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FC Köln

Schalke and Köln play out scoreless draw

By Ultan Corcoran   @UltanCorcoran

Neither side could avail of the limited chances they created. Jeff Chabot and Marvin Schwäbe defended admirably for the visitors, while Kozuki and injury returnee Rodrigo Zalazar came close for the Royal Blues.
Marvin Schwäbe
Marvin SchwäbeSandro Halank CC-BY-SA 4.0
There were some interesting alterations to the Schalke line up ahead of the game. Thomas Reis made four changes to his starting line up since their heavy midweek defeat to Leipzig. Matriciani, Larsson, and Frei ousted by Moritz Jenz who since arrived from Lorient, Tim Skarke and Simon Terodde. Additionally, Schalke veteran Ralf Fährmann was preferred to Alexander Schwolow in goal. However, the hosts made a bright start, and it was Köln’s Marvin Schwabe who was under fire in the early exchanges. New man Moritz Jenz got on the end of Tim Skarke’s 2nd minute cross but denied spectacularly by the lively Schwäbe. Köln began to settle soon after with a sustained period of pressure despite the lack of chances.

It was a particularly feisty encounter with plenty of big tackles and meaty duels scattered throughout. Approaching the half hour mark Linton Maina was starting to create glimpses of danger. His blocked strike resulted in a corner from which Jeff Chabot narrowly headed wide. Florian Kainz had a handful of opportunities to pick out a teammate from dead ball situations but failed to do so. At the other end, Schalke skipper Danny Latza blazed a volley over the bar. Another chance went abegging on 38 minutes for Reis’ men. Latza again involved, this time overcooking the pass to the visibly angered Terodde. Davie Selke’s Köln debut ended abruptly leaving the field with an injury before the break. Perhaps a slightly more frustrating half for those in royal blue – they were left to rue some moments in which they could have taken the lead.

Like the first half, ‘Der Königsblauen’ once more made the lively start giving the Köln rear guard some trouble to deal with. Captain, Jonas Hector was brought off at the break, as Tigges replaced the unfortunate Selke. Steffen Baumgart readied another double substitution as the game approached an hour of play. Sargis Adamyan and Eric Martel thrusted into the action for Maina and Olesen. Meanwhile Frey replaced Terodde for the Gelsenkirchen outfit. Tom Krauß really ought to have scored lead when he headed over unmarked from six yards out.

Some bright news for Schalke fans was the much-welcomed return of Rodrigo Zalazar – his first involvement since early October having since recovered from a broken foot. The Uruguayan almost made an instant impact slipping in Kozuki but the Japanese winger was foiled by a fine Chabot block. The final 15 minutes passed with plenty of atmosphere and encouragement from the Schalke support willing their side on. Yet, it seemed like neither Schalke nor Effzeh would grab a goal. That was exactly how it finished in the end – points shared in an very attritional 0-0 draw.

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