Schalke vs. Borussia Dortmund: Winners and Losers from BundesligaApril 10, 2016
Schalke vs. Borussia Dortmund: Winners and Losers from Bundesliga
Schalke and Borussia Dortmund drew 2-2 in the 148th edition of the Revierderby on Matchday 29 of the 2015/16 Bundesliga season on Sunday.
Both head coaches made a number of changes to their sides. Schalke's Andre Breitenreiter reacted to the disappointing 3-0 defeat at Ingolstadt from the previous matchday with five changes, while only three players kept their spot in Dortmund's lineup after the 1-1 draw with Liverpool in the UEFA Europa League in midweek.
The first 45 minutes saw only two big chances. Ralf Fahrmann saved a shot from 17-year-old Christian Pulisic in the 23rd minute, while Leroy Sane hit the post with a ferocious effort from range 10 minutes later.
All the action came in the second half. Shinji Kagawa opened the scoring four minutes after the half-time break off a Moritz Leitner assist. Schalke equalised through Sane just two minutes later, as Dortmund failed to clear the ball despite having numbers on the Royal Blues in their own box.
Matthias Ginter headed his team in front once more in the 56th minute, with Schalke's Roman Neustadter misjudging his jump at a corner. Captain Klaas-Jan Huntelaar equalised 10 minutes later from the penalty spot.
Both sides had chances to win the game late, with Max Meyer's volley in stoppage time the best of the bunch, but the draw was a fair result.
Bayern Munich are the big winners of this derby, seeing as they now have a seven-point advantage over Dortmund with five games to go. Schalke, meanwhile, failed to capitalise on the other results of the weekend and remain in seventh place.
Here, Bleacher Report picks the winners and losers from the Revierderby.
Winner: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
Asked about his selection up front in an interview with German broadcaster Sky, Breitenreiter called Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar a typical derby player.
It was the right decision to pick Huntelaar over Franco Di Santo. The 32-year-old team captain not only scored the final goal of the game off a penalty he himself had won, Huntelaar was also one of his side's best players.
Per WhoScored.com, who rated him as the man of the match, Huntelaar won a whopping 11 aerial duels. Going up against a Dortmund side with three central backs throughout the game, the Dutchman was constantly involved in crunching collisions and won his fair share of them.
Huntelaar has now scored three of his nine league goals this season against Dortmund—a typical derby player indeed.
Loser: Sokratis Papastathopoulos
On the other side of the coin, there's Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
To be fair to the Greece international, he didn't have a poor game outside of the penalty incident, but it may well have cost Dortmund what would have been just their second double over archrivals Schalke since the turn of the millennium.
Papastathopoulos was lucky not to get sent off for his challenge on Huntelaar, who looked to be through on goal. Sven Bender thought otherwise and let his team-mate have it before the spot-kick, clearly indicating to Papastathopoulos that the rash challenge was unnecessary because he had the situation covered.
With his foul, Papastathopoulos could well have landed himself a spot on the bench at Anfield.
Winner: Shinji Kagawa
Schalke wasn't the only team with a typical derby player in their ranks. Dortmund's Japanese playmaker Shinji Kagawa is another member of that category. His goal was his fourth in seven appearances in the Revierderby, which makes the Royal Blues his favourite opponent in Germany, per WhoScored.com.
And what a goal it was. His incredible chip from the edge of the penalty box was nothing short of sensational, a genuine contender for goal of the season. Videos hardly do the goal justice, it was that magnificent in real time.
Kagawa, who's now scored in two league matches in a row for the first time in a year, per stat provider Opta, did enough against Schalke to at least make Tuchel think long and hard about not selecting him against Liverpool. The 27-year-old didn't see the field in the first leg and had the perfect answer on Sunday.
Loser: Andre Breitenreiter and Schalke
A 2-2 draw against Dortmund is hardly a bad result for Andre Breitenreiter's Schalke, but in the context of their season and Matchday 29 in particular, it was hardly enough.
With Hertha BSC dropping points at home against soon-to-be relegated Hannover, Borussia Monchengladbach losing at Ingolstadt and Mainz drawing at Wolfsburg, Schalke were in prime position to win big points in the fight for the UEFA Champions League spots.
Factor in Dortmund's weakened lineup, and Schalke were looking at a game they are expected to win if they want to make the Champions League.
Breitenreiter was correct in applauding his team's morale, per sport magazine Kicker (link in German), seeing as they came back from deficits twice, but that doesn't change the fact that it was a missed opportunity.
With Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen and three clubs fighting against relegation—or two, rather, since Hannover will likely be all but relegated by the time they play Schalke on April 30—on the schedule for the Royal Blues, one can't help but wonder how many more chances they'll get.
Winner: Leroy Sane
Arguably the most dangerous player on the pitch on Sunday, Leroy Sane thoroughly deserved his 51st-minute equaliser.
The 20-year-old displayed pace and power, technical skills and determination throughout the game and was a constant threat. Erik Durm, who replaced regular left-back Marcel Schmelzer, had a very tough time containing Sane.
His effort from range in the first half would've been some goal, and it was only fitting that he scored the equaliser with an easy enough finish after Dortmund's goalkeeper Roman Burki couldn't parry the ball to safety.
With only his second league goal since Oct. 31, Sane has found his form after a rough patch to start the calendar year. If he can string together a few performances like the one in the Revierderby, he could be a surprise candidate for Joachim Low's Germany side at Euro 2016 in France.
Lars Pollmann is a featured columnist writing on Borussia Dortmund. He also writes for YellowWallPod.com. You can follow him on Twitter.