Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Die Königsblauen fall 2-1 to Stuttgart

Schalke's difficult week continued with a 2-1 loss to Stuttgart in Gelsenkirchen. Coming off the heels of Sundays last gasp 1-0 loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach, Schalke was anxious to spoil their visitors championship hopes but that took a wrong turn against Markus Babel's intense side.

Die Königsblauen brought Benedikt Höwedes and Ivan Rakitić back into the starting eleven but Stuttgart scored on their first opportunity as Cacau drove the ball in from the edge of the area. Fighting their way back level Ivan Rakitić rewarded Schalke with the start as he hit a free-kick from the edge of the area into the net six minutes before the break. However twelve minutes after the restart, despite Schalke's ongoing advances, Stuttgart lodged the winning streak as Ciprian Marica sent in a rebound of Thomas Hitzlsperger's effot. Throughout the final thirty minute Schalke applied a consistent level of pressure while dominating ball possession but could not square the match.