Thursday, January 28, 2021

Schalke edge out Union Berlin to go second

SCHALKE 2-1UNION BERLIN, VELTINS ARENA, 61,837

In the Friday night Bundesliga game, Schalke 04 edged out Union Berlin to move to second in the league. Suat Serdar was the man of the moment – nabbing a late goal to give the hosts a 2-1 win in front of their own fans in Gelsenkirchen.

The game started with both sides showing their ability to move forward with the ball – not least Union Berlin, who saw early chances missed from the likes of Marcus Ingvartsen, Marius Bülter and Christian Gentner. However, despite Berlin’s early endeavour, it was Schalke who would strike the first blow through Benito Raman.

The goal came when Bastian Oczipka delivered a teasing ball into the area from the left hand side. Berlin managed to scramble it clear but the ball only got as far as Benito Raman who unleashed a thunderous volley into the top right corner to put his side into the lead.

After the goal, Berlin continued to push forward as they searched for an equaliser. It didn’t take long for the visitors’ attacking vigour to be rewarded as they won a penalty on 35 minutes. Robert Andrich drove into the area at pace and knocked the ball past centre-half Matija Nastasic only to be “tripped” by the Serbian – it was soft, but a penalty kick nonetheless. Marcus Ingvartsen stepped up to take the spot kick and had no trouble in burying his effort.

Schalke beat Union

In the second half, Berlin struggled to find much of an attacking impetus as the young stars of Schalke made their mark on the game. Amine Harit was in fine form, the young Moroccan midfielder had the whole of the Veltins gushing with his silky skills and blistering pace. Union struggled to deal with Harit and Benito Raman in particular, but it was Raman’s eventual replacement who would set up the winning goal…

Ahmed Kutucu, who had come on just minutes earlier, stole the ball from Neven Subotic, drove towards the area and picked out Harit in the middle who flicked it on to Suat Serdar. The 22-year-old curled his effort past Rafal Gikiewicz and into the bottom corner to win the game for Schalke in the 87th minute of the game.

Ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures, this win moves Schalke into second place in the league – level on points with league leaders Borussian Moenchegladbach. By the time Monday arrives, The Royal Blues could drop back down to fifth, but still a valuable win nonetheless.

Star Player: For me, the star of the game was Amine Harit. The young Moroccan continued his great form and although he didn’t manage to bag a goal, was a joy to watch throughout and played a vital part in the winner.

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