Schalke convincing in 2-0 win over Hertha BSC

FC Schalke 04 got another three points on the board with a 2-0 Bundesliga home win over Hertha BSC on Saturday evening. It was a strong overall performance from the Royal Blues, as Guido Burgstaller's goal just before the half time whistle and Leon Goretzka's stunning second half strike saw them to a deserved victory. 

Tactics and Personnel

Markus Weinzierl made just one change from the team that beat SV Sandhausen 4-1 on Wednesday, replacing Matija Nastasic with Holger Badstuber on the left side of the back three. The team remained in the 3-5-2 system.

Burgstaller scores the opener

On the newly-laid VELTINS-Arena pitch, the home side started the game with pace and took control of proceedings early on. Leon Goretzka went close twice, first hitting the post with a spectacular effort from distance and next being halted by some excellent goalkeeping by Rune Jarstein in a one-on-one. Hertha's defensive strength was on show, as they remained compact, but S04 were maintaining the pressure and got their rewarded four minutes before the break. Burgstaller got on the end of Nabil Bentaleb's deliciously chipped through ball, and beat Jarstein at the near post to give the Royal Blues a well-earned lead.

Goretzka tops a great performance with a sensational goal

Schalke stayed on the front foot after the break, aiming to consolidate and build further on their lead. Burgstaller went close again and Naldo hit another free kick just wide. They were rewarded again just after the hour mark. Another lofted Bentaleb through ball found Goretzka, and despite options on either side, the 22-year old launched a magnificent curling effort far past the reach of Jarstein to double S04's advantage. Schalke maintained attacking intent but could not turn that into another goal, while staying comfortable and calm in defence, with Ralf Fährmann only called into significant action once through the half.

Conclusions and Outlook

Schalke put in a strong performance right across the board, defensively sensible and alert and dangerous at the other end. The opening goal came at the perfect time, and the victory was sealed by Goretzka's brilliant effort.

S04's next game is a return to the international stage for the UEFA Europa League round of 32. The Royal Blues will meet PAOK Saloniki at 21:05 CET away from home for the first leg. They will then be back in Bundesliga action on Sunday away to 1. FC Köln, kicking off at 17:30 CET.