While the Königsblauen were far from spectacular, they did enough to hold on to an important 1-1 draw against Galatasaray.
Schalke will be the happier of the two teams after stealing a 1-1 draw in Istanbul. Galatasaray were on the front foot for most of the match and had the much better of the chances, but Timo Hildebrand was excellent in goal for the visitors, while they did very well to finish off a fantastic chance on the counter at the end of the first half.
A poor giveaway in midfield led to Galatasaray's opening goal, in the 12th minute. Selcuk Inan provided the assist with a chipped ball towards the edge of the box, which Benedikt Höwedes badly misplayed. The ball bounced to Burak Yilmaz, who finished calmly to tally his seventh goal in the competition.
The following 10 minutes were wild, with neither team doing much in the way of defending. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar missed an absolute sitter on a low cross shortly after the goal, while Hamit Altintop hit the bar in the 18th minute after Hildebrand saved an initial attempt by Didier Drogba.
Just before the break, Schalke struck back with a fantastic goal on the break, though Gala's defending was horrendous. It was created in a similar manner to Galatasaray's goal, following a terrible giveaway in midfield. Jefferson Farfan set up the chance with a brilliant run that attracted multiple defenders, leaving no one to track the late-arriving Jermaine Jones. Farfan squared to the unmarked American international, and he powered a shot into the back of the net that Fernando Muslera had no chance to stop.
Schalke were denied a penalty claim in the 53rd minute when the referee failed to spot a shot that hit the outstretched hand of Sabri Sarioglu. This was probably the best opportunity that Schalke had in the second half, as Galatasaray were very much on the front foot, knowing that a 1-1 draw benefitted their opponents.
In the 75th minute, Huntelaar skied a shot over the crossbar, and it would be his final effort of the match. He was poor on the night, and was replaced by Teemu Pukki. He wouldn't fare much better, though his energy probably helped his team hang onto a draw.
Hildebrand came up big with a couple of solid late saves and claims on both corners and long balls, but was never forced to do anything spectacular. Galatasaray will walk away from the match disappointed, knowing that they were the better side, but that they are now underdogs heading into the second leg due to their failure to win at home.