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Leipzig dismantles Schalke in its own yard

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Disaster in the first round
Leipzig dismantles Schalke in its own yard

Despite being beaten 3-0 by Eintracht Frankfurt after the World Cup break, FC Schalke 04 have fresh hopes in the relegation battle. But he was taken up by RB Leipzig just three days later. For the first 45 minutes, the Royal Blues don’t play in front of their fans.

Coach Thomas Reis stood motionless on the edge of the field with his hands buried deep in his pockets, and disappointed spectators hastily fled the field: Schalke 04 is already falling unchecked towards the second division – and they cannot even find their way into the relegation battle. After 1: 6 (0: 4) against RB Leipzig, an eerie silence reigned on the field, before that the royal blues lacked any Bundesliga suitability.

Bad memories woke up: after the first half of the season, the bottom of the table was slightly better than in the chaotic season two years ago with only nine points and a clear deficit. Particularly bitter: after a brave performance in 0:3 in Eintracht Frankfurt, the team found new hope. Sky winter newcomer Michael Fry said, “The first half was forgettable. We didn’t get into the duels. We have to forget the game quickly. Cologne is coming up on Sunday.”

Andre Silva (seventh and forty-fourth places) scored two goals for Leipzig, which rose to second place at least one night after the fifteenth consecutive match without defeat. The other goals were scored by Benjamin Henriques (15 minutes), Timo Werner (45 minutes + 2), Dani Olmo (83) with a great shot and Jusuf Poulsen (89) with a great shot. “We did very well from the start,” said Werner. Soichiro Kozuki (56th) has been successful with Schalke 04, and little has changed under Reis: After just one win in their last 11 Bundesliga matches and four goals in their last nine, the situation with the promoted team is as hopeless as it was in 2021 when it went down. The traditional club without serious resistance.

“New player without pressure” could not help

Rees reacted to the lack of goals and dropped the record goalscorer in the Second Division Simon Terrodi from the starting line-up for the first time since the end of October. Frey, who was on loan from Royal Antwerp last Friday, was allowed to try his luck “as a new player without pressure”. At RB, Werner is back in the starting lineup. Midfielder Konrad Leimer, who signed with Bayern Munich last summer, according to the “kicker” information, was also part of RB’s starting squad.

Werner was instrumental in giving the visitors an early lead as he anchored a long ball and played it to Silva, who scored from 20 yards largely unperturbed. The match was already decided after just eight minutes: Henrichs also got a free kick after Olmo’s assist. Leipzig gathered without a hitch, and Schalke ran after it. Meanwhile, the match was reminiscent of a first-round match in the German FA Cup with a difference of at least one category. The gaps in the defense at the bottom of the table were as great as those in the stands, with no fewer than 10,000 spaces left empty.

Fry hardly got a chance to prove his skills. Most of the time the Swiss had to put the ball deep in the middle of the field. There is no sign of breeding. It was the 22-year-old Kozuki, who was still playing in the regional league a few weeks ago, who was most visible at Schalke. Reese watched the one-sided action on the pitch largely motionless – with his hands deep in his pockets and a worried look. “It was an absolutely disappointing performance. If you don’t accept challenges and let your opponents run wild, you have no place in the Bundesliga. I can only apologize to the fans.”

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