In his gray hoodie with the Malocher lettering, Schalke coach Thomas Reis spoke words of praise. What the opponent Union Berlin has done in the recent past is exceptionally good. He wishes all the best for the upcoming second leg in the second round of the Europa League against Ajax Amsterdam. But that was it for royal blue kindnesses.
With the newly discovered fighting football of the brand hard and edgy, the bottom of the Bundesliga had worked out the next point in the relegation battle with the Irons with the fourth 0-0 in a row.
But was this completed zero-number quartet, which no other club in the history of the Bundesliga has done since 1963, a great thing? Or rather a taint of abstinent victories? "We're trying to take the positives with us. But we're still working on finishing in the last third and rewarding yourself with a goal," Reis said. It is certainly just as unusual in the history of the league that a bottom team that has somehow already been written off remains without a goal four times in a row.
"Fight and win"
But being an anti-shooting gallery alone will not be enough for S04 to close the six-point gap to the competition in the relegation battle in the remaining 13 games of the season. "Fight and win" was the clearly audible demand of the Schalke fans after the final whistle in Berlin. They can fight, they just have to win. Goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann nevertheless spoke of an "extra point".
"It's important that we're compact. That's the basis. Of course we have to make sure that we score a few goals now, but that mustn't be at the expense of the defence," said Marius Bülter, describing Schalke's balancing act. As a former Union player, the winger knows exactly how difficult it is to succeed as a guest and outsider in the stadium at the Alte Försterei.
"been in more"
"We played against one of the best defences, but we had one or two scenes that could have been better," said Bülter. Long-term observers of the Irons stated that Schalke had not fallen into the tactical trap of the Irons as naively as Borussia Dortmund (0:2) or VfL Wolfsburg (1:2) this season. They defended unconditionally.
Before returning west, Reis was still having a friendly chat with Union colleague Urs Fischer. The Swiss wanted to know who it was going to be against next. VfB Stuttgart comes to Revier on Saturday (6.30 p.m. / Sky) as a direct competitor for staying in the class. Fischer's friendly facial expression was clear: with the performance in Berlin-Köpenick there is more to Schalke than a zero number.