Down 2-0 and 3-2 but still won: FC Schalke 04 got out of the crisis against 1. FC Magdeburg in front of a sold-out arena and offered their fans a goal festival. In the end it was 4:3 (1:2) for the Royal Blues, who were particularly convincing in their fighting spirit after a weak start to the season.
The match winner at Schalke on Saturday evening (September 16th, 2023) was striker Sebastian Polter, who converted a penalty that was his fault into the winning goal (79th). Polter had already scored the goal in the 40th minute. The other Schalke goals were scored by Derry Murkin (62nd) and Thomas Ouwejan (69th). Silas Gnaka (16th/27th) with a brace and Connor Krempicki (67th) were the Magdeburg goal scorers.
“When a game ends like this, it’s good,” said Schalke coach Thomas Reis at the Sportschau microphone, “the team invested everything, overcame many setbacks and got the fans back on their side.”
FCM coach Titz: “We gave out gifts”
It was the second wild ride for FCM after the 6-4 win against Hertha BSC two weeks ago. At that time, Magdeburg had been behind four times. After the first defeat of the season, the Bördeländer missed out on a possible move to the top of the 2nd league table. Schalke remains twelfth with seven points.
“Today we handed out gifts,” said FCM coach Christian Titz: “With the 2-1 we brought Schalke back into it, then they came with their force. Then we make it 3-2 again – and then the game should actually be over be.”
To the live ticker: Schalke – Magdeburg arrow right 6th matchday arrow right
After the good start to the season, coach Titz’s men went to work with a lot of self-confidence and were quickly successful. Schalke’s right-winger Tobias Mohr helped a lot with Magdeburg’s opening goal when he played the ball into the feet of the incoming Gnaka. Gnaka made it 1-0 and added another ten minutes later from a similar shooting position. Again Mohr was not uninvolved and had to leave the field shortly afterwards.
Silas Gnaka from 1. FC Magdeburg celebrates his goal against Schalke.
Schalke’s 0-2 deficit was even flattering
Schalke was clearly behind early on. And it could have looked even worse if Marius Müller hadn’t brilliantly parried Leon Bell Bell in Schalke’s goal and Baris Atik had aimed a little better shortly afterwards. At this point, hardly anyone would have given a damn for a Schalke victory.
But the “Knappen” didn’t give up, became more courageous towards the end of the first half and were rewarded for it. Polter used a pass from Paul Seguin, who had previously tipped the ball away from Jamie Lawrende, to make it 1-2.
Bitter for Schalke: Goalkeeper Müller strained his groin while teeing off and had to make way for Michael Langer in tears shortly before the break.
A rumble hits, the arena shakes
After the break the scoring continued. First, the Englishman Derry Murkin managed to equalize 2-2 after strong preparatory work from Lino Tempelmann. The joy about this lasted all of five minutes, then substitute Connor Krempicki put Magdeburg in the lead again.
Schalke came back. Thomas Ouwejan curled a free kick from 18 meters straight into the corner – 3:3. The Schalke Arena was raging. Especially when Polter converted a penalty that he had taken himself. The striker was knocked to the ground by Daniel Heber, who was also sent off for this action.
Polter: “I’m proud of that”
“I took on the responsibility and I’m proud of that,” said double packer Polter at the Sportschau microphone, “the boys gave me their trust and then I put it in. It’s a great feeling to score in front of the curve, for that let’s play Soccer.”
With the first lead of the game and in the majority, Schalke left nothing to be desired, but were able to thank veteran goalkeeper Michael Langer, who came on as a substitute, and who made a world-class save in the final minute to keep Luc Castaignos’ header off the line.
Magdeburg is visiting Paderborn, Schalke is away against St. Pauli
1. FC Magdeburg opens the 7th matchday with the game against SC Paderborn (Friday, September 22nd, 2023 at 6:30 p.m.). Schalke face FC St. Pauli at Millerntor a day later (8:30 p.m.).