Formation and line-up
Head coach Domenico Tedesco made four changes to the starting XI that faced FC Bayern for the Hoffenheim fixture. Nabil Bentaleb (muscle strain), Bastian Oczipka (infection) missed out as well as Leon Goretzka and Guido Burgstaller who were put on the bench. In their respective places, Max Meyer, Benjamin Stambouli, Yevhen Konoplyanka and Franco di Santo all came into the team.
Hoffenheim get an early lead
The Royal Blues started strongly and immediately put pressure on the Hoffenheim defence. However, it was TSG who created the first real chances of the game. It was the second of these chances that hit the back of the net. Initially, Ralf Fährmann made a wonderful save from Havard Nordtveit’s header but, two minutes later, he was powerless to stop Dennis Geiger's effort. Despite going behind, Schalke reacted well and continued to be dangerous. Daniel Caligiuri’s solo run and resulting pile driver stung the palms of TSG’s goalkeeper Oliver Baumann.
Chances left, right and centre
In the second half, Schalke continued to play positively in search of an equaliser. Yevhen Konoplyanka hit the bar as he chipped a helpless Baumann and, a few minutes later, the Ukrainian curled an effort narrowly wide of the far post. Similarly, Guido Burgstaller came on in the second half and was inches away from finding the far left corner. Despite the Knappen retaining the majority of possession, the hosts still threatened. Mark Uth went close on the hour mark and TSG’s counter attacks were ever more dangerous as Schalke poured more and more men forward. Though Schalke had numerous chances and failed to ripple the net, Hoffenheim had no such problems. Late on in the game, Lukas Rupp doubled Hoffenheim’s advantage as they ran out 2-0 winners.
Reflection and looking forward
In total, it was a bitter and undeserved loss for Schalke who had several chances in the second half to fire themselves level and earn themselves a point to take back to Gelsenkirchen. However, the ball wouldn’t go in for Schalke today.
So, Schalke’s week ends with them picking up 3 points from 3 games. After the TSG game, Schalke have their first Friday match of the season in their sights as Bayer Leverkusen will come to the VELTINS Arena before another international break takes place.