Schalke Take a Massive Step Toward Semifinal with 5-2 Win over Inter Milan

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer IApril 5, 2011

MILAN, ITALY - APRIL 05:  Edu (R) of Schalke 04 celebrates with his team mates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final match between FC Internazionale Milano and Schalke 04 at San Siro Stadium on April 5, 2011 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Following a second place finish in the Bundesliga last season, Schalke were expected to have a great season following the acquisitions of Raul and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar through the transfer window.

However, Schalke have failed to impress so far in the Bundesliga, currently in 10th place and will likely not qualify for any European competition this season.

Despite an underwhelming performance domestically, Schalke have been able to put together a fantastic run in the Champions League this season.

In the group stage, Schalke were able to finish in first place in Group B, which contained Portuguese Liga champion Benfica and a semifinalist from last year's Champions League in Lyon.

In the round of 16, Schalke got paired with Valencia in a matchup that many expected the Spanish outfit to advance from.

However, Schalke were able to advance 4-2 on aggregate to reach the quarterfinal.

Schalke's quarterfinal matchup was against last year's winner of the Champions League: Inter Milan.

Going into this quarterfinal, a large majority of people selected Inter to reach the semifinal, where they would face either Chelsea or Manchester United.

But tonight at the San Siro, those hope that Inter would face an English opponent in the semifinal have been dashed with one of the most surprising blowout wins in Champions League history.

Within the first 30 seconds of the match, it appeared that Inter was going to be the side to advance after a Manuel Neuer headed clearance found Dejan Stankovic, who was able to strike in a shot from midfield to give Inter a 1-0 lead.

But Schalke was able to respond with a goal of their own in the 17th minute following calamity inside of the penalty area to give the German side a crucial away goal.

Inter were able to respond in the 34th minute with Diego Milito scoring after a Schalke turnover, but Edu was able to score for Schalke right before the interval to knot the score at two apiece.

But in the second half, Schalke made Inter look like a group of Sunday League players with three goals.

Schalke's first goal came from Raul following some terrific dribbling inside of the penalty area before depositing the ball past Julio Cesar.

Just four minutes later, Schalke were able to make the score 4-2 on a Andrea Ranocchia own goal following a Schalke break.

After Cristian Chivu was sent off for his second bookable offense in the 62nd minute, Schalke were able to score again following a weak clearance to clinch a 5-2 victory.

Even though Inter were able to overcome a loss with a win in Germany during the round of 16, it appears next to impossible to see Inter accomplish a comeback again.

Meanwhile for Schalke, this win will help them secure a spot in the Champions League semifinal against the winner of the Chelsea vs. Manchester United tie.

Despite the fact that this season has been a lost one for Schalke, at least Schalke have achieved success this season in the Champions League and will look to make history during an historic European campaign. 


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