Saturday, May 2, 2009

Schalke's Europa League chances grow dim

Die Königsblauen
coaching trio of Mike Büskens, Youri Mulder and Oliver Reck suffered their first loss as they fell 2-1 to Leverkusen at home.

Missing Jermaine Jones from the starting eleven due to suspension, Schalke were exposed early in match as Leverkusen took the lead only nine minutes in. Cutting apart Schalke's flank, Gonzalo Castro chased down a long ball before crossing to Patrick Helmes to redirect-in. The goal completely exposed a Schalke's ability to control depth and before thirty minute mark Christian Pander was undressed by Renato Augusto before sending the ball in. With twenty minutes left Ivan Rakitić and Gerald Asamoah were introduced but their impact was minimal until very late. At the eighty-seventh minute Kevin Kurányi brought Schalke to withing one via Ivan Rakitić's provision but the leveler was not to come and the match ended 2-1.

With four matches remaining Schalke's Europa League efforts are well off as they are six points behind Hamburg as they head Gladbach this Sunday.