Schalke 04 after the long-awaited away win: Finally not last – Sport

Not a single one of the 19 players who were part of the royal blue squad on Saturday had a memory of Schalke’s last away win in the Bundesliga. Simply because none of these 19 were there when FC Schalke 04 won 2-1 at Werder Bremen on November 23, 2019. The coach was then David Wagner, the goalkeeper Alexander Nübel, the goal scorers were Amine Harit and Benito Raman.

A little over three years and three months later, including a relegation season without an away win (2020/21) and a whole year in the second division (2021/22), Schalke managed to win away in the top division for the first time since then on Saturday. With a 2-0 (1-0) win in the small district derby at VfL Bochum, the battered team also managed to move from last place in the table after four and a half months. An own goal by VfL goalkeeper Manuel Riemann (45′) and a goal by Marius Bülter (79′) made the people of Gelsenkirchen and their fans celebrate. “We’re not even happiest that we’re no longer last,” said Bülter, “but that we’re back in the middle of a tight relegation battle full of opportunities.”

Bochum, on the other hand, fell back to the bottom of the table after four and a half months with this defeat. They came last on September 10 after losing 3-1 at Schalke – the last game under their coach Thomas Reis at the time. After that, Reis was sacked at VfL, and now he has returned to Bochum’s Ruhrstadion as Schalke coach to give his former club the knock-out that relegated him back to last place. Accordingly, they no longer associate Reis with anything good at VfL Bochum: If he is involved, they are always last behind.

Bochum is so harmless that the fans whistle for the first time in a long time

The Bochum fans didn’t primarily insult their ex-coach in the Ruhr Stadium on Saturday, but rather their own team for the first time in a long time in the course of a weak second half. There were annoyed calls to fight and whistles hailed after the game.

In the seventh minute, VfL striker Philipp Hofmann shot over the empty goal from three meters and in the 45th minute, VfL goalkeeper Riemann, now almost notorious for serious mistakes, clumsily put the ball into his own goal. “Slapstick!” snapped injured striker Simon Zoller on Sky.

After these two shocks, the Bochum team seemed paralyzed in the second half. “But I still can’t understand and I can’t accept that our own fans are giving us the wrong finger,” complained midfielder Philipp Förster, bitterly disappointed. His insight from the last four Bundesliga defeats in a row and six hours in a row without his own goal: “It will be difficult to stay in the Bundesliga.”

Meanwhile, Schalke have the momentum on their side. Six games without defeat, two wins in a row recently and only one goal conceded within nine hours allow new hope to thrive after four and a half months at the bottom. “With every good result, self-confidence and belief grow,” said goal scorer Bülter about the upswing. As a result, Schalke are currently doing a lot, such as the goal to make it 2-0 after a corner, which they rehearsed during the week with assistant coach Markus Gellhaus. Coach Reis is also happy: “We have luck on our side at the moment.”

Schalke are now unbeaten in six games – and are looking forward to the derby against Dortmund next Saturday

He also meant Riemann’s own goal shortly before the break, for which Schalke really couldn’t do anything. When it was 2-0, his own goal, Reis deliberately only cheered briefly. He emphasized that he had spared himself any greater extroversion “out of respect for a club where I had a great time for three years”. The Bochum fans saved themselves from singing insults against Reis, but before the game a banner hung on the fence of their east stand for a moment that read: “If you’re not a dishonorable bastard, who is?” This was in reference to Reis’s flirting with rivals Schalke over the past summer break; a flirt that cost him his job in Bochum after six defeats at the start of the season in September.

After the small derby in Bochum, the Royal Blues are now looking forward to what is actually the only true derby for them. Next Saturday evening they will welcome Borussia Dortmund in their arena. The Schalke Festival should continue undisturbed against BVB, who have won eight times in a row in the Bundesliga. They don’t know any false modesty in the Ruhr area.

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