Berlin, April 16: Schalke tightened their grip on the second place of the Bundesliga football championship beating local rivals Borussia Dortmund 2-0 on second-half goals from Yevhen Konoplyanka and Naldo.
Schalke secured their first “Revierderby” victory since 2014 as Konoplyanka and Naldo on Sunday inflicted Dortmund their seventh loss of the league season, reports Xinhua news agency.
Both sides staged a lively start into the clash. Alessandro Schoepf created the first chance of the game after testing Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Buerki with a long range effort in the 5th minute.
However, both teams staged a well-positioned defense and defused most opportunities in the opening period.
Dortmund came to their first promising chance with 24 minutes played as Schalke custodian Ralf Faehrmann was forced to parry Marco Reus’ shot on target.
Before the break, the hosts picked up the pace and had the chance to grab the lead but Konoplyanka pulled wide.
After the restart, Schalke started where they left off and broke the deadlock. Daniel Caligiuri dispossessed defender Marcel Schmelzer before passing into the path of Konoplyanka, who made no mistake to slot home the opener from 11 meters in the 50th minute.
Dortmund were shocked and unable to respond, while Schalke failed to extend their lead.
As the match progressed, Dortmund pressed a passive Schalke into the defense. They remained nevertheless sloppy with their finish and failed to level the scores.
Schalke cut a better figure in front of the goal as Naldo secured all three points after unleashing 28-meter hammer past Dortmund goalie Roman Buerki in the closing period of the derby.
“Schalke won deservedly. We lacked in penetration up front while Schalke made the most of their few chances,” Dortmund’s coach Peter Stoeger said.
“We played a great first half. After the restart we managed to stay compact and often made breakthroughs on the wings. In the second half we scored the goals and defended well. I am very happy for the team and the fans,” Schalke’s coach Domenico Tedesco said.
With the result, runners-up Schalke opened up a four-point gap to third-placed Bayer Leverkusen while Dortmund slipped into 4th place.
Elsewhere, Leipzig and Werder Bremen shared the spoils following a 1-1 draw. Niklas Moisander opened the scoring for the hosts before Ademola Lookman provided the equalizer in the second half.
With the draw, Leipzig climb on the 5th place, eyeing for a berth in UEFA Europa League while Bremen continue on the 12th position of the table.