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Matchday Six

Schalke crush Gladbach to ease crisis, Wolfsburg toil in front of goal

Schalke produced a superb performance against Borussia Mönchengladbach to ease their crisis, while a lack of cutting edge in front of goal cost Wolfsburg again.

Schalke 4-0 Gladbach
(Choupo-Moting pen. 52', Embolo 56' 82', Goretzka 58')

Schalke scored three goals in six devastating second half minutes to crush Borussia Mönchengladbach and clamber out of the Bundesliga bottom three.

Breel Embolo scored twice and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting converted a penalty, with a late Leon Goretzka strike capping a fine win for Markus Weinzierl's struggling team.

Markus Weinzierl’s team selection was spot on, matching Gladbach's three defenders with three attackers, which restricted free-scoring Gladbach to just two shots in the first half.

Alessandro Schöpf nearly put the hosts ahead in the first half when he poked the ball away from Nico Elvedi, but his shot sailed harmlessly into the arms of Yann Sommer.

Foals coach Andre Schubert tried to go for the win, replacing defender Yannik Vestegaard with captain Lars Stindl. The switch backfired as Schalke cranked their attacking power up a notch.

Choupo-Moting earned a penalty when Ibrahima Traore brought him down in the penalty area, and the forward gave Schalke the lead with the ensuing penalty kick.

Embolo doubled the lead four minutes later on the counter-attack, his first ever Bundesliga goal causing the Veltins Arena crowd to cheer so loud that the Swiss international had to cover his ears.

Leon Goretzka capped the quick scoring run two minutes later when he tapped in a saved Choupo-Moting shot from just outside the six-yard box.

Embolo got a second not long before time, dribbling around Sommer and rolling the ball into the empty net. Vestergaard could only hold his face in disgust from the sidelines, as he watched his team fall apart.

The win ends Schalke’s nightmare five-game losing streak, and they will look for victory number two in Augsburg after the international break.

 

Wolfsburg 0-0 Mainz

A lack of cutting edge in front of goal deprived Wolfsburg of a much-needed victory as Mainz held firm for a point in a goalless draw. Wolfsburg dominated much of the contest, but a defensively disciplined Mainz kept things tight in the first half, frustrating Dieter Hecking's side for long periods.

Julian Draxler saw a goal disallowed for offside on 16 minutes, putting the ball in the net after Mario Gomez created the chance – but the former Schalke man had strayed into an offside position. Jakub Blaszczykowski came closest in the first half, stinging the palms of Mainz keeper Jonas Lössl with a sweetly hit volley.

Mainz grew in confidence as the game matured, but they only had eyes for a point as Wolfsburg threw everything at them, increasingly desperate for a goal.

Gomez, still goalless since joining Wolfsburg in the summer, threatened as the game went on, stabbing just wide from close range before somehow failing to get on the end of Draxler's cross from the right, which Lössl did well to get his fingertips to to deny Gomez a tap in. The game's biggest chance fell to Draxler, who had to score when he took the ball around Lössl and simply had to tuck the ball away, but Giulio Donati got back to clear off the line – much to the exasperation of the home fans.

Wolfsburg's wait for a second Bundesliga victory goes on, and the under-pressure Hecking will be desperate for a win against in-form RB Leipzig when the Bundesliga resumes after the international break.

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