Schalke 04 recorded their second victory over Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga this season with a 2-1 victory over their close neighbours on Saturday.
The Royal Blues recorded a victory by the same scoreline at Signal Iduna Park back on matchday 8, ending a 17-game unbeaten streak at home for the Black-Yellows.
Julian Draxler gave the home side the lead inside 12 minutes before Klaas-Jan Huntelaar doubled their advantage 10 minutes before half-time. Robert Lewandowski was able to reduce the score just before the hour but Schalke held on.
Marco Reus was surprisingly named only as a substitute by Jürgen Klopp, starting with Kevin Großkreutz on the left wing instead.
Großkreutz was anonymous in the first half, like the rest of his team mates.
Schalke 04 took the game to Borussia Dortmund from the opening kickoff. Young left back Saed Kolasinac scuffing a harmless attempt wide from 20 yards inside 4 minutes after Roman Weidenfeller had only slapped a cross away.
Julian Draxler was the star of the show last week during Schalke’s 4-1 win at Wolfsburg. And the 19-year old who is starting to get a lot of attention from media across Europe opened the scoring on 12 minutes in this one to expand his popularity.
After a headed clearance from the Dortmund defence gave possession back to Schalke, the ball quickly worked its way out to the right wing with Atsuso Uchida, playing his first game since 2 February. The Japanese full back had time pull the ball back to Julian Draxler inside the penalty area who swept home across goal, giving Weidenfeller no chance. Mats Hummels had been the closest defender to Draxler but was standing too far away to block the attempt.
On 25 minutes, Joel Matip had a headed attempt cleared off the line by the head of Mario Götze standing on the back post.
4 minutes after that, Roman Weidenfeller was at his best to keep the scoreline at 0-1, denying Draxler from 7 yards out. Schalke were totally in control and searching for their second goal.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored that goal. 3 minutes earlier he had been the recipient of the first yellow card of the game for an elbow on Sven Bender.
The ball worked its way down the right wing once more to Uchida. Neither of the two Dortmund players close by closed down the Japanese with any intent as the Schalke player had time and space to pick out a cross. And with it he found the head of an unmarked Huntelaar who powerfully headed home for 2-0. Subotic had been the closest defender but had positioned himself poorly. Hummels was caught half way between the cross and the striker in no man’s land.
Schalke took a deserved 2-0 lead into half-time. Dortmund looked hungover from their 3-0 victory midweek in the Champions League, lacking any energy to their side.
The substitutions of Marco Reus and Nuri Sahin for Kevin Großkreutz and Mats Hummels at half-time injected some much-needed life into the visitors.
Borussia Dortmund proceeded to take the game to Schalke from the start of the second half. Or at least after Jefferson Farfan scuffed an attempt from 7 yards inside the opening 60 seconds that rolled straight into the arms of Weidenfeller.
Mario Götze had the first attempt for Klopp’s side after half-time but fired harmlessly over inside the penalty area.
Sven Bender had a goal disallowed on 52 minutes for a clear push in the back of Benedikt Höwedes as the Dortmund tapped home from less than 1 yard out after committing the foul.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was stretchered off less than 10 minutes after the restarted and replaced by Teemu Pukki. Schalke fans will be nervously awaiting news of the injury before their Champions League second leg clash with Galatasaray on Tuesday night with the score locked at 1-1.
For the pressure they had created in the second half, Dortmund got their goal just before the hour. Robert Lewandowski collected Bender’s through ball that beat the two centre backs, and spun around to fire low under Timo Hildebrand who had rushed off his line to close down the Polish striker.
Lewandowksi, apparently a target of Bayern Munich and other big clubs around Europe now has 17 Bundesliga goals in 22 appearances this season and 7 in his last 6 since the winter break.
A number of blocked attempts from the visitors in the final half hour before panic mode settled in and they failed to create another clear-cut chance against a Schalke defence that has just 1 clean sheet in all competitions in 2013.
Jefferson Farfan had an opportunity to put the game out of sight in the final 10 minutes but missed from 7 yards on the angle of the 6-yard box after Weidenfeller had parried Draxler’s shot into the Peruvian’s path.
Schalke 04 held on. This 3 points, their third victory in a row has moved Jens Keller’s side into fourth position after Saturday’s games. Eintracht Frankfurt have an opportunity to move back above the Royal Blues when they play Hannover 96 on Sunday.
Borussia Dortmund remain second after Bayer Leverkusen were beaten 1-0 at Mainz 05. These results, alongside Bayern Munich’s 3-2 victory over Fortuna Düsseldorf see the Bavarians extend their lead to 20 points at the top with 9 games remaining.