Werder Bremen vs. Schalke 04: Final score 1-1, Königsblauen leave door open for rivals

Stuart Franklin

An even match that saw both teams come away with a point. Schalke will rue the missed chances as they remain in third place in the league, just behind rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Werder Bremen hosted Schalke 04 in fairly evenly contested match where the spoils were shared. As expected, the matchup of a 4-4-2 diamond and 4-2-3-1 provided a good battle for possession in midfield, but as the match went on, Schalke were able to impose their will having 56 percent of the ball.

Channeling the energy of the home crowd at the Weserstadion, Bremen were able to make a positive start, making a breakthrough 15 minutes in when Franco Di Santo was played through by Eljero Elia after some fancy footwork by the Dutchman. Di Santo's shot was deflected by Fährmann, but there was nothing the Schalke keeper could do to keep it from going into the net. Di Santo almost had a second less than two minutes later, hitting the far post after.

Wunderkinid Leon Goreztka leveled the score in the 33rd minute when he collected a cross from the right wing at the center of the area about 16 yards out and fired into the bottom left corner. Klass-Jan Huntelaar saw an effort cleared off the line two minutes later by Sebastian Prödl.

It went to half at 1-1. Schalke opened the second half positively and looked to have a good chance, but Huntelaar was offside. Overall, the second half was a bit more open than the first with both managers seemingly going for the three points.

Theodor Gebre Selassie replaced Franco Di Santo in the 56th minute, and even though it was a defender coming on for a striker, it was a smart choice because Di Santo had picked up a yellow card midway through the first half. This left Elia as the furthest forward player, but Bremen were able to play balls over the top and utilize his pace keeping the Schalke defense on their toes. It looked that he would have a good chance from such a pass in the 70th minute, but he fired well over.

Max Meyer came on for Chinedu Obasi in the 72nd minute. Tim Hoogland picked up a yellow in the 78th for pulling back Cédric Makiadi during a counter, but Bremen couldn't make anything out of a free kick about 40 yards from goal.

In the 78th minute, Schalke appealed for a penalty when it appeared Huntelaar was pushed in the back while going up to head a cross, but the referee did not grant it. Nils Petersen came on for Elia in the 82nd. Junuzović forced a great save from Fährmann two minutes later with a drive towards the top right corner that was parried away.

Adám Szalai replaced Huntelaar in the 89th, but the substitute was unable to do anything in three minutes of action.

Schalke remain in third now with 55 points, while Werder Bremen stay in 13th due to Eintracht Frankfurt's 2-0 win over Mainz.

Werder Bremen: Wolf; Garcia, Caldirola, Prödl, Fritz; Bargfrede, Makiadi, Junuzovic, Hunt; Elia (Petersen 82'), Di Santo (Gebre Selassie 56')

Goals: Di Santo (15')

Schalke 04: Fährmann, Kolasinac, Matip, Ayhan, Hoogland; Neustäder, Goretzka; Draxler, Boateng, Obasi (Meyer 72'); Huntelaar (Szalai 89')

Goals: Goretzka (33')

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