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December 12, 2010
• Stadion am Bruchweg, Mainz
Referee: F. Brych
• Attendance: 20300
ALL OVER IN MAINZ!!! SCHALKE HOLD ON!!!! A dramatic, event-filled game ends with Schalke grinding out a 1-0 win. Huntelaar and Schuerrle missed penalties while Neuer was very fortunate not to have been sent off but Farfan's goal proved to be the difference between the two sides. Thanks for joining me for this pulsating encounter, which sees Schalke incredibly up to tenth while Mainz stay in fourth. From me, Gary Niblock, Auf Wiedersehen.
90' + 2'
The momentum dissipates for Mainz as Heller is penalised for handball over on the right flank. Neuer is taking his time with the free-kick.
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Eugen Polanski
90' + 1'
Polanski is booked for arguing with the referee as he controversially does not award a foul against Joel Matip who appeared to block off Andre Schuerrle as he looked to latch on to Holtby's through ball. Schuerrle had worked up a head of steam and as such Matip's intervention, whether you feel it was legal or not, was crucial.
Tuchel is gesticulating furiously on the touchline as he looks to drive his team on from the technical area. There will be three added minutes at the end.
Huntelaar finally receives an opportunity to atone for his penalty miss but he cannot head Matip's cross into the net ; failing to keep the header under the crossbar.
Matip cannot stop Schuerrle cutting in on his right and attempting to find Holtby but the cross is cut out by the well-positioned Papadopoulos.
As telegraphed a moment ago, Schalke make their final change. Joel Matip comes on at right-back for the closing stages in place of Uchida.
Yellow Card Jefferson Agustin Farfán
Szalai looks to bulldozer his way through a posse of three Schalke players and concedes a free-kick. That doesn't prevent Farfan being cautioned for kicking the ball away - his third caution of the season.
Holtby protests furiously to the referee after objecting to a strong challenge from Papadopoulos. Schalke are preparing a final substitution.
Polanski with a through-ball looking for Schuerrle but his first-touch lets him down and in any case, the man who missed the penalty was offside.
A deft touch from Huntelaar as he cushions a glancing header off to Edu but Heller gets across and battles his way in front of the substitute, drawing a foul in the process.
Schalke would be wise to heed Magath's edicts (and learn from Hannover on Friday evening) by not overplaying and being more direct to exploit the space Mainz will leave by pushing for an equaliser. Raul is fouled though as he eats up a few seconds. Edu wins a corner on the left off Heller.
Mainz are looking to pile the pressure on what can be a shaky Schalke defence as they press for (at least) an equaliser in these last ten minutes of normal time. I expect a few hairy moments for Metzelder and co as we approach the end.
Farfan is the outlet on the right and he patiently waits for Raul. Raul then plays an outstanding ball towards Edu on the left but Caligiuri is across to stop the Brazilian in his tracks.
We've had two missed penalties in one game for the second successive week in the Bundesliga. Dzeko and Frings both missed in last week's 0-0 draw between Wolfsburg and Werder Bremen.
Raul cannot get the ball out for underneath his feet as he looks to turn inside the area but eventually Noveski keeps his calm and makes the clearing challenge.
Szalai goes down theatrically under the attentions of Uchida who with his first challenge robbed Schuerrle but didn't clear the ball entirely.
Yellow Card Nikolce Noveski
Mainz's skipper Noveski is booked for dissent but one can understand his emotions as Neuer is a very lucky boy indeed and perhaps his reputation as a golden boy in German football swayed Dr Felix Brych.
Missed Penalty Andre Schürrle
Penalty save Manuel Neuer
SAVED BY NEUER!!!!! Neuer, who controversially didn't receive even a booking, dives to his right and parries away a woefully weak effort from Schuerrle. The ball then cannons onto the crossbar with Neuer beaten via a Schalke defender! Die Koenigsblauen survive but controversy and drama are abundant in the Stadion am Bruchweg.
PENALTY MAINZ!!! Metzelder gives the ball away just outside the box. Szalai is played through, he rounds Neuer who brings down the Hungarian striker as he looks to round the German number one! Neuer not sent off however!
Allagui shows dogged persistence to keep his run going but he runs into Metzelder as he looks to enter the penalty box and his appeals for a penalty are turned down, mostly due to the fact that Felix Brych was unsighted though nor was there a flag raised from his assistant.
Schalke are winning a lot of the midfield battles and they would like to be able to make their superiority tell that little bit more with a second goal but Mainz at just a goal down are right in this game.
Raul with a lovely give and go with Rakitic but the return ball does not quite drop for him. He stuck out a left boot to take it down but the pass just evaded the veteran to bring an end to what looked a promising move.
Schalke win their ninth corner of the game and Rakitic comes across to deliver. However, it is far too deep and Fuchs is able to allow the ball to run out of play. For the record, Mainz have had just the one corner to date.
Noveski with a rare blot on his copybook as he brings down Raul though it took a foul to stop the veteran who had wormed away from three men with an excellent run.
Mainz clear and Allagui bursts forward on the counter. He beats Edu but he forgets to take the ball with him and Papadopoulos tidies up.
Uchida's throw is returned to him by Raul but Noveski gets across over to that left-hand side for the umpteenth time and makes the block. Corner for Schalke.
Felix Magath responds with a change of his own with the impressive Greek youngster Papadopoulos coming on as the holding midfielder in place of Peer Kluge. Papadopoulos played in midweek against Benfica with Kluge on the right-hand side that night.
Some extra firepower for Mainz as Szalai Adam comes on for Andreas Ivanschitz.
Holtby makes a belated introduction against his parent club as he comes on for Elkin Soto.
Marcel Risse comes off for Marco Caligiuri.
Polanski has yet to score this season and his free-kick is curled well over the bar.
Hoewedes fouls Schuerrle right in front of the referee and Mainz have a free-kick just outside the penalty box. Noveski is receiving some intense instructions from Tuchel as he leaves the more technical players to deal with the free-kick.
Thomas Tuchel, who is known for shuffling his pack, is preparing to bring on two substitutes - Marco Caligiuri and the man we've all been waiting for - Lewis Holtby!
Felix Magath has faced Mainz in his career seven times in the Bundesliga and is so far unbeaten with five wins and two draws. Is that a good omen for the 57-year old?
Edu bundles his way through two defenders after he gets away with grabbing Heller's shirt, rather like Jonah Lomu against England in the 1995 Rugby World Cup but at a slightly slower speed! However, his cross cannot pick out a team-mate.
An important challenge from Heller who beats Edu in the nick of time just as the Brazilian makeshift winger was about to collect Farfan's pass. The Mainz counter is stopped in its tracks when Uchida brings down Schuerrle.
Edu does his very best Jefferson Farfan impression on the left as he gets his head down, drives forward before putting in a testing low-cross, which Bungert does very well to clear in the six-yard area with Huntelaar and Raul lurking in the case of any defensive slip.
Schmitz does excellently to get right around the outside and leave Heller trailing behind but Bungert clears at the near post for another Schalke corner, which Wetklo claims with ease.
Yellow Card Edu
It must be said that Edu is rather unfortunate to pick up a booking. He brought down Polanski as he tracked back but it was a case of two players struggling away and to receive his first caution of the campaign is somewhat harsh in my book.
Schalke's corner comes to nothing but they come again. Kluge looks for Huntelaar to break into the box but Wetklo was alive to their intentions and he sweeps up.
Edu's hustle and bustle earns a corner on the left-hand side. Rakitic swings the ball towards the far post and Wetklo gets fingertips on the ball, meaning another corner but on the other side this time.
A subdued beginning after the interval. We've had confirmation that Magath did indeed substitute for Jurado for disciplinary reasons. That should make the harsh winter training all the more interesting at the Veltins Arena training complex!
We're underway in the second-half as Mainz kick us off. No further changes at the break, which means still no Lewis Holtby against his parent club!
No time is added on at the end of the first-half and Dr Felix Brych blows for half-time. It's been a competitive game but Schalke have had just that little bit more individual quality, which helped give them the lead through Jefferson Farfan. The goal on the half-hour came of course after a dramatic start when Huntelaar's penalty smashed against the post! Join me in fifteen minutes for the second period.
A momentary lapse in concentration from Bungert almost allowed the ball to ricochet into the path of Huntelaar inside the box as he misjudged Farfan's far-post cross from the right.
Soto looks up and tries to play in Schuerrle down the inside-left channel. He delays his pass a touch too long and Neuer spots his intentions and comes to the edge of the box to hack the ball clear.
For a few panicky seconds, the Mainz defence were at sixes and seconds from the corner but Allagui helped out and bundled the ball clear after an almighty scramble involving Kluge and three, perhaps four red shirts around him.
Huntelaar brings the ball forward and spreads the play to Farfan on the right. The Peruvian droops his shoulders in disappointment as Noveski's shoulder diverts the ball behind for a corner.
A disappointed look is etched across Allagui's face as he fails to keep the ball in play though he felt that Uchida had got the last touch. Dr Felix Brych awarded the throw-in to the visitors.
A poor ball forward from Polanski and Schalke look to punish him. Edu gets his first sight of the ball and he drives down the left before whipping in a very testing cross into the six-yard box, which Mainz eventually deal though one sensed a slight whiff of a panic. Luckily for them, Huntelaar and Raul couldn't quite make the run in time.
Jurado is limping a touch as he walks off with a disgusted look on his face and Edu storms on to take the Spaniard's place on the left-hand side of midfield.
Edu is stripped down to his kit and ready to come on, it seems for Jurado. It seems Magath wants to teach Jurado a lesson after losing the ball a couple of minutes ago!
The statistics say that if Mainz are to get back in this game, they will end up winning as they are yet to draw a game this season. Freiburg, who won 3-0 earlier today, are also yet to draw.
Jurado loses possession after trying an over-elaborate flick. Mainz stream down the left-hand side on the counter but the cross is beautifully taken down by Schmitz inside his own box and the left-back clears upfrield. Magath will not be happy with the former Atleti man!
The away fans have launched into cries of Schaaaaaaalke null vier. Mainz meanwhile have a free-kick, which Ivanschitz takes. The Austrian finds Schuerrle whose header is comfortably taken by Neuer.
Goal Jefferson Agustin Farfán
TORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR SCHALKE!!! Farfan with his second goal of the season. Jurado's shot was blocked by Raul and it came to Farfan who made no mistake as he rifled the ball into the net. The move started after Rakitic played a quite magnificent ball across to Schmitz on the left and full credit to the Croatian for opening up the Mainz defence.
Mainz win a corner but they may as well not have bothered as no-one attacks the six-yard box though in any case Neuer was always getting to the ball at the near post.
Magath is sitting in his chair with a stern expression across his face. He looks concerned by Mainz's recent spells of possession, which although not resulting in a great deal, prevent Schalke from controlling the game.
Riise and Ivanschitz link up well but just as Mainz look to really threaten, Kluge puts in a timely challenge to nullify the danger.
Schalke win another corner soon after but both are cleared away without too much trouble.
Schuerrle tries to turn but he falls rather easily under Uchida's challenge. Farfan looks to counter for Schalke and Noveski again puts in the block to give die Knappen a corner.
Good, sturdy challenge from Metzelder who took no prisoners against Allagui. Uchida then looks to break forward and he beats one man before passing the ball into no man's land. However, Wetklo clears the ball rashly into the stands, to the delight of the visiting contingent from Gelsenkirchen.
Neat 1-2 with Jurado and Schmitz before Farfan in an unusual central position spreads the play to Rakitic however the Croatian international's cross is headed clear by Bungert.
After a wonderful ball over the top from Elkin Soto, Allagui nips in behind Hoewedes, takes the ball down neatly on his chest before shooting on goal. His left-footed effort lacks fizz and Neuer makes a comfortable save to his left.
Enterprising work from Schmitz who wins two challenges, first against Risse then a 50-50 ball against Polanski but he undoes his hard work with a poor and errant ball forward.
Farfan goes through the gears and gets past Fuchs but Noveski, the captain, sweeps up and ensures his side get a goal-kick. Good to see the Peruvian fully fit and starting after he had a bout of flu and he was of course suspended for the Champions League encounter with Benfica.
Risse runs at Schmitz and overhits his cross to the far post but a slip from Uchida lets in Ivanschitz and Schuerrle down the left however the cutback is cleared by Schmitz.
After that hectic beginning, the came has settled down a touch but both sides are still playing with intensity at a good tempo. Huntelaar has not scored as many of late and will want to atone for what could be a costly penalty miss.
Excellent play from Schalke as Schmitz is released on the overlap but Fuchs is there to scramble the ball away. Again Mainz look to spring the counter but Metzelder is across to slide the ball out before Allagui could get there.
Yellow Card Christian Wetklo
Wetklo is then booked for reacting like a maniac as he protested the initial decision. What is it with goalkeepers being eccentric?
This is a belter of a game so far! Risse was almost sent clear on the counter-attack but Kluge nipped the attack in the bud.
Missed Penalty Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
HUNTELAAR HITS THE POST!!! Wetklo was sent the wrong way but Huntelaar's penalty hits the base of the post, rebounds against Wetklo and spins wide!
PENALTY SCHALKE!!!! I've given Fuchs the kiss of death! Farfan broke down the right-hand side and into the penalty box. Fuchs left his leg in with a late sliding challenge and brought the Peruvian down right on the edge of the box. A borderline but correct decision.
Nice sliding challenge from Fuchs to stop Uchida in his tracks. Both full-backs have been among the best in their respective positions in the Bundesliga so far this season.
Jurado, who had a good game against Bayern and has scored in the last two games, doesn't on this occasion with a low right-footed strike that trickles wide of Wetklo's goal.
Excellent cross-field pass to find Risse and he releases Heller on the overlap but his cross is cut out at the front post and Schalke can clear. The home side have decided to take the game to S04 from the off.
Schuerrle steps up and strikes the dead ball and though his well-hit free-kick is on target, Neuer is able to claim comfortably at head height.
Mainz have a free-kick 25 yards out after Hoewedes trips Ivanschitz who looked to go around the defender on the outside and on his favoured left peg. Promising position this for the Bruchweg boys early on.
We're underway in the Stadion am Bruchweg and Schalke kick us off in their change strip of black with blue stripes. Mainz in their usual red. The visitors were itching to get the game going and had to be held back by the referee!
Schalke 04 (4-4-2): Neuer - Uchida, Hoewedes, Metzelder, Schmitz - Farfan, Kluge, Rakitic, Jurado - Raul, Huntelaar.
Mainz (4-2-3-1): Wetklo - Heller, Bunger, Noveski (c), Fuchs - Polanski, Soto - Risse, Ivanschitz, Schuerrle - Allagui.
Guten Tag und welkom to the final game of the penultimate round of games before the winter break between Mainz and Schalke 04. The home side have not quite kept up their stunning early season form but are still averaging two points a game and a win could take them back into second place. Meanwhile, should Schalke win, they will go into tenth spot, which given their troubles this season, would represent a major boost for die Koenigsblauen. I'm Gary Niblock and I'll be taking you through the best of the action today.
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