Gladbach and Schalke deliver an intense game, but still disappoint at 0-0 – each in their own way. The season is likely to end disappointingly for both teams.
A loud whistle rang out through the sold-out Borussia Park – but there was celebration in the guest corner at FC Schalke 04.
The 0-0 in the disappointing western hit of the Bundesliga helps the Royal Blues, who are threatened with relegation, a little more than Borussia Mönchengladbach. With numerous winter additions, the offensive but still harmless bottom of the table fought for a glimmer of hope.
“It’s about the club, it was a good game for us today, but we didn’t reward ourselves, we just have to score,” said Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann on Sky. Schalke’s gap to a non-relegation zone is still a depressing eight points. “You can see that every game we play is very, very intense. (…) Of course we just have to score the goals,” said Fährmann. It’s no use “if we pick up the congratulations” for fight and action.
Disappointment for Borussia too
The zero number was very disappointing for Borussia, who are still waiting for two wins in a row this season and with 26 points are already stagnating in the middle of the table quite far behind the European Cup places. In addition, coach Daniel Farke’s team will have to do without Julian Weigl on the coming matchday at Hertha BSC, who saw his fifth yellow card of the season (34′).
The frame would have deserved a much better game. 54,042 spectators – including a good 5,000 noisy Schalke fans – created a great atmosphere in the sold-out Borussia Park. They were not rewarded for it – on the contrary. Just before the half-time break, the fans got to see an extremely boring football match.
As expected, Borussia had significantly more possession of the ball against the bottom of the table, who countered with toughness and defensive commitment. As so often this season, Gladbach lacked the pace to put Schalke under pressure. The hosts should have taken the lead just before the break. A double chance from Marcus Thuram (43rd) and then the former Schalke Ko Itakura (44th) destroyed first Winter access Moritz Jenz and then Schalke keeper Ralf Fährmann.
Schalke braver after halftime, but harmless
Schalke coach Thomas Reis tried to give his team more stability with four newcomers and returning Alex Král in the starting XI. This was initially successful, with the uninspired game of Gladbach also benefiting the bottom of the table. With all the commitment that Schalke showed, staying in the ranks of the promoted team hardly seems realistic. The Royal Blues remained conservative and harmless in attack, even though Reis had previously sworn his team to their first away win in the Bundesliga in almost two and a half years.
In fact, Schalke became bolder after the change. However, the royal blues hardly have the means to be really dangerous in the Bundesliga. In addition to Thuram and Itakura, Gladbach’s captain Lars Stindl missed a great chance (72′). The 34-year-old got fit in time after back problems, but like some others he didn’t play at the 4-1 level at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim recently.
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