Domenico Tedesco went straight to his match winners after the final whistle and relieved to hear Weston McKennie and Yevgeny Konoplyanka. A few meters away, Benedikt Höwedes was beaten and lonely on the Moscow lawn. Thanks to a good final phase Schalke 04 earned in a long tired game the 1-0 (0-0) win at Russian champions Lokomotiv Moscow. "He's a player who has the right body language at the age of 20. He was the match winner. The boy is even better, that's the good, "said Schalke sports director Christian Heidel on McKennie. "Such victories are good for us. The team has worked hard, "added coach Domenico Tedesco.
The late header from American McKennie ("It's a dream, really cool") after a corner by Konopljanka gave the Royal Blues a good start in their 2014 World Cup winner Höwedes' first Champions League victory and four points from two games Group D. "It was important that we put on the win after beating Mainz. Now we have to continue the mini-series in Dusseldorf, "said Heidel.
For the long-time Schalke captain Höwedes the chances of getting ahead as a pointless last table are minimal. 508 days after his 335th and final game for the Gelsenkirchen, Höwedes went to Schalke after the match. "It was a crazy game for me after so many years playing for Schalke. Next time we have to drink more target water," wrote Höwedes, who was eliminated by Tedesco in the summer and moved to Moscow for five million euros his Twitter channel.
In front of 21,471 spectators in the RZD Arena, both teams offered no premier-class football. At Schalke was for a long time felt little of the momentum of the first Bundesliga victory after five failures at the beginning. Nevertheless, the table 17 takes. the hoped-for "good feeling" (Tedesco) for the next league task on Saturday (15.30 clock in F.A.Z. Liveticker for Bundesliga and Sky) in promoted Fortuna Dusseldorf with.
Tedesco had spun in a big way and equal six players compared to the 1-0 against FSV Mainz 05 exchanged. The team included defender Naldo and king-transfer Sebastian Rudy, who had watched the last two games. His start-up debut for the Gelsenkirchen gave the former Frankfurt Omar Mascarell. Despite Naldo's return, the Schalke coach remained at the four-back line of the past games. Before that, Rudy and Mascarell secured as a double six.
Höwedes looked early in the first game against his former club the yellow card. When the former national player Breel Embolo escaped, he stopped the Swiss with a foul (19.). The first scoring chance of the game saw the Schalke veteran from afar. After noteworthy preliminary work by Anton Mirantschuk Dimitri Barinow tested goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann with a long-range shot (27.).
The Tedesco team came under pressure in this phase due to many inaccuracies in the construction game on the defensive again and again. But even the Russian champions lacked the precision in passing game. So dangerous goal scenes remained scarce and the game very broken.
Höwedes was mainly concerned with Embolo, the only topped by Tedesco – supported by Mark Uth and Konopljanka in the field. Except for a shot from Uth, who clearly missed the goal, the Royal Blues scored offensively little. On the other side, Naldo blocked Alexej Mirantschuk's shot (40 ').
With Suat Serdar and Nabil Bentaleb for Mascarell and Rudy Schalke tried in the second half, more pressure to develop forward. After just over an hour Konopljanka made the first shot on goal (62.). Ten minutes later, Uth initially failed keeper Guilherme and fired one shot (84 ') from the penalty line just off the post before McKennie headed in for victory just before the end.