Klaas-Jan Huntelaar Schalke striker“They will pose a threat this evening to Arsenal’s proud record of never having lost a Champions League encounter to foreign opposition at the Emirates.”

These words from the Arsenal programme were all too poignant come the end of Wednesday night. That proud record of the Gunners had disappeared by then, as Schalke continued what has been a glorious last week.

So they’d won away at their arch rivals and Champions of Germany, Borussia Dortmund – impressive. Their victory at the Emirates wasn’t too bad either. Because for the second time in five days, Schalke came away from home and outclassed top opposition. It’s easy to write off Arsenal’s performance as insipid but in all honesty, the side from Gelsenkirchen made them look that way. Schalke kept their discipline so well that it wasn’t until a minute before the end of the game that goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall had to make a save.

The home side had threatened in the first half. Atsuto Uchida looked vulnerable at times as the Gunners poured down the left hand side but anything that went into the box was dealt with by Joel Matip or Benedikt Höwedes. Any hopes Arsenal had of breaking down their visitors were effectively ended when Huub Stevens brought on Jermaine Jones for Marco Höger at half time.

Jones was unlucky to not be picked for the Revierderby at the weekend, having been in good form this season. His presence on the pitch at the Emirates seemed to fix any leaks there were in the first half as Arsenal could not create a clear-cut chance in the second.

Schalke weren’t having such problems as they probed down either flank, and it was down the right hand side where they were having most joy. André Santos cut a lonely figure as time and again, Jefferson Farfan, or Uchida, found space down the right to deliver into the box. It should have produced a goal at the end of the first half but last season’s top scorer in the Bundesliga, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar put wide from just a few yards – an altogether puzzling experience.

If Arsenal expected to get away with giving another great chance to a man with the nickname “The Hunter,” then they were mistaken. Huntelaar lashed in a one-on-one in the second half to give Schalke a deserved lead in London.

Suddenly the home side had an urgency about them which hadn’t been present for the previous 75 minutes. Schalke weren’t worried though as they killed off the hosts five minutes from time. As on Saturday in Dortmund, their second came from a simple counter attack. This time Ibrahim Afellay finished off Jefferson Farfan’s cross, setting off a silent fire alarm across the Emirates as the home faithful disappeared swiftly into the night. In one noisy corner of the stadium, celebrations were under way. It had been another great night for Schalke.

In truth, it had been a great night for the Bundesliga as well, especially with Borussia Dortmund’s victory over Real Madrid. It’s commonplace to hear the division being praised for its fans, for its atmosphere, for the stadiums and in general, for the sensible policies in place in German football. Yet performances in Europe, excluding Bayern Munich, have belied the quality of football in the country. Wednesday night proved to Europe just how capable the likes of Schalke are.

Domestically, the Gelsenkirchen outfit are seven points behind Bayern in the Bundesliga title race but having ended Arsenal’s proud record at the Emirates, Schalke showed they have nothing to fear.

Article orginally written @ Gone With The Rhind

What do you think?

Sign in with Facebook and be
entered for a chance to
Win a pair of Puma evoPOWER football boots

Terms and Conditions

Why?

  • Sign up in 2 seconds
  • Use your FB profile image
  • No need to remember a password
  • See which of your friends would like this

Note: We don't post to your wall

Login

Comment without logging in

You will need to fill this out each time to comment so why not quickly login with Facebook!

*

What do you think?

Sign in with Facebook and be
entered for a chance to
Win a pair of Puma evoPOWER football boots

Terms and Conditions

Why login with Facebook?

  • Sign up in 2 seconds
  • Use your FB profile image
  • No need to remember a password
  • See which of your friends would like this

Note: We don't post to your wall


  • JohnW
    2 years ago

    Actually Archie, Arsenal will win at Schalke, believe me. You won because all the hallmarks of the Arsenal game were missing that evening, but you will see a very different Arsenal in two weeks time. Please beware because I love the Bundesliga.

    Reply
    • Archie Rhind-Tutt
      2 years ago

      Hi John,

      Didn’t say Schalke would win in the return leg – although to be honest I think they probably will. Also, not a Schalke fan, just a Bundesliga writer. Agree that we’ll see a different Arsenal side in two weeks but still think they’ll find the going very tough in Gelsenkirchen.

      Reply
  • Samrin
    2 years ago

    Great article, mate!
    I always feel that Dortmund is given a lot of credit. But Schalke isn’t. To me the win is hardly a surprise. Schalke has done well in both their previous CLs, finishing q-finalist in one and semi-finalist in another. Schalke is good enough to dance with the big boys and I think they will the return in Gelsenkirchen too.

    Reply
    • Archie Rhind-Tutt
      2 years ago

      Hi Samrin,

      Thanks for the comments – Schalke have been left in Dortmund’s shadow of late but in the last week, they’ve finally turned up in some big games – seomthing they didn’t do last year.

      Reply
  • moncler
    2 years ago

    moncler 2012 Super matchless warmth, quite fine! Truly, Chaquetas mujer Moncler jackets is a lot more as being a wizard, allow an average become excellent, allow peaceful grow to be clamorous. Design and style will be drab coverall, however completely get huge palms temperament, this kind of winter months providing own it, down the road wintertime are usually inseparable from this!Moncler jackets designs are produced for you to keep way up while using most recent style craze, together with all the innovation by using amazing hues and shiny fabrics absolutely capture people’s consideration. moncler jackets is of interest to all the men and some women .It could bring you different styles and shades.Fashion brand name, particularly the utilization of selected colors, high gloss,which are increasingly popular together with teenagers.
      

    Reply