Sunday February 21, 2021
BVB forced relegation fear
Schalke was never again 0: 4
By Arnulf Beckmann
Christian Gross had announced in the run-up to the Bundesliga game between FC Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund that he could derbies. The coach of the Gelsenkirchen team experienced a few in his coaching career, “in Switzerland, Egypt and Saudi Arabia”. And mostly he left the field as the winner, as far as he can remember. But this time he was completely wrong.
His biggest – because most important – derby was lost. With 0: 4 (0: 2), the blue-whites were subject to the first test of strength of these two big clubs in an empty Gelsenkirchen arena and thus continue to spin towards their fourth Bundesliga descent. Even worse than the defeat, however, was what the 66-year-old Swiss was offered by his team in the service of the miners. What the Schalke players offered over long stretches of the game gave no reason to hope for further membership in the first division.
“It’s a bitter thing”
Schalke: Fährmann (32. Langer) – Becker, Thiaw, Oczipka, Kolasinac – Stambouli, Serdar – William (46. Mascarell), Boujellab (46. Schöpf), Harit – Hoppe (66. Raman). – Trainer: Gross
Dortmund: Hitz – Morey (83rd Meunier), Can, Hummels, Guerreiro – Delaney (83rd Moukoko), Dahoud (80th Reyna) – Sancho, Reus (80th Reinier), Brandt (61st Bellingham) – Haaland. – Trainer: Terzic
Referee: Daniel Siebert (Berlin)
Tore: 0: 1 Sancho (42nd), 0: 2 Haaland (45th), 0: 3 Guerreiro (60th), 0: 4 Haaland (79th)
The 98th meeting of the two rival district clubs in the history of the Bundesliga should finally bring the hoped-for spark from the perspective of the Gelsenkirchen team. It was something like the straw that the team, those responsible and the huge fan base clung to. A win against BVB could have triggered a new optimism. Not least because of this, numerous fans had gathered in front of the arena and tried to get their blue-and-white kicker collective going with fireworks.
The fact that the mood of the few dozen supporters on site changed after the end of the game and that some of them could only be kept from storming the stadium due to the massive police presence is one of the sad side effects of a game that in the end looked like a bankruptcy of the miners.
The resistance of the Schalke team was manageable to shameful for long stretches. “It’s a bitter thing to lose so heavily against rivals,” said coach Gross after the game. “I’m very disappointed, but this game was completely against us today.”
Schalke bone Angsthasenfußball
No question about it: the circumstances are not making it easy for Schalke at the moment. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was injured as well as Mark Uth and Salif Sané. Shortly before the kick-off, winter signing Shkodran Mustafi also had to pass, Bastian Oczipka slipped into the starting line-up for him. And after less than half an hour, Ralf Fährmann also dropped out, who pulled a muscle during an unfortunate action. Schalke currently has to deal with too many blows in the neck. “All in all, that was a bit much to win,” said coach Gross.
Obviously too much, because in a duel between two Bundesliga patients, the initially unimaginative Dortmunders did not have to put in a lot of effort to score the well-deserved opening goal after a tired 42 minutes of play.
The hosts acted without self-confidence, played scared football and sought their salvation mostly unsuccessfully in long balls with which they wanted to quickly bridge the midfield. BVB, successful in the Champions League in Seville on Wednesday, played patiently without shining, waiting for the opponent’s mistakes, and Schalke did them a favor shortly before the break whistle. Benjamin Stambouli put the ball too far in front of the goal near the goal, while outside player Mateu Morey splashed in between, passed Jadon Sancho, who had no problems in inserting the well-deserved lead (42.). And before half-time, Erling Haaland, as a flying Norwegian, made the preliminary decision with a remarkable side pull (45th).
Hits three and four by Raphael Guerreiro (60th) and again Haaland (79th) completed the sad picture that FC Schalke 04 gave in the spring of 2021, even if Suat Serdar could have brought about a possible turnaround after 51 minutes with his post hit . Because the opponent from Dortmund acted with care in the end, the home side was left with an even more drastic humiliation than he spared Dortmund’s highest derby win at arch rivals for 56 years. That then followed after the extremely punctual final whistle – apparently referee Daniel Siebert also had some understanding – when the players in black and yellow celebrated their triumph in front of the orphaned guest gallery. After that there was sympathy from the derby winners. “I can’t influence it, but I would be happy if Schalke stayed in the top division,” said BVB captain Marco Reus after the game. “I would be missing something.” And his colleague Emre Can was in the same direction when he said: “I wish you could stay in.”
Just another coffin nail
The next two match days will be against VfB Stuttgart and at home against FSV Mainz 05. But those responsible would be well advised to start planning for league two now. Because with nine points after 22 match days and a catastrophic goal difference of 15:56, the air is extremely thin. 36 points are still awarded, Schalke will probably need at least 20 of them to make the impossible possible. At the end of February you ask yourself: How?
Because whoever correctly interprets the negative background noise on the Schalke market can only come to one conclusion: that the first division days of Gelsenkirchen are gradually coming to an end. On the management level, Jochen Schneider had already laid down his arms during the week.
The hapless sports and communication board member will leave the club in the summer. In addition, a new coach has to be found who has to give the team a new face in the coming season – whether in league one or two. It is currently rumored that Domenico Tedesco, who is still highly valued in Gelsenkirchen, who has already worked for Schalke and led his team to the runner-up championship, is returning. Its working paper in Moscow ends this summer. Until then, hope remains the principle. “We believe in our chance until the bitter end,” said Gross in the hope that the end will not be bitter. But yesterday evening that sounded less like confidence than the usual market slogans.