Schalke 04’s winning streak has come to an end. The Royal Blues lose 0:3 (0:0) at home against Bayer Leverkusen after eight games in the second half of the season without defeat.
Ralf Fährmann didn’t sugarcoat anything. “They had more chances to score and deserved to win,” summed up the Schalke 04 goalkeeper after the deserved 0-3 (0-0) win against Bayer Leverkusen sky. The keeper also gave the motto for the next games: “Shut up, now the decisive games are coming. We don’t have much time left. The next games will be groundbreaking for the final sprint.” The away game at TSG Hoffenheim is already on Easter Sunday.
Jeremie Frimpong (50′), Florian Wirtz (61′) and Sardar Azmoun (90’+2) scored the goals for the guests, who scored 35 points in 18 games under coach Xabi Alonso. Schalke left the field as a loser for the first time in 68 days – despite a strong fight in the first half.
After the break, Leverkusen’s class and pace prevailed. “We all worked well from front to back. At first we struggled up front, but things got better in the second half,” said Wirtz. The Werkself, who haven’t lost in Gelsenkirchen for almost ten years, are aiming for the European Cup again with their sixth competitive win in a row.
Bayer finally made short work of the Royal Blues. Many Schalke fans left the arena early on. A medical emergency in the closing stages also caused supporters to stop supporting. The fan had to be resuscitated, but died. “Condolences to the family. It’s difficult for me to say anything about the game now,” said Schalke coach Thomas Reis. “There are more important things than a defeat.”
Schalke – Leverkusen: Bayer awarded even higher victory
For the first time, Reis had to do without his defense stabilizer Moritz Jenz. Austria’s Leo Greiml, who had missed large parts of the season due to a cruciate ligament rupture and a meniscus injury, switched to central defence.
The Werkself had the first clear chance to score. However, Amine Adli failed because of the excellent reaction of the ferryman (10th). The Schalke veteran also excelled in Robert Andrich’s long-range shot (19′) and Adli’s chance after a pass from Wirtz (27′).
The right flank of Leverkusen with Frimpong and Moussa Diaby was initially unable to show their pace. Schalke’s derby hero Henning Matriciani held back with good positional play and tough duels – with the support of his colleagues.
Nevertheless, Bayer increasingly took the initiative, also because at Schalke the bad passes and unclean duels increased. But royal blue always found relief. At halftime there were 5:1 corners, but no real scoring opportunity.
Immediately after the break, Bayer suddenly got surprising freedom. First Frimpong was denied by Fährmann, then he converted a cross from Diaby, who had swerved to the left, to make it 1-0. Wirtz increased after a one-two with Adli – again the Schalke defense looked on in amazement. Matriciani deflected a shot from Diaby (80′) with his thigh against the crossbar of his own goal. Azmoun then provided the final point.
Schalke 04 – Bayer Leverkusen: The voices
Thomas Reis (Schalke 04 coach): “It’s an absolutely deserved win for Leverkusen. We had a few chances to take the lead in the first half and defended with all our might. Bayer’s quality was better, we have to accept that and work through it. This series is over now, the goal is to start a new one next week.”
Xabi Alonso (Bayer Leverkusen manager): “The game was tough for us, but we worked well. The first half was tight, in the second we changed a bit. The first goal was very important to give us a bit more space and confidence. We were happy. “
Schalke 04 – Bayer Leverkusen: The data for the game