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UEFA Champions League
February 20, 2013
• Türk Telekom Arena, Istanbul
Referee: W. Collum
• Attendance: 50734
B. Yılmaz 12'
J. Jones 45'
So not the happiest of Champions League returns for Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder but Galatasaray did manage to secure away wins at Cluj and Braga to cement their place in the knockout stages. This tie is far from over! The return leg takes place at the Veltins-Arena on Tuesday March 12. Thanks for joining me on what has been another great night of Champions League football. Until next time, goodbye.
FULL TIME: GALATASARAY 1 -1 SCHALKE. The German side take the upper hand after Jermaine Jones' strike on the stroke of half-time cancelled out Burak Yilmaz's seventh Champions League goal this season. Jens Keller's side were worthy of the draw and managed to put their abject Bundesliga performances behind them to produce an impressive team display. Fatih Terim will be disappointed by the lack of chances his Galatasaray side created in the second half and they have a big task on their hands if they are to advance to the quarter-finals.
90' + 3'
Emmanuel Eboue drives forward from right-back but he cannot pick out Drogba or Yilmaz with the through ball. That should be that...
90' + 1'
Into the first minute of added time, can Galatasaray launch one more attack?
Yellow Card Selçuk İnan
Selcuk Inan is cautioned for a late challenge on Jermaine Jones. Galatasaray have hardly posed a threat in the last ten minutes. Time running out.
Jermaine Jones scored his first Champions League goal in five years in the first half and the American lines up another strike from distance but watches the ball fly high over the crossbar.
Yellow Card Marco Höger
Marco Hoger is the second Schalke player in the book after tugging Amrabat to the floor. The German side look good value for the draw at the moment.
Sead Kolasinac has a rare scurry forward from left-back but the Bosnian's ambitious effort flashes well wide of Muslera's right-hand post.
Schalke make a change of their own with Swiss international Tranquilo Barnetta replacing the excellent Julian Draxler. The home crowd are beginning to get a little impatient here as they urge their side to get forward.
Final roll of the dice for Galatasaray as Umut Bulat gets his chance to impress up front, replacing Sabri.
GREAT SAVE FROM MUSLERA! Schalke have looked dangerous on the break all game and Draxler nearly sums up his impressive performance with a goal but the 19-year-old is denied by a fine fingertipped save from Muslera who prevents his shot from sneaking into the bottom corner from the edge of the box. Less than ten minutes remaining.
Galatasaray are sensing that time is beginning to run out and Sabri looks to set a captain's example but watches Hildebrand get across his goal excellently to make a fine one-handed save from his right-footed shot. Can the Turkish side regain the lead?
Yellow Card Sead Kolasinac
YILMAZ GOES CLOSE AGAIN! Drogba shows fantastic power to muscle off Howedes and head a pass into the path of Yilmaz, but the in-form striker cannot find the corner with his low shot across goal and watches it fizzle just past the post. Much better from the home side.
That is in fact Huntelaar's last taste of the action as he is replaced by Finnish striker Teemu Pukki.
GOOD OPPORTUNITY FOR SCHALKE! Draxler is the architect once again as his clever run latches onto Bastos' through ball and his low cross is fired wildly over the bar by Huntelaar. It just has not been the Dutchman's day today.
Schalke are more than happy to sit back and hit Galatasaray on the counterattack. The home side just cannot find their rhythm at the moment. Will a 1-1 draw be enough for Fatih Terim's side?
It's been a bit of a midfield battle in this second half and that is demonstrated by the statistics which show that Schalke have enjoyed 54% of the possession, concentrated in the middle third of the pitch. Who can provide that creative spark to fire this game back into life?
Yellow Card Dany Nounkeu
Another booking, this time for Nounkeu, as he pulls back Huntelaar. Just over twenty minutes remaining for either side to find the lead.
WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY FOR YILMAZ TO REGAIN THE LEAD! Drogba slips in the Turkish striker on the left-hand side of the box and Yilmaz looks to bend an effort into the far corner but is prevented by a fine save from Hildebrand. It should have been 2-1!
The Germans clearly fancy themselves here and Bastos collects a pass from Neustadter 25 yards out but cannot test Muslera with his swerving drive. Schalke certainly don't look like a side who have won just twice in their last 14 games.Terim could be tempted to make another change soon.
Draxler is running the game for Schalke at the moment and he sends Bastos clear down the left. The Brazilian shows Sabri a clean pair of heels but his cross is disappointing and overhit for a goalkick. Not quite the same quality and cutting edge that we saw in the first period.
Schalke force an opportunity of their own when Farfan swings a freekick into the Galatasaray penalty area, and Muslera is off his line quickly to punch the ball upfield. It seems Dany Nounkeu took a knock there and Cameroonian receives treatment.
Fatih Terim is out from his dugout and instructing his players to get forward. Amrabat whips a cross into the Schalke box which Drogba meets excellently, but the Ivorian's header is well-saved by Hildebrand.
GOLDEN CHANCE FOR SCHALKE! Draxler is proving a real nuisance for Galatasaray tonight and the 19-year-old surges to the byline before cutting a wonderful ball back into the heart of the opposition penalty area but Farfan's goalbound effort strikes the frame of Semih and ricochets clear. The net should have been bulging there.
It's been a bit scrappy in the opening exchanges of this second period with several passes going astray. Schalke will be more than happy to take a 1-1 draw back to Germany.
Jermaine Jones tries to send Draxler away with a ball over the top but Semih Kaya is alert to the danger and produces a crucial interception.
Amrabat and Riera combine excellently down the left flank but the Spaniard's cross-cum-shot is well punched clear by Hildebrand. Both sides looking to get in front early in this second half.
Yellow Card Nordin Amrabat
Amrabat picks up a booking after only three minutes on the pitch, for a mistimed tackle on Farfan.
Selcuk Inan springs clear down the right for Galatasaray but his cross is well dealt with by Hildebrand who plucks the ball out of the air with ease.
Half-time change for the home side as Wesley Sneijder is somewhat surprisingly hauled off in place of fellow countryman Nordin Amrabat.
Expect some more goals...of Galatasaray and Schalke's combined 17 Champions League goals this season, 13 have come in the second half.
That's one of the best halves of football I have seen all season. Schalke have coped brilliantly with the hostile atmosphere and coach Jens Keller will be delighted that his side have snatched that crucial away goal. Who will come out on top after 90 minutes? Let me know your thoughts via Twitter @MaxBentley1.
HALF TIME: GALATASARAY 1 - 1 SCHALKE. A splendid first half of football with chances aplenty for both sides. Burak Yilmaz opened the scoring with a fine piece of individual skill and a composed finish to mark his seventh Champions League goal of the campaign before Schalke deservely grabbed an equaliser moments before the half-time whistle courtesy of Jermaine Jones after a mistake from Dany Nounkeu. Plenty to look forward to in the second half, all square at the break!
45' + 1'
Drogba looks to restore Galatasaray's advantage just before the break but his dipping effort is well saved by Hildebrand. The Ivorian will be hoping to have more luck on goal in the second half.
Assist Jefferson Agustin Farfán
Goal Jermaine Jones
SCHALKE HAVE THEIR AWAY GOAL!! Dany Nounkeu is at fault as his pass is easily intercepted by Huntelaar who sets Farfan away down the right with an inch-perfect pass and the Peruvian has time to look up and square for the onrushing Jermaine Jones who sweeps the ball past Muslera with aplomb. That goal has silenced the home crowd here and you can't say it wasn't coming!
Farfan swings a freekick into the Galatasaray box which Howedes is first to once again, but there is no blue shirt challenging for the second ball and Muslera claims. The Miners have looked lively but they have not really tested the Uruguayan no.1.
HUNTELAAR SPURNS A GREAT CHANCE FOR SCHALKE! Draxler launches a four-on-four opportunity for Schalke, feeding Huntelaar just outside the box and with his teammates in the area, the Dutch striker opts to drive at goal but is halted by a firm challenge from Riera. Coach Jens Keller remonstrates on the touchline; that was a wonderful opportunity to equalise.
Hildebrand comes to his side's rescue again as he denies Yilmaz at his near post after the Turkish forward had been playing in by Drogba. Fine save from the goalkeeper.
The home side launch a counterattack and it requires a last-ditch interception from Joel Matip to prevent Yilmaz from latching onto Altintop's slide pass. Schalke just need to be careful that they do not commit too many bodies forward.
Galatasaray just cannot get hold of the ball at the moment and Drogba is receiving little service up front. Can they weather the Schalke storm?
Yellow Card Jermaine Jones
Jermaine Jones clearly did not pay attention to Muslera's caution earlier as he is also booked for waving an imaginary card at the referee. That means that the American is now suspended for the return leg.
Hoger is getting forward excellently down the right for Schalke and the German defender is denied a route to goal when Selcuk Inan tracks back excellently to cut out Draxler's through ball. Schalke are really pressing for an equaliser here.
This is a good sustained spell of pressure from the visitors who have looked dangerous going forward. Can they restore parity before the half-time whistle?
Farfan's trickery draws a foul from Riera on the right and Bastos opts to shoot from a narrow angle but only manages to find the Galatasaray wall. The German side had numbers in the box there.
ANOTHER GOOD CHANCE FOR SCHALKE! Draxler plays a neat pass to find Bastos in space down the left and the Brazilian's deflected cross is fired over the bar by Farfan. The Peruvian may feel he should have hit the target there.
Felipe Melo spreads the play out excellently to Riera, who is making some brilliant runs from left-back, and the former-Liverpool and Manchester City star picks out Sneijder on the edge of the box, but the Dutchman's effort flies into the side-netting.
There is a stoppage in play as Burak Yilmaz requires a spot of treatment. Fatih Terim will be hoping his talisman can get back on his feet soon. Yilmaz has this season become the first Turkish player to represent four different clubs in the UEFA Champions League. He had previously featured for Beşiktaş JK, Fenerbahçe and Trabzonspor AŞ.
Semih Kaya breathes a huge sigh of relief after he deflects Jefferson Farfan's low cross inches past the post. The Turkish defender is fortunate that did not end up in his own net. Schalke look good value for an away goal here.
GALATASARAY HIT THE WOODWORK! Drogba springs the Schalke offside trap to latch onto Sneider's through pass and the Ivorian is denied a goal on his return to the competition when his powerful left-footed drive is excellently parried by Muslera, but only as far as Altintop, who started his career at Schalke, and his effort crashes against the crossbar. So close to 2-0!
Yellow Card Néstor Muslera Micol
Muslera is the unlikely first man to pick up a caution after motioning to the referee to book Huntelaar for kicking the ball away.
SO CLOSE TO 1-1! When the corner is whipped in from the right, Howedes does magnificently to glance a header towards the back post but Huntelaar somehow cannot make contact with the ball from a few yards out and the ball trickles just wide. Huge let-off for Terim's side!
Schalke nearly respond instantly when Muslera is left flapping at a corner, but Farfan's goalbound effort is well blocked by a Galatasaray defender. That would have been the perfect response!
Assist Selçuk İnan
Goal Burak Yılmaz
1-0 GALATASARAY!! And that man Yilmaz has scored again! The sharp-eyed forward superbly flicks Selcuk Inan's pass over the head of his marker before coolly firing into the roof of the net. You never doubted it for a second. Yilmaz takes his tally to seven Champions League goals, what a start for the Turkish side!
Gala have a good opportunity when Jones is dispossessed inside his own half but Yilmaz' pass for Altintop is slightly overhit and the chance breaks down.
Schalke enjoy a neat spell of passing around the Galatasaray box and Fernando Muslera produces a fine catch to prevent a blue shirt from nodding in Marco Hoger's cross from the right. It's been a fairly even ten minutes so far.
There has been a lot of focus on Drogba before today's match but Burak Yilmaz has scored six of his side's seven Champions League goals this season. Can he find the net again tonight?
Jeers ringing out around the stadium every time a Schalke player is in possession of the ball. Jefferson Farfan tries to thread a ball through for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar but the play is well-anticipated by Dany Nounkeu.
Wesley Sneijder shows his hawkeye vision to pick out Albert Riera on the left wing, but the Spanish left-back cannot pick out Didier Drogba with his deep cross. Drogba scored just five minutes into his Super Lig debut on Friday; he might have to wait a little longer here.
Galatasaray attack straight down the other end but neither Burak Yilmaz nor Sabri can test Timo Hildebrand with their respective shots from the edge of the box. Lively start here in Istanbul.
EARLY CHANCE FOR SCHALKE! The German side come within inches of scoring a crucial away goal within the first minute of the match. Jermaine Jones bursts down the left wing before cutting inside onto his right foot and forcing Fernando Muslera into a sprawling save. That would have been some start!
MATCH FACT: Schalke have not lost a Champions League match since their semi-final tie at Old Trafford in 2010-11.
The famous Champions League anthem echoes around the Turk Telekom Arena and the respective captains Sabri and Benedikt Howedes begin the traditional handshakes. Who will take the advantage in the first leg of this round of 16 Champions League match? Let's find out...
It's another noisy night in Instanbul at one of the most intimidating grounds in Europe. Will the Schalke players feel the pressure of the daunting home support or will they thrive under the hostility? Kick-off is under five minutes away...
This is Galatasaray's 12th home encounter with Bundesliga opposition and they are searching for just their third victory, having won none of their last five games against German clubs in Istanbul. Their overall home record against teams from Germany is W2 D7 L2.
Schalke (4-2-3-1): Hildebrand; Höger, Howedes, Matip, Kolasinac; Jones, Neustädter; Draxler, Bastos, Farfan; Huntelaar. Subs: Fahrmann, Metzelder, Fuchs, Barnetta, Meyer, Obasi, Pukki.
Galatasaray (4-3-1-2): Muslera; Sabri, Nounkeu, Semih Kaya, Riera; Hamit, Melo, Selçuk, Sneijder; Burak, Drogba. Subs: Eray Iscan, Hakan Balta, Eboue, Kurtulus, Emre Colak, Amrabat, Umut Bulut.
The line-ups are in...
Schalke enjoyed a blistering start to the season under Huub Stevens but after sliding down the Bundesliga table, the Dutch coach was replaced by Jens Keller in December. The Gelsenkirchen outfit have won only two of their last 14 games but they certainly have the quality in their side to harm any team in Europe.
Let's not forget that Didier Drogba is not the only Hollywood addition to Fatih Terim's side; Galatasaray also recruited another Champions League winner in Wesley Sneijder from Inter Milan in the January transfer window. The Turkish side are confident that they can go all the way to Wembley, can they be the darkhorses of this year's competition?
Didier Drogba's last kick in the Champions League inspired Chelsea to their first ever triumph in Europe's most elite football club competition last season, and the Ivorian returns tonight, hoping to fire Galatasaray into the latter stages of the competition. Their opponents however, are one of only three unbeaten sides remaining in the Champions League. Schalke finished top of a group which included Arsenal, Olympiakos and Montpellier, showing that they are certainly no pushovers. Bringing you all the action from the Turk Telekom Arena, my name is Max Bentley. Feel free to tweet me your views on the match and these sides' respective chances in the competition via Twitter @MaxBentley1.
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