Schalke 04 0-2 Bayern Munich
The fall continues for Schalke 04, and after Matchday 4, they couldn’t go any lower.
The Royal Blues remain winless in the Bundesliga and now go bottom following their defeat to the vastly superior and league-leading Bayern Munich.
Niko Kovac’s Bavarians dominated and were in the front foot throughout, and Schalke were made to pay for their porous defence after allowing James Rodriguez score within 10 minutes and set the pace for another clinical Bayern victory.
Highlights of the game
There were low expectations for Domenico Tedesco’s men heading into this game at Veltins-Arena. After all, everything has been in a downward spiral for them since their defeat to a relatively weaker Wolfsburg side in the opener.
Sure enough, Schalke didn’t surprise and proved the Bundesliga 2018 predictions right as they succumbed to Bayern in a game that should have been a great battle between the two best teams of the 2017/18 campaign.
It didn’t take long for Bayern to stamp their authority against their closest title chasers last year, with Rodriguez finding the back of the net as early as eight minutes.
The Colombia international, who was making his first league start of the campaign, proved his place in the Bayern Starting XI as he headed home from a Joshua Kimmich corner to give the defending champions the lead.
Rodriguez continued to threaten the Schalke defence and almost added another one to his tally on 25 minutes only to see his attempt saved by Royal Blues goalkeeper and skipper Ralf Fahrmann.
David Alaba, meanwhile, had a golden opportunity to make it two for Bayern at the half hour. However, his free-kick from 30 yards—which could have been one of the goals of the season and one of the key Bundesliga 2018 highlights—hit and bounced off the crossbar.
Rodriguez spurned another glorious chance early in the second half when he managed to shoot wide off an open net, but Bayern wouldn’t be denied of their second goal. While Breel Embolo came close to levelling matters for Schalke, Robert Lewandowski put an end to their hopes of a comeback.
After Alessandro Schopf fouled Rodriguez inside the box in the 64th minute, Lewy took the ensuing penalty and swiftly converted from the spot to keep Bayern’s 100 percent record intact.
It didn’t help Schalke that Weston McKennie suffered a serious-looking injury, which was later diagnosed as a deep bone bruise. Nonetheless, Bayern were clearly the better team and, in fact, could have won by more goals.
Post-match statistics show how Bayern overwhelmed Schalke. While the scoreline might suggest that it wasn’t a one-sided affair, the numbers say otherwise.
Kovac’s side had the lion share of the possession with 75 percent and completed 563 of their passes, a far cry from Schalke’s 185 completed passes. Furthermore, Bayern also had seven shots on target (out of 14 attempts on goal) while the home team only had two real chances to score.
Interestingly, while Schalke’s offence is known for set pieces, the team failed to get even one single corner. On the contrary, Bayern had eight corners—one of which, as mentioned, resulted to a Rodriguez goal.
Speaking of Rodriguez’ goal, his shot is now Bayern’s fastest of the season. Their previous quickest goal this year was Corentin Tolisso’s 10th-minute equaliser in their 3-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen last week.
For Lewandowski, his spot kick is his 14th goal in 16 outings against Schalke. His first against the Ruhr club came way back in 2010 when he was still with Borussia Dortmund.
There’s also some milestone reached in the game. Manuel Neuer made his 350th Bundesliga appearance while his Bayern teammate Thiago Alcantara made his 100th.
Bayern Munich will look to maintain their immaculate record when they host FC Augsburg next week. The Fuggerstadter have only one win in four games and are coming off a 3-2 defeat to the still unbeaten Werder Bremen, so the us football odds on the game are unsurprisingly swinging in Bayern’s favour.
After the Augsburg game though, Bayern could face their biggest test yet when they visit the German capital to play current second-placers Hertha Berlin.
On the other hand, Schalke 04 are slated to play Freiburg who only have one win so far. Nevertheless, while that should be a winnable game—on paper—for the Royal Blues, they will still be cautious of Christian Streich’s men, especially with the team fresh from a morale-boosting win over a high-flying Wolfsburg side.
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