Korkut made five changes to the side that faced SC Freiburg in an unlucky 2-1 defeat: Tin Jedvaj, Benjamin Henrichs, Charles Aránguiz, Karim Bellarabi and Stefan Kießling replaced Aleksandar Dragovic (not in squad), Kai Havertz (study leave for A-levels), Wendell, Julian Baumgartlinger and Chicharito (all on the bench) in the starting eleven. Jonathan Tah returned to the squad for the first time since recovering from a thigh injury starting on the bench.
Strong start proceeds early blow
The Werkself made a bright start to the game. With five minutes on the clock, Karim Bellarabi set up Julian Brandt for the first chance on goal – Schalke's keeper Ralf Fährman was able to save the shot from a tight angle. Kevin Volland then had another opportunity to score but his effort from 15 yards out went over the top of the goal.
Proceedings then took a turn for the worse: The visitors mounted a counter-attack and opened the scoring with their first attack of the game. Schalke's Benjamin Stambouli caught out the Leverkusen defence on six minutes with an impressive diagonal ball that Leon Goretzka squared in front of Bayer 04 keeper Bernd Leno leaving Guido Burgstaller with a simple tap-in. Worse followed: Ömer Toprak injured himself trying to tackle Goretzka and he had to receive treatment. He watched from the edge of the pitch as the Royal Blues made it 2-0 on ten minutes. A corner found Benedikt Höwedes and the Schalke captain headed the ball home.
Tah celebrates comeback
Worse was to follow. On 18 minutes the team coached by Markus Weinzierl played on the break through Goretzka. Bayer 04 shot-stopper Leno was able to save from the former Bochum player but was unable to keep out Alessandro Schöpf's shot from the rebound. In spite of challenges from Tin Jedvaj and Charles Aránguiz the Schalke striker was able to turn the ball into the back of the net - that was the third goal in 12 minutes.
The Bayer 04 captain Toprak then had to go off injured to be replaced by Jonathan Tah - his first appearance after two months out injured. Korkut's men were visibly shaken and unable to seriously threaten Schalke. The visitors dominated the rest of the first half. Leno prevented his team going further behind on 40 minutes when he saved a Burgstaller shot from a tight angle.
Bellarabi misses chance after restart
The Werkself began the second half with the same motivation shown at the start of the game. Just ten seconds after the restart Bayer 04 had a great chance to pull a goal back with the committed Volland setting up Bellarabi but his shot whistled just wide of the upright on 46 minutes. The Werkself continued to press towards the Schalke goal. However, the next goal came from the visitors. A free-kick from the right side of the pitch found Burgstaller and he was able to score with a volley putting the Royal Blues 4-0 up on 50 minutes.
That as much as confirmed the result. However, the Werkself did not give up and chances came to Brandt (60') and Bellarabi (62', 66'). Bellarabi did provide the assist for Stefan Kießling to make it 4-1 with a headed goal – it was the second goal of the season for the stalwart in his 333rd game for the Black and Reds.
Not much happened for the rest of the game. The visitors from Gelsenkirchen were able to defend their lead and Korkut's team did not have any chances worth mentioning. The game ended in a disappointing 4-1 defeat for Bayer 04 in front of a sell-out crowd.
The Werkself are still engaged in the Bundesliga relegation battle.
Bayer 04 visit FC Ingolstadt next Saturday (15.30 CET) in a match between two teams involved in the relegation battle.
Bayer 04: Leno – Hilbert (Wendell 46'), Jedvaj, Toprak (Tah 20'), Henrichs – Aránguiz, Kampl – Bellarabi, Brandt (Mehmedi 85') – Volland, Kießling
FC Schalke 04: Fährmann – Coke, Höwedes, Badstuber, Kolasinac (Aogo 74') – Stambouli, Bentaleb (Riether 84') – Schöpf, Goretzka, Caliguri – Burgstaller
Goals: 0-1 Burgstaller (6'), 0-2 Höwedes (10'), 0-3 Schöpf (18'), 0-4 Burgstaller (50'), 1-4 Kießling (69')
Booked: Hilbert (2. Gelbe Karte), Kampl (4.), Bellarabi (4.) / –
Referee: Marco Fritz
Attendance: 30,210 (sell-out)
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