Schalke 04 – Borussia Mönchengladbach: Gladbach’s mistakes fueling Schalke’s strengths (2-0)
The game started in a promising fashion but quickly turned into a hard-fought affair with several turnovers and fouls. Schalke seemingly made use of this chaos and threatened Gladbach’s defense with counterattacks. Although failing to score before half-time, David Wagner’s side quickly took the lead right after the game restarted with two goals from fast attacks. Marco Rose’s tactical adjustment helped his team, but the decision making remained a barrier.
Tactical analysis and match report by Jonas G.
The Bundesliga restarted from the winter-break with an appetizing game. Fifth placed Schalke hosted second placed Gladbach in what might already be a crucial match regarding the Champions League spots for next season. Both teams share a similar history: Aafter switching coaches during the summer, pressing and counterattacking football reinforced the sides after a disappointing previouslast season.
Schalke set up in a 4-4-2 diamond shape, but had to replace their arguably best and most important player of the first half of the season – Amine Harit. The Moroccan international is the focal point of Wagner’s attacking game, handling important tasks in the ball progression and chance creation. Alessandro Schöpf started in his place as number ten. In attack, newly-signed Michael Gregoritsch, who arrived from FC Augsburg in this transfer period, got his first start in his debut for the club.
On the other side, Marco Rose opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation that was widely used throughout the second half of the Hinrunde. The injured defenders Nico Elvedi and Rami Bensebaini were replaced by Tony Jantschke and Oscar Wendt respectively. Behind striker Alassane Pléa, Breel . . .