he managed to force Bürki into action, the keeper parried the shot away from goal, sadly for the Dortmund man Sané was there to powerfully fire home.
It was now Dortmund’s turn to try and respond to conceding and they came close to a perfect response four minutes after Schalke’s leveller. Henrikh Mkhitaryan managed to provide an excellent attempt on goal from his freekick twenty-five yards out, unfortunately for Dortmund the attempt was good enough to beat Fährmann, who palmed the effort out for a corner.
Dortmund’s disappointment didn’t last long as they regained the lead two minutes later, Mkhitaryan delivered a freekick in from the right and it took a huge defection into the air and after breaking free from his marker Matthias Ginter was able to head the ball down and into the right corner.
Schalke had the chance to equalise once more ten minutes after going behind again, Sané played the ball through to Huntelaar and the Dutchman was bundled down from behind in the area by Sokratis. It was a clear penalty for Schalke and despite Dortmund’s protest’s Huntelaar was allowed to step up to slot the ball into the bottom right corner.
The Dutchman and Sokratis collided once more in the area moments later and this time a goal kick was given after Huntelaar went down too easily.
Both sides huffed and puffed for a winner but the quality in the final third lacked late on much to the disappointment of both teams. Nevertheless there was one last golden chance before the match ended and it fell to the home team. Jean-Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting won the ball from the left and he managed to pick out fellow substitute Max Meyer, the youngster failed to get his chance on target and fired just over the bar.
The draw doesn’t help either team as Schalke miss out on a chance to move into the European places and Dortmund failed to keep in touch of Bayern. Up next for Schalke they have another very tough test as they travel to Bavaria to face league leaders Bayern. As for Dortmund they will look to bounce back to victory in their home match against Hamburg.