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Played
August 6, 2011 2:30 PM BST
Mercedes-Benz-Arena — Stuttgart
Referee:‬ W. Stark‎
Attendance:‬ 60000‎
 
37′ Cacau
 
 
 
Top of the Match
Serdar Tasci
Serdar Tasci
VfB Stuttgart
Shinji Okazaki
Shinji Okazaki
VfB Stuttgart
Flop of the Match
Lewis Holtby
Lewis Holtby
Schalke 04
Lewis Holtby
Lewis Holtby
Schalke 04

Stuttgart 3-0 Schalke: Okazaki wonder-goal rounds off comprehensive win

The Japanese attacker scored a brilliant late strike to seal an impressive victory for the hosts, who also had goals through Cacau and Martin Harnik.

By Clark Whitney

Stuttgart earned an emphatic 3-0 victory over Schalke in their Bundesliga opener. The Swabians have made a habit of beating the Gelsenkirchen side at home, and extended their fine run of form in head-to-head matches with a convincing win.

Stuttgart controlled the opening first half and deservedly took the lead on 37 minutes as Cacau nodded home from close range. Following a corner, Maza rose to head the ball wide of the target, but the Germany international intercepted and redirected the ball into the net.

Eleven minutes after the interval, the hosts scored a critical second goal, leaving their visitors with simply too great a mountain to climb in order to come back into contention. Following a quick free kick, Cristian Molinaro raced up the left flank and crossed to Harnik, who nodded home a free header.

A minute before full time, substitute Shinji Okazaki fired a tremendous 18-yard strike into the left corner of the net, rounding off an impressive result for the hosts.

Cacau's opener was a long time coming, and Stuttgart would have deserved to enter half-time with a multi-goal lead. Martin Harnik nearly opened the scoring on 12 minutes, but Ralf Fahrmann did just enough to take the pace off the ball, and claim possession just before it crossed the goal line.

On the stroke of half-time, the goal scorer found Harnik wide open at the edge of the penalty area, but Fahrmann was quick off his line and brilliantly blocked the Austrian's shot.

Schalke were not without their share of chances, with Kyriakos Papadopoulos (25') and Raul (28') heading narrowly wide in rapid succession. Christian Fuchs earlier tested goalkeeper Sven Ulreich with a blistering free kick, but the Stuttgart goalkeeper did very well to parry.

The visitors were better in the second half, and had they not conceded, might have been able to claim a point. Substitute Julian Draxler had a strong shot from distance saved, and Jan Moravek was twice denied from close range.

The visitors had plenty of possession in the second half, but their high defensive line left acres of open space at the back and Stuttgart looked had as many close calls as their opponents. Cacau missed a pair of clear opportunities, and Christian Gentner saw his chipped attempt sail narrowly wide. The hosts finally got a deserved third goal, however, through Okazaki's classy strike.

Following their three-goal win, Stuttgart go level with Wolfsburg on points and goal difference, as leaders in the Bundesliga table. Schalke are currently tied with Koln in last place, although they have plenty of time to reverse their woes.


VfB Stuttgart

1
Sven Ulreich
Goalkeeper
2.50
21
3.00
3
3.00
5
Serdar Tasci
Defender
3.50
2
Javi Martínez
Defender
3.00
17
Zdravko Kuzmanovic
Midfielder
2.50
30
Tamas Hajnal
Midfielder
79′
3.00
6
2.50
20
Christian Gentner
Midfielder
9′
2.50
7
Martin Harnik
Striker
56′ 72′
3.00
18
Cacau
Striker
37′ 84′
2.50

Schalke 04

3.00
1
Ralf Fährmann
Goalkeeper
2.50
4
2.50
14
2.50
23
2.00
32
Joel Matip
Defender
46′
2.50
12
Marco Höger
Midfielder
2.50
13
Jermaine Jones
Midfielder
2.50
9
2.00
10
Lewis Holtby
Midfielder
65′
2.50
7
Raúl
Striker
2.00
25

Substitutes

23
Marc Ziegler
Goalkeeper
0.00
15
Arthur Boka
Defender
0.00
22
0.00
34
0.00
16
0.00
23
3.00
29
2.50

Substitutes

0.00
36
0.00
22
0.00
21
2.50
10
Julian Draxler
Midfielder
46′
0.00
14
Jan Moravek
Midfielder
68′
0.00
24
Peer Kluge
Midfielder
0.00
9
Edu
Striker
65′

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
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Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robert Lewandowski Robert Lewandowski
Striker
Dortmund
18 4
Mario Mandzukic Mario Mandzukic
Striker
Bayern
18 0
Adrian Ramos Adrian Ramos
Striker
Hertha BSC
16 3
Josip Drmic Josip Drmic
Striker
FC Nürnberg
16 2
Marco Reus Marco Reus
Midfielder
Dortmund
15 5