Schalke v Ingolstadt Report 31st October 2015 Schalke 1-1 Ingolstadt
Every year as soon as the season draws to a close we start to predict when the fixtures will be out, and then more importantly which games we want to go to. This year we decided to go and see a newly promoted team in the hope that our dismal record of watching Schalke at the Veltins Arena might change (so far 5 games only 1 win- albeit the 2-1 victory against Dortmund last season). We thought about waiting until after Christmas and going to a few matches, but the early season form tempted us into going to see Schalke host Ingolstadt.
On recent trips to Germany we have stayed in Dusseldorf, but this time we ventured a little further South to Cologne (more train beers on the way to the game that way too!) Upon arrival at the fan tent/bar we were greeted by familiar faces of the UK fan club and after a couple of beers were bought and photos taken we made our way to the Nordkurve. As ever the atmosphere was incredible, and walking down to join the masses our excitement grew. Having seen the rise to prominence of Leroy Sané this season we couldn’t wait to see what he could do in a more free flowing attacking team compared to the garbage that Roberto Di Matteo served up week in week out.
The crowd was bouncing and in full voice as the game kicked off and everyone was expecting a tough game, but ultimately three points especially after the past couple of matches and with the Revier Derby next weekend. The game started at a slow pace, and quickly you could see the faces of frustration, Ingolstadt’s tactics were working a treat and they stifled everything we threw forward. Early on Klass Jan Huntelaar had a half chance, and a more inform Hunter would have buried the chance, but today was not to be his day. As much as Schalke tried to get forward to create chances the pace to their play was pedestrian and they struggled to stretch the opposition who were marshaled well by their very own Matip. Eventually, the first goal of the game was scored and funnily enough (as has happened a few times recently) it came against the run of play. The goal itself was a very good finish from Tobias Levels, the way the ball managed to get to him was fortunate to say the least, but his controlled volley left Fahrmann with no chance. However, at half time we knew that this meant Schalke would have to up the pace and push hard for a goal. The second half saw Eric Chupo Moting come on and his pace and directness instilled a belief that it was more when we would equalise not if. Half way through the second half a speculative half volley from Junoir çaicara smashed the upright, but with ten minutes to go Chupo-Moting got in round behind the Ingolstadt defence to pick out Leroy Sané who bulleted a header into the bottom corner. The full time whistle was blown shortly after, with no real chances created to get the three points, a definite missed opportunity to put some pressure on the teams around us. From what we saw a new striker has to be the priority in January, as despite his tireless running, Franco Di Santo just doesn’t look like a natural goal scorer that the club needs to push them forward.
The highlight of the game was the Nordkurve’s constant singing during the second half which continued long after the match onto the trains heading to Gelsenkirchen.