Produced a fine stop to keep out Tanase in the first half as the visitors threatened on the counter. Had much less to do in the second as Schalke finally hit the front foot, although Popa did produce a heart-in-mouth moment for the German keeper.
Tenacious effort to get up and down the right flank all evening and was rewarded by virtue of one of the most fortunate goals you are likely to see in the Champions League this year.
Partnered with Howedes efficiently and made light work of Steaua's lone striker. Turned inside out by Popa on a couple of occasions, and there will be sterner tests to come in this group.
A solid performance from the center back, who commanded his half of the field all night, never mind the penalty area.
The former Milan star loves playing in the Champions League and he was in his element this evening, arriving in the box late on several occasions and grabbing a well-deserved goal with a quality first time finish.
Happy to get beyond Draxler and roam up and down the left side early on, but his freedom was curtailed as Steaua closed down the space being afforded down the flanks as the game wore on.
An efficient display in midfield as he marshaled the center with Hoger to give Boateng & Co. the space to create ahead of them.
Booked in the first half for a cutting down a rampaging Stanciu. Was on the receiving end of a few bruising tackles himself though as he just about got the upper hand in the midfield battle.
Showed glimpses early on as to why he is considered one of Germany's hottest prospects. Showed great awareness to set up Boateng for the second and even greater vision still to dink the ball over Tatarusanu for the third.
The Peruvian's night was made a lot easier by the work of his teammate Ushida, who was more than happy to get beyond him at any time. Played a part in the second and third goals but didn't play with the usual flair he reserves for the Champions League.
Created his only opportunity of the first half with a clever dummy but his shot lacked power. The volume of crosses for the lone striker was high but the quality wasn't, leaving him with few chances to score this evening.
An awful mix up with Szukala to gift Schalke the lead was a bitter blow after the keeper worked hard to preserve his clean sheet in the first half. Outclassed for the other two strikes too.
Able to deal with every ball into the area in the first half with no problems as Draxler and Farfan saw their deliveries swatted away time and again. Accomplished display was left in tatters, however, by a gaffe for Ushida's opener.
Afforded Schalke a lot of room down the right, not knowing how to handle Farfan's pace. Was often left exposed by the lack of tracking back in the Steaua side that saw Ushida gain a lot of joy too.
Like his central defensive partner, coped admirably with crosses throughout, showing good awareness as well to thwart attacks out wide when the time was right. Caught out by some clever passes for the final two strikes, however.
Went missing in the early stages as Draxler was afforded the freedom of the Steaua half. Another who struggled with the volume of Schalke players due to a lack of help from in front of him.
A decent performance as Schalke struggled in the first half to get the ball to Boateng in the centre due to tireless work from Pintilii. Fatigue caught up with him though and lost players for the final two strikes.
Stung the palms of Hildebrand early on with a quality strike. Was one of the more lively players to star for Steaua but was reluctant to get back at times.
Adrian Popa I
The most dangerous player the visitors had to offer as Popa popped up time and again to test the nerve of the Bundesliga side's defense. Twisted them inside out on more than one occasion and was unlucky not to score.
A bad tempered performance saw the captain lucky to stay on the pitch. Booked early on and clumsy in the tackle as the game went on, his lack of composure on the night overshadowed his set piece abilities, which caused problems on occasions.
Another who was happy to get forward, getting Hoger in the book after being impeded as he raced through the Schalke half. Wasted the free kick chance though and other opportunities to link up with Kapetanos.
Not the most fruitful of nights for the center forward, who was a frustrated figure waiting for the creative trio to pick him out all evening. Eventually fluffed his lines when the ball came to him on a corner and was subbed to curtail his misery.