Schalke stormed to victory in the German Cup on Saturday after demolishing second-division Duisburg by the biggest margin in decades. Schalke is now qualified for the Europa League, while Duisburg goes home empty-handed.
Schalke has won the German Cup five times
Schalke won the German Cup for the fifth time in the club's history on Saturday, blowing Duisburg off the pitch in a 5-0 rout and marking the cup's largest margin of victory in nearly 40 years.
The last time a team won that convincingly was in 1972 when Schalke defeated Kaiserslautern 5-0. The Ruhr Valley club is now qualified for the Europa League, while Duisburg, plagued by a string of injuries, again failed to win the German Cup in its fourth try at glory.
"We played with great concentration and in the end it was, thank God, a clear result," said Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick. "It's great to end the season with the title. We're proud of the club."
A lesson in offense
Schalke wasted no time in establishing its dominance early on by scoring three goals before the break. Jose Manuel Jurado and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar then effectively ended Duisburg's chances of making a comeback in the second half when they each tallied a goal.
It was a first for Spanish superstar Raul
"We're disappointed that we were not able to make more out of the game," Duisburg coach Milan Sasic said. "We thank our fans, who continue to support us and who have shown understanding for this defeat after the many injuries which set us back. We were already winners."
The win for Schalke is a consolation prize of sorts after bowing out of the semifinals of the Champions League and finishing the regular season 14th overall in the Bundesliga.
German national team goalkeeper Manuel Neuer had little to do as Schalke's defenders effectively shut down every Duisburg attempt at offense before they got anywhere near Neuer.
Perhaps a good 30,000 of the 75,000 fans in Berlin's Olympic stadium were clearly supporters of Schalke and began exuberant celebrations after the first goal by 17-year-old Julian Draxler fell in the 18th minute. The chanting and singing never stopped from thereon in.
"This is a dream," Neuer said after receiving from cup from German President Christian Wulff, flanked by national team coach Joachim Löw.
Schalke's victory also saw Spanish superstar Raul, who has won just about everything there is to win in club soccer, lift a first-ever domestic cup trophy, since he never won the Spanish cup during his lengthy career with Real Madrid.
Author: Gregg Benzow (SID, dpa, Reuters)
Editor: Andreas Illmer