By 90Min
August 19, 2017

The most hyped tie of the Bundesliga's first gameweek failed to provide as much excitement as anticipated, with a much-improved Schalke side easing to a 2-0 victory over last season's runners up RB Leipzig.

After a slow opening half hour things began to open up a little more, in particular for the home side, and their dominance showed when Franco Di Santo was brought down in the box as half time approached, with ex-Tottenham midfielder Nabil Bentaleb thumping home a great penalty to open up the scoring.

With little attacking intent coming from Leipzig in second half, the tie seemed to be all but done when Yevhen Konoplyanka smartly finished off a counter attack past a despairing Peter Gulasci - giving the Royal Blues an important 2-0 win and a big confidence boost for the upcoming season.

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With such a closely billed contest it was only natural that the opening 20 minutes of proceedings between both sides brought little in terms of chances in a tense start.

Leipzig found themselves with control of possession, with the home side struggling to break out of their own half, however even with control of the ball the away team failed to generate much in attack.

The most notable effort of the opening 29 minutes came from ex-Spurs man Bentaleb, who smartly controlled a high ball outside the Leipzig box and fired a thunderous shot towards Gulacsi’s right side, with the keeper making a smart diving save.


Following that particular effort the Royal Blues seemed to find themselves with the ball a little more as the match started to open up. Ten minutes after his original shot Bentaleb found himself hammering one towards Gulacsi’s arms once more as Schalke continued to build momentum.

Shortly after that, Leipzig wide man Marcel Sabitza failed to chip an effort over Schalke captain Ralf Fahrmann from 18 yards out, the home side quickly found themselves on the break through Di Santo who was clumsily tripped in the box by youngster Dayot Upemecano.

Man of the first half Bentaleb thumped home the conversion from the spot just before the half-time whistle to give Domenico Tedesco’s side the lead.

Schalke stopper Fahrmann found himself working for the first time in the match, when Sabitza slammed an awkwardly bouncing effort to the body of the German who quickly recovered to gather the spilled ball, ten minutes after the interval.

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On 62 minutes, Leipzig put the ball in Schalke’s net only to have Youssef Poulsen’s tidy finish disallowed on a close offside call from the officials.

Exactly ten minutes later Schalke seemed to all but polish off the contest when Konoplyanka was played through on the counter once more, the Ukrainian found himself one on one and finished off the opportunity with a tidy right footed finish past a despairing Gulasci.

Leipzig made changes giving Bruma and Kevin Augustin their league debuts but too little avail in the Schalke half as they searched for a way back into the match.

Despite finding themselves camped out in the home side's half for the final ten minutes, Leipzig failed to string together any real threat for Fahrmann to deal with.

The game almost got worse for Leipzig when Daniel Caliguri struck the woodwork in the dying moments of the match. After a very successful campaign last time out Leipzig will be bitterly disappointed with that result with Schalke and Tedesco very pleased with such a solid start to the season.

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