Schalke Win 2011 DFB-Pokal Final, Beat Duisburg 5-0

Schalke faces second division side Duisburg in the DFB-Pokal Final. The winner will qualify for the Europa League.

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Schalke Win 2011 DFB-Pokal Final: Beat Duisburg 5-0

Schalke put in a professional and clinical performance today in defeating Duisburg 5-0 to win the 2011 DFB-Pokal Final.

The goal scorers for Schalke were Julian Draxler, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (2), Benedikt Höwedes, and Jose Jurado. However, the man of the match was Peruvian midfielder Jefferson Farfan. He put in three great assists, and he absolutely tortured the Duisburg back line all match long.

Schalke captain Manuel Neuer would lift the trophy for the club. It is their first DFB-Pokal win since 2002. Neuer did hear a few whistles from the supporter's when he accepted his winner's medal. There has been speculation for weeks that he is leaving the club for perennial champions Bayern Munich. The cheers would be far louder than the jeers though, as the faithful were just glad to finally be lifting another trophy.

Duisburg put in a solid effort for a 2.Bundesliga side, but the difference in quality was evident. They had a remarkable run to get to the final, and it's a shame that it had to end like it did.

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Schalke Vs. Duisburg, 2011 DFB-Pokal Final: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar Scores Brace 5-0

As much as I would love to be telling you that Duisburg was back in this match with several quick goals, it's not the case. We're in the 70th minute, and they've completely capitulated. 

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has scored his second goal of the game to give Schalke a 5-0 lead. The awfulness of the play is just to epic to describe. The ball was played to Duisburg defender Goran Šukalo. Remarkably, Šukalo didn't feel the need to play with any urgency while standing in his own penalty box and several Schalke players running at him. The ball was taken from him and ended up at the feet of Huntelaar. The Dutch international turned and shot at the goal scoring his second of the match. 

Duisburg has been completely outclassed today, but the injuries to a few of their key players didn't help their chances to win this match. The effort put out in certainly could have been better in some situations, but Schalke have been on a different level today.

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Schalke Vs. Duisburg, 2011 DFB-Pokal Final: José Jurado Adds To Schalke's Total 4-0

The Duisburg defense continues with their no-show today twice in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Just one minute after the restart, José Jurado received a pass in the Duisburg penalty area with no defenders within 10 yards of him. He put a low, hard shot on goal, but David Yelldell made a nice save. Jurado attempted to put in the rebound, but it was deflected out for a corner that would come to nothing.

In the 55th minute, the Duisburg backline decided it was a good idea to step up in an attempt to catch the Schalke forwards offside. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar would hold the ball up and then find the streaking Jurado to put him one on one with the keeper again. This time Jurado didn't miss, and his low shot hit the back of the net.

The Schalke fans that made it to the Olympiastadion today are celebrating already. They know that cup glory is heading their way.

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Schalke Vs. Duisburg, 2011 DFB-Pokal Final: Schalke Leads Duisburg 3-0 At Halftime

The first half of this match  at the Olympiastadion went very much as expected. Schalke are showing their class over the second division side Duisburg in the final of the DFB-Pokal.

After the first ten minutes with both sides trying to get comfortable on the pitch, Schalke would begin to push forward to test the Duisburg defense. It would be Schalke defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos that would first test David Yelldell in goal for Duisburg. The Greek would get his head on a ball in the box that was headed for the top corner. Yelldell was able to deflect it away at the last second. It was a fantastic save for the American international to keep his side from going down early.

Minutes later, Jefferson Farfan would play a ball in the box to Julian Draxler. The young Schalke midfielder would deflect the ball up to himself and unleash a gorgeous shot that Yelldell had no chance at saving. The Schalke fans in attendance would erupt with joy with the feeling that this was the first of many to come today.

In the 22nd minute, Farfan would play another inch perfect pass into the box that Klaas-Jan Huntelaar would run on to and touch into the near post just beyond the reach of Yelldell. Just after 22 minutes it appeared that Schalke was on their way.

As the half wore on, Duisburg finally appeared to be getting their feet underneath them. They were able to venture deep into the Schalke side of the field several times, but they were unable to find that final pass to get the goal. None of the shots by that Manuel Neuer faced were good enough to beat him. 

Then just before halftime, Benedikt Höwedes would smash home a wide open header on a corner from Farfan. The marking on this goal was just completely unacceptable for a team with any hope of winning a cup.

With a 3-0 halftime lead, Schalke appear to be on their way to winning the 2011 DFB-Pokal and the 2011-2012 Europa League.

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Schalke Vs. Duisburg, 2011 DFB-Pokal Final: Benedikt Höwedes Header Gives Schalke 3-0 Lead

In the 42nd minute, Benedikt Höwedes scored a powerful header on a corner by Jefferson Farfan to give Schalke a dominating 3-0 lead minutes before the half. Höwedes ran from the top of the box without a man marking him. He was able to beat David Yelldell to the ball and scored. 

Duisburg appeared to be getting on track with several ventures deep into the Schalke half, yet they were unable to find that final pass to unlock the Schalke defense. Manuel Neuer made several saves but none of them were very difficult. Duisburg have to do better if they want to score today.

Schalke left back Hans Sarpei took a few knocks in the first half, and has been substituted for Sergio Escudero.

It appears that today is Schalke's day. In somewhat funny news, the announcer on my ESPN3.com feed stated that former Schalke manager Felix Magath will receive €1 million with the win today. Those contracts sure are funny things.

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Schalke Vs. Duisburg, 2011 DFB-Pokal Final: Julian Draxler and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar Score Two Fantastic Goals

Ralf Rangnick's faith in starting the young Julian Draxler proved to be outstanding as the 17 year old scored a cracking goal in the 17th minute. Jefferson Farfan played a hard ball on the ground to the feet of Draxler. With two defenders trying to catch him, Draxler unleashed a beauty of a goal that Duisburg goalkeeper David Yelldell had no chance to save.

Just a few minutes later in the 22nd minute, Farfan would play another great ball into the box that Klaas-Jan Huntelaar would run on to and put past Yelldell. After struggling for most of the season, Huntelaar makes his mark in a cup final. Go figure.

Just before Draxler's goal, a header by Kyriakos Papadopoulos would pull quite an amazing save out of Yelldell. It was the first chance of the match for either side, and the American international was able to make the save at full extension.

On a side note, Schalke's new away jerseys that they are wearing are quite ugly. I'm assuming that color is considered fuchsia? Right? Yuck.

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Schalke Vs. Duisburg, 2011 DFB-Pokal Final: Lineups

Schalke manager Ralf Rangnick has chose to start 17 year old Germany youth international Julian Draxler in midfield for the Cup Final. He will feature on the right side of the "3" in a 4-2-3-1. Draxler only made his professional debut back in January, so this is a major step up for the young player.

Duisburg manager Milan Šašić has decided to match Schalke's 4-2-3-1 formation with his own. He will be relying on Manuel Schäffler alone up top to trouble the Schalke back line. 

With so much speculation over what Manuel Neuer will do this summer, it will be interesting to see how he performs today. Just today, Rangnick admitted that today may not be Neuer's last in a Schalke jersey. In the other goal, David Yelldell will no doubt be looking to impress USA manager Bob Bradley ahead of the announcement of the USA's roster for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Lineups:

Schalke: Manuel Neuer; Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Christoph Metzelder, Benedikt Höwedes, Hans Sarpei; Jose Jurado, Peer Kluge; Julian Draxler, Raúl, Jefferson Farfan; Klaas-Jan Huntelaar

Duisburg: David Yelldell; Benjamin Kern, Daniel Reiche, Branimir Bajic, Olivier Veigneau; Ivica Banovic, Goran Sukalo; Sefa Yilmaz, Ivica Grlic, Olcay Sahan; Manuel Schäffler

Referee: Wolfgang Stark

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Preview: Schalke Vs. Duisburg, 2011 DFB-Pokal Final

Schalke takes on Duisburg in the 2011 DFB-Pokal Final on Saturday afternoon, and the winner will earn a spot in the Playoff Round of the 2011-2012 Europa League. Schalke are looking to cap off a disappointing Bundesliga season with a trophy, while Duisburg is the first 2.Bundesliga club to challenge for the cup since Alemannia Aachen in 2004.

Schalke will be looking to win their first silverware since 2005 when they won the now defunct Ligapokal. Coming into this match, Schalke have lost 6 matches in a row in the Bundesliga and the Champions League. Ralf Rangnick's side will be looking to turn things around in the cup final after a disappointing campaign in the league schedule. They finished a disappointing fourteenth in the table this season after coming in as runners-up last season. 

Duisburg are in their first cup final since 1998 when they lost 2-1 to Bayern Munich. The 2.Bundesliga side started the season strong and appeared on target for promotion back to the first division halfway through the season. The second half of the season wasn't as kind to the club, and they found themselves finishing a disappointing 8th. 

Schalke will be led up front by the incomparable Raúl who will be looking to win his first domestic league cup. He scored the game winner in the semifinals against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, and he will be looking to bag a few more goals in the Olympiastadion in Berlin. In goal will be the Germany number one Manuel Neuer. Neuer will be wearing the captain's armband in what is most likely his final match wearing the Schalke shirt. He will be hoping to bring a trophy to his hometown club in his final appearance before allegedly moving on to Bayern Munich.

Duisburg is coming into the match without their captain and leading goalscorer Srđan Baljak who will miss the match with a knee injury. They'll also be without the services of defender Julian Koch who is also missing out with an injury. Duisburg will have to hope for a spectacular performance from David Yelldell in the goal. They will also be looking for a goal from Austrian forward Stefan Maierhofer to pick up for the loss of Baljak . 

Schalke's path to the final included victories over 3rd Liga side VfR Aalen, 2.Bundesliga sides FSV Frankfurt and Augsburg, and Bundesliga sides Nürnberg and Bayern Munich. Duisburg's path had they face Regionalliga (fourth division) sides VfB Lübeck and Hallescher FC, 2.Bundesliga side Energie Cottbus, and Bundesliga sides Köln and Kaiserslautern.

Pick: Schalke 2 - 0 Duisburg

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