When the 2015 first round Pokal drawings were announced, it seemed it would be FC Schalke 04 who were given the hardest pick of all Bundesliga teams: recent second division promoted side MSV Duisburg would play them for the first time since being stunned 5-0 in the cup final four years ago.
It would be hard to tell they were burdened with the pick after hammering the home side, again by a 5-0 margin.
Here are the winners and losers of the one-sided match.
Winner: Johannes Geis
New boy Johannes Geis couldn’t have had a better competitive debut for Schalke after providing a goal and an assist against Duisburg.
At the 39th minute, Geis whipped in a curved corner that met the head of 22 year-old defender Matija Nastasic, and within six minutes, scored an absolute sublime free kick from 25 yards out to push the scoreline 3-0.
If early signs are really what is to come, Schalke may have one of the best free kick takers in Europe with the man from Mainz now a Royal Blue.
Loser: Branimir Bajić
MSV Duisburg captain Branimir Bajić had an unfavorable game Saturday afternoon, as he was double booked within minutes and cut his team down to ten men.
The 29 year-old was booked within minutes after his initial foul for shoving Schalke’s new striker, Franco di Santo, in the penalty box.
It would’ve added salt to the wound had Franco’s shot not been brilliantly saved by Michael Ratajczak, but the ejection of the Bosnian international essentially set the tone for the rest of the Zebra’s game, as they were down a man for almost an hour.
Winner: Julian Draxler
It may seem odd to include a player who didn’t score nor assist as a “winner” of the night, but it was surely a phenomenal night for 21 year-old Schalke youth product Julian Draxler.
He was scintillating to watch on the ball, setting up Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting brilliantly with a long-range cross to assist Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for the opening goal. He was paced, showed deft passing ability and terrorized the Duisburg back line.
You just have to wonder when he’ll net that 25-yard-plus screamer of his earlier years, as he has truly shown significant progress since then, proving why so many top world clubs want him. His return to top form could be a huge lift for the Gelsenkirchen side.
Loser: Duisburg’s second division hopes
Gino Lettieri will have hoped his side could recover from a slow start to his club’s new division by proving themselves in the domestic cup, but Duisburg had fallen apart after just forty minutes against the pressing Schalke side.
Mustering just two shots on target, Duisburg rarely tested Schalke’s defense. Had their captain not been sent off, the match could’ve been a completely different situation.
Duisburg have racked three losses in three games since the beginning of the season, shipping 11 goals and only scoring one.
Winner: Andre Breitenreiter
Schalke’s unenviable head position below Horst Heldt was handed to the young manager in early June, and it seemed the right man fans wanted: someone who asks his players to attack, press, and attack.
The opening game with his new club was simply historic Breitenreiter.
No other manager in Schalke’s long history has started so successfully on his debut match, and it seems only a dream come true for the former Paderborn coach.
Schalke have set the bar high for the upcoming season, while moving ahead to the second round of the DFB cup.
Schalke’s next test will be the opening game of the Bundesliga, facing Werder Bremen away in one of Saturday’s early matches.
MSV Duisburg: Ratajczak – Bohl, Bajic, Bomheuer, Feltscher – Holland (60. Albutat), Wolze – Bröker, Janjic, Grote (32. Meißner) – Brandstetter (70. Iljutcenko)
Schalke 04: Fährmann – Aogo, Nastasic, Matip, Caicara – Draxler, Goretzka, Geis (76. Neustädter), Choupo-Moting (60. Sané) – di Santo (64. Meyer), Huntelaar
Tore: Huntelaar (3.), Nastasic (39.), Geis (45.), di Santo (63.), Goretzka (86.)
Gelbe Karten: Grote, Wolze
Gelbrote Karte: Bajic
Schiedsrichter: Wolfgang Stark (Ergolding)
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