3-1 victory against Stuttgart – Naldo scores on birthday

FC Schalke 04 won their second home game of the season this evening. The final score was 3-1 to the Royal Blues after goals from Nabil Bentaleb, Naldo and Guido Burgstaller. Shortly before half time, Chadrac Akalo had equalised for Stuttgart but Schalke pulled away after the break.

Benjamin Stambouli made his first appearance for the Royal Blues this Bundesliga season as his suspension from last season came to an end. Max Meyer also returned to the starting 11 with Daniel Caligiuri and Franco Di Santo the two men on the bench in their place.

Early lead thanks to Bentaleb

The game was only 04 minutes in and the Royal Blues were 1-0 to the good. After Amine Harit was foul in the area, Nabil Bentaleb scored the resulting penalty, despite Ron-Robert Zieler’s best efforts. The penalty was awarded in Schalke’s favour following consultation of the Video Assist technology which has been newly implemented into the Bundesliga this season.

After taking the lead, Schalke controlled large parts of the game without creating meaningful chances. Eventually, Schalke’s inability to extend their lead was costly as Chadrac Akolo scored before half-time after he finished Josip Brekalo’s cross.

Wonder start to the second half

Schalke came out of the dressing room very fired up indeed. Within two minutes of the second half starting, Naldo headed Schalke back into the lead. The birthday boy was perfectly placed to dispatch Bastian Oczipka’s free-kick and, 60 seconds later, Guido Burgstaller – who was freshly introduced at half-time – delightfully chipped the ball over Zieler to make it 3-1.

Unlike in the first half, Schalke did not give up their lead. The Royal Blues defended much higher up the field and pressed Stuttgart much more which led to Schalke having more chances to increase their lead. Naldo almost scored a birthday brace but hit the post and Weston McKennie almost scored a Schalke fourth after his introduction in the 75th minute. The game ended 3-1 to Schalke as they prevented Stuttgart from coming back into the game.

Schalke rise to fifth

With six points from three games, the Royal Blues are fifth in the table. After two home wins, Schalke are after their first away points on Saturday against Werder Bremen at 15:30 CEST in the Weser Stadion.