Thomas Reis preferred to celebrate his biggest win to date in silence. The FC Schalke 04 coach did not celebrate excessively after the 2-0 (1-0) win at his old place of work at VfL Bochum, where he had been badly insulted before the explosive Revierderby.
"Of course it was something special today, I make no secret of it. It was the first time that I came to the stadium as an opponent," said the long-time Bochum professional and coach, who is now on the verge of the To keep FC Schalke in the Bundesliga.
Due to the second win in a row, the newly promoted team, who had hardly been competitive for a long time this season, passed VfL, who had the same number of points, to 17th place with 19 points.
Reis wants to be happy "inwardly".
His head coach remained cool on the outside and, by his own admission, was more "inside" happy, as he reported on Sky. "You have respect for the club where you worked for three years and where it was great fun," he said later.
With the majority of the VfL appendix, he is through after his sacking in Bochum, which was accompanied by many discords, following the false start of the season and the subsequent move to unloved neighbors Schalke. An insulting poster ("If you're not a dishonorable bastard, who is?") and a number of whistles before the game, Reis had endured quite stoically. Even after the game there was - deliberately - little extroverted from him.
Players and fans reacted much more euphorically to the liberation - just in time for the big Revierderby next Saturday against Borussia Dortmund, Schalke is not last for the first time since autumn 2022. "We're number one in the pot," sang enthusiastically the fans from Gelsenkirchen who had come to the neighboring city.
VfL keeper Riemann with a slapstick own goal
Joy and sorrow were also spatially very close together. Bochum keeper Manuel Riemann crouched on the pitch like a heap of misery. Significantly, the only consolation after the game came from the Schalke players. With a blatant slapstick own goal (45th), the opinionated VfL goalkeeper gave the guests the basis for victory in the first place. Up until then Schalke hadn't had a single chance to score, Bochum was better.
"We missed a huge opportunity today," said Bochum coach Thomas Letsch after the fourth Bundesliga defeat in a row: "We're responsible for that ourselves. It's a massive problem that after a superior half-time in which we only don't take our chances, don't go into the break again with at least a 0-0 lead." The reason for this was, of course, Riemann's dropout, who simply had to catch the ball in front of the line, but instead pushed it over the line.
Bochum's forester complains about the reaction of the fans
"With the mistakes we are currently making, it will be difficult to win and stay in class," complained midfielder Philipp Förster. After the break, all of a sudden nothing worked for Bochum, who even had to let their own supporters accuse them of not fighting. "I can understand that the impression is created," said Letsch surprisingly.
Curiously, both teams, who are now tied on points, are going into the coming weeks with completely different moods. Schalke, as one of only two teams still undefeated in the second half of the season, is looking forward to the derby against BVB - the team that hasn't even dropped a point this year. At VfL there is already a mood of doom.
After the game, the players were whistled at and probably insulted badly. "You can't accept that," complained the dejected forester afterwards and reported on several stinky fingers that could be seen from the fan block. Letsch announced that he now wants to "put everything to the test".