Schalke vs. Bayern Munich: Winners and Losers from Bundesliga Game
Schalke came from a goal behind to earn a much-deserved 1-1 draw at home to Bundesliga Champions Bayern Munich on Saturday.
Benedikt Howedes bundled the ball into the back of the net to level things up in the 62nd minute and cancel out Robert Lewandowski’s first competitive goal for Bayern since joining the Bavarian giants from Borussia Dortmund.
Bayern started the game brightly but lacked intensity in the second half and allowed Schalke to grow into the contest.
Following are some of the winners and losers from the encounter at Veltins-Arena.
Winner: Benedikt Howedes, Who Was at the Right Place at the Right Time
Full credit to Sidney Sam—his free kick shortly after the hour-mark was a peach of an effort to Bayern’s far post, where it was flicked on by Kaan Ayhan.
Meanwhile, Schalke captain Benedikt Howedes had ghosted into the opposite corner and was able to bundle the ball into the back of the net after it was smashed directly at him by Xabi Alonso.
In the second minute of second-half stoppage time Howedes was again in the right place at the right time when he sliced Juan Bernat’s dangerous cross away from danger.
Loser: Xabi Alonso, Who Made a Decent Bayern Debut but Caused a Goal
While he was on the pitch, no one touched the ball more often than Xabi Alonso.
In that, he looked a Bayern Munich veteran rather than a fresh acquisition who had only joined up with the Bundesliga champions the day before Saturday’s clash with Schalke.
But in the 62nd minute the Spaniard’s attempted clearance deflected off Schalke left-back Benedikt Howedes and beat goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, allowing the hosts an equaliser and an eventual split of the points.
Winner: Ralf Fahrmann, Who Came Up Big in the Early Minutes
Bayern Munich opened the scoring after only 10 minutes on Saturday, but by the time Robert Lewandowski scored his first goal for the club they might have had three.
The other two opportunities ended up being the chances that cost the guests an extra two points.
First it was Thomas Muller being denied by Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann, who then made an excellent stop on Lewandowski.
But for the 25-year-old’s early heroics Bayern might have gone on to win comfortably in Gelsenkirchen.
Winner: Sidney Sam, Who Sparked His Team
It took a while to come, but Sidney Sam took Schalke’s first shot midway through the opening period against Bayern Munich.
After the restart the right-sided attacker was particularly dangerous, and his combinations with Julian Draxler caused plenty of problems on the counter-attack.
Eventually, Juan Bernat was introduced to help contain him.
Shortly after the Spaniard’s introduction, however, Sam had delivered the exceptional free kick that led to Howedes’ equaliser.
Loser: Thomas Muller, Who Was Barely Noticeable
Thomas Muller had the first goalscoring opportunity of the match, but his stabbed effort was saved well by Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann.
From there the Bayern Munich attacker was barely noticeable—failing to take another shot (nevermind place one on target) over the remainder of the 90 minutes.
Winner: Sebastian Rode, Who Impressed in the Bayern Midfield
All eyes were on Bayern Munich debutant Xabi Alonso on Saturday, but it ended up being Sebastian Rode who most impressed in the Bayern midfield.
While the 23-year-old’s ball-distribution was at times found wanting, he was one of the few Bayern players who exhibited anything resembling intensity against Schalke.
He also picked up an assist on the Robert Lewandowski opener after playing a neat one-two with the Poland striker.