Live Commentary: Schalke 04 2-3 Galatasaray (3-4) - as it happened

Galatasaray forward Didier Drogba during his side's match aginst Schalke on February 20, 2013
© AP Photos
Find out how Galatasaray advanced in the Champions League at the expense of Schalke 04 with Sports Mole's live updates.

Schalke and Galatasaray met in Germany this evening for the right to progress through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Armed with an away goal from the opening leg in Turkey that ended 1-1, hosting Schalke took the lead during the first half through Roman Neustadter. However, quickfire strikes from Hamit Altintop and Burak Yilmaz sent the away side 2-1 up heading into the break.

Schalke brought themselves to within a goal of qualification after the restart courtesy of Michel Bastos, but substitute Umut Bulut sealed the victory for Galatasaray deep into stoppage time.

You can find out how the match unfolded with our minute-by-minute commentary below.


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6.48pmEvening all. So then, we are nearing the end of last 16 of the Champions League. While this one may not sound as glamorous as Barcelona vs. AC Milan, there is so much to play for. Either Schalke 04 or Galatasaray will be the quarter-finals by the end of tonight and anything can happen from that point.

6.51pmBefore we get into all the statistics and pre-match talk leading up this encounter, the team news is just beginning to filter through from Germany. Let's start with the hosts...

6.53pmSCHALKE X1: Hildebrand; Uchida, Matip, Howedes, Kolasinac; Hoger, Neustadter, Farfan, Draxler, Bastos; Pukki

6.56pmWell the big news for the home team is that their main goal threat Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is nowhere to be seen. The Dutch international has been ruled out completely with a knee injury. His place has gone to Finland international Teemu Pukki, who has not exactly been prolific since he joined the club in 2011. Jermaine Jones is also absent through suspension.

6.58pmGALATASARAY X1: Muslera; Nounkeu, Semih Kaya, Eboue; Altintop, Selcuk Inan, Felipe Melo, Riera, Sneijder; Drogba, Burak Yılmaz

7.01pmSo, both Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder start for the away side. Both of those have previously won the competition. However, Galatasaray's main threat may come from Burak Yılmaz, who is their leading goalscorer in all competitions. Former Arsenal full-back Emmanuel Eboue is also included.

7.06pmGoing back to that Schalke lineup, it cannot be stressed enough just how big of a miss Huntelaar will be. He has scored 13 goals so far this term following a staggering 48 that he managed to rack up last season. He is Schalke's main focal point and showed that by scoring against Borussia Dortmund at the weekend. It's a big role for Pukki, who won't have played in many bigger matches than this.

7.08pmAs well as Huntelaar, midfielder Jones, who scored during the first leg, is suspended. Dutch winger Ibrahim Afellay is injured and Lewis Holtby was recently sold to Tottenham Hotspur. That is another three quality players that are missing for the hosts. It's something that Gala will no doubt be looking to exploit.

7.11pmOne player that is fit and available though is Julian Draxler. He may only be 19, but the Germany international is very highly rated throughout Europe now. He has often played in an attacking midfield role this season and looks likely to carry on in that position tonight.


7.14pmHe has also been speaking ahead of this match and has warned his teammates that they will need to be wary of two players in particular:

"We know that Galatasaray have a very good team," he told reporters. "With Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder they have signed two top stars, but we should not underestimate the other players. Of course, it is nice to be on the pitch playing against such world stars."


7.18pmWhile we are hoping that it will be entertaining on the pitch tonight, it could well get a bit tasty in the stands. Galatasaray were given around 3,000 official tickets for the match, but it has been estimated that up to 10,000 will be present. Apparently a lot of Turks live in this area of Germany and have been snapping up tickets like hot cakes.

7.21pmIn fact, around 20 Galatasaray supporters actually broke into the stadium earlier today and hid! Stewards took quite a while to find them before sending them on their way. Reports have suggested that they were rather on the drunk side. I bet their heads will feel as heavy as concrete in the morning!

7.26pmThose fans have gained a new hero in recent weeks in the form of Drogba, who signed on the dotted line in January following a short stint in China. He has been explaining his switch to Istanbul to Sky Sports News:

"There were other clubs but when the opportunity came I didn't have to think about it. I thought it would be nice to go to a team with the same atmosphere and passion that I had in Marseille. It's a very cosmopolitanism city and I have joined a very big club in Europe. I'm very happy here."


7.30pmThe 35-year-old has had four outings so far and has managed to score one goal. During his stint at Chelsea, it was on these sort of nights that he used to flourish. Having said that (and no disrespect to the Gala players) but he did have the likes of Frank Lampard, Juan Mata and Arjen Robben giving him the ball down the years. Early reports have suggested that he has cut a frustrated figure at times when his new teammates have been unable to get him the ball on a regular basis.

7.34pmWesley Sneijder is another player who like Drogba, joined Gala in January. There can be no doubting his ability, but it has been suggested that coach Fatih Terim is struggling to fit him into the team. He likes to play in an advanced midfield role, but he has so far struggled to find space with Drogba and Burak Yılmaz both starting up front. It wouldn't be a bad night for him to fully adapt though, would it?

7.39pmRight then, not long until we are off and running at the Veltins Arena. There is a fantastic atmosphere already, which probably has something to do with the number of Turkish fans that have attended. It should make for a frantic match (hopefully!)

7.43pmHere they come then after a bit of a delay in the tunnel - not sure why that was. Nevertheless, they arrive on the pitch to a rather loud reception and here comes the official Champions League anthem. There is something about that music isn't there?! Almost game time.

1 minWe are a couple of minutes late, but Galatasaray, kicking from left to right, get this second leg started...

3 minThe brightest thing about this match so far has been the Schalke supporters. It is no exaggeration to say that they are some of the loudest that I have heard all season. They are certainly doing their best to try inspire their team on the pitch.

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5 minCHANCE! Signs of early intent from the Turkish visitors. Sneijder crosses for Yilmaz, who goes down inside the box dramatically. Drogba is not waiting around for his teammate and collects the loose ball, before firing wide of the target. With his ability, he should have done much better there.

7 minSAVE! Drogba is certainly looking a lot fitter than he did in the first leg. His second chance in a minute comes as he bursts inside the area, only to see his rising effort parried to safety by Schalke goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand at his near post. It's been a real positive start from the away team.

11 minAnother opening appears for Galatasaray as Yilmaz finds himself all alone inside the penalty area. He seems to be shocked to have so much time though and hesitates before the home defence is able to retreat and clear the danger. They could really do with scoring while they are on top because Schalke are bound to gain control at some stage.

13 minCHANCE! First sight of goal for the hosts and Joel Matip will feel that he should have done a bit better. The centre-back rose highest to meet a corner, but having timed his jump to perfection, he could only guide his header way over the crossbar from eight yards out. He's frustrated with himself and you can see why.

17 minGOAL! Schalke 1-0 Galatasaray (Neustadter)

19 minDid Galatasaray learn anything from the opening leg? They were dominated from set plays back in Istanbul and Schalke have scored with their second of the match tonight. Centre-back Benedikt Howedes causes problems by jumping so high it looked as though he was on a trampoline. His leap appeared to put off keeper Fernando Muslera, who spills the ball into the path of Roman Neustadter. The German midfielder doesn't think twice and powers the ball into an unguarded net. Advantage Schalke.

23 minSAVE! The goal has breathed some life into the Schalke team. Pukki had been quiet up until this point, but he goes close to doubling his team's advantage when he dribbles into the area, before cutting inside and unleashing a low strike. Thankfully for Gala, Muslera gets down early to hold the ball on this occasion.

27 minHowedes is lucky to have just escaped a booking. The Schalke centre-back completely wipes Sneijder's legs away on the halfway line, leaving the Dutch international in a heap. The referee gives a free kick, but that is all. After Nani's sending off last week, that is certainly a yellow card at least.

29 minSome potential bad news for Galatasaray as Drogba is down and holding his knee. He looks to be in a lot of discomfort, but we have seen this from Drogba before during his Chelsea days. That is not to say that he is not injured, but he has cried wolf many times before.

31 minDrogba is back, having limped off as if he was going to need his leg amputated! For someone of his size, he does go down awfully easily at times. He may very well be in pain, but he really hasn't helped himself down the years.

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35 minCHANCE! Unbelievably close from Galatasaray's Sneijder. Emmaneul Eboue picks him out on the edge of the Schalke area with a sweeping pass. Most players would have took a touch, but not Sneijder. He curls the ball goalwards first time and sees his effort fly inches past the post. It's a great effort that was deserving of a goal.

37 minGOAL! Schalke 1-1 Galatasaray (Altıntop)

39 minIt's the one player that Schalke fans will have feared scoring against them. Hamit Altıntop spent four years with the German outfit and now he has come back to haunt them in style. He picks up the ball 30 yards from goal and decides to try his luck from distance. It looks as though Hildebrand has it covered, but at the last minute the ball swerves viciously away from the Schalke keeper and nestles into the net. It's his first goal for Gala and whay a time to get it. We are now level - game on.

41 minGOAL! Schalke 1-2 Galatasaray (Yilmaz)

43 minAs Ray Wilkins has said many times: "My word." Howedes, heading back towards his own goal, looks as though he is running through treacle as Yilmaz beats him to the ball. The striker then lifts the ball over an advancing Hildebrand, before making sure with a strike from close range. They have scored twice in four minutes and are no big favourites to advance. Schalke need two goals to get through.

44 minSAVE! An immediate chance to respond for Schalke goes a begging. The ball drops to Michel Bastos, who has a great left foot at times. On this occasion he fails to connect cleanly and his volley from inside the area is picked up by Muslera with ease. That really would have thrown the cat among the pigeons.

45 minWe are going to have two minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half...

45+2 minHALF-TIME: Schalke 1-2 Galatasaray

8.36pmWhat an entertaining half of football that turned out to be. It looked as though Schalke were in command when they took the lead, but two goals in the space of four minutes have seen Galatasaray turn this tie upside down. They are massive favourites to advance through now because Schalke require two goals.

8.40pm"Two goals" is something that currently looks beyond Schalke, it has to be said. Even when they were in front, they were not exactly creating a hat full of chances. Since they've fallen behind, they have looked stunned. It's going to be an important half-time team talk from Jens Keller. He needs to fire his team up.

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8.42pmAs far as the visitors are concerned, it will be interesting to see how they approach the second half. They arrived knowing that they had to score, but now that they have done that (twice), will they sit back? That could be a dangerous ploy, but it is one that a number of teams tend to take when they are in front. It's going to be a really intriguing second 45 minutes without any doubt.

8.44pmOne player that may not be involved though is Drogba. He hit the deck again during first-half stoppage time and had to be helped off by a couple of his teammates. While he has not been particularly great, he would be a big loss for Galatasaray. His experience alone could prove vital in the dying embers.

8.48pmJust before we get restarted, let me draw your attention towards Sports Mole's half-time report of all the action from the Veltins Arena courtesy of Pascal Lemesre. Enjoy.

45 minAs Schalke get us back underway, they have made a change at the break. Goalscorer Neustadter has picked up an injury and can no longer continue. He has been replaced by Christian Fuchs, while surprise, surprise - Drogba has returned for Galatasaray! Game on.

49 minOne player that has impressed tonight for Schalke is Draxler. The way that he keeps the ball glued to his feet while dribbling is reminiscent to setting the level to easy while playing FIFA on the Playstation and then waltzing your way around your computer opponents. Schalke will do well to keep hold of him in the summer.

53 minSAVE! It looked extremely awkward, but Hildebrand has just kept Schalke in the Champions League. Yilmaz has a mighty shot in his right boot and he just unleashes one from 12 yards out. The Schalke keeper is falling the other way, but manages to stick up his left hand to divert the ball behind for a corner, which comes to nothing.

56 minSAVE! At last Schalke put something together. Pukki, who has been far too quiet for the home team's liking, finds himself with space to the left of the target and having got the ball back onto his right foot, he drills it towards Muslera's near post. The keeper gets down well though and manages to push clear the danger. That's better from the Germans nonetheless.

59 minBrilliant stuff from Pukki once again. He shows great feet inside the area to work out an opening, but as he goes to shoot a sliding Eboue manages to divert the ball to safety. The Finn has looked a lot more dangerous since the restart. Perhaps that is because he is now getting much more service.

61 minCHANCE! Now Schalke are beginning to pile on the pressure. The latest to try his luck is the impressive Draxler, who dances his way past three Galatasaray players before chipping the ball towards the goal. It looks as though it is about to drop in the top corner, but the ball eventually lands on the roof of the net. Clever effort which deserved a little bit more.

62 minGOAL! Schalke 2-2 Galatasaray (Bastos)

65 minIt's been coming, there is no doubt about that. Marco Hoger crashes a shot against the underside of the bar and Galatasaray fail to clear the danger. The ball then drops to Pukki, who overuns it and is challenged by Muslera. It breaks loose for Atsuto Uchida and the Japanese attacker shows great composure to square for Bastos. There is nothing subtle about the Brazilian's finish - he smashes it into the net. Schalke still need one more, but it is a start.

68 minSAVE! Draxler looks as though he has got a baton in his hand and is conducting the orchestra at the moment. The lad is only 19 and he is running this game. On this occasion he works himself enough space to shoot from 18 yards out, but Muslera is equal to his strike. One way or another, we are in for great ending in Gelsenkirchen.

71 minSUBSTITUTION: He has flashed in and out of this match and now Sneijder has been replaced for Galatasaray. He is certainly not the same player that lit up this competition back in 2010 for Inter Milan. Nordin Amrabat comes on in his place.


74 minRight, let's just clarify how things stand at this moment in time. The scores are level at three goals apiece, but if it ends this way, Galatasaray will qualify for the quarter-finals because they have scored more away goals. The only way that Schalke can advance is if they win this match.

77 minCHANCE! Howedes doesn't score that often and you can see why. The Schalke skipper leaps highest to meet a free kick from the right by Jefferson Farfan, but his contact is too full and the ball is powered way wide of the target. Time is beginning to run out for the home team.

79 minSUBSTITUTION: It's an unfortunate ending for Galatasaray's Semih Kaya, who has picked up what looks to be a serious head injury after he was caught by a stray boot from Draxler. There was no intent from the Schalke midfielder, but Kaya is out cold and has been stretchered off. Gokhan Zan has replaced him.

81 minSchalke have nine minutes plus stoppage time to retain their place in the Champions League. It's going to be a nervy finish!

85 minSUBSTITUTIONS: A double switch from the home team as Chinedu Obasi and 17-year-old Max Mayer replace Hoger and Pukki respectively. Meanwhile, the brilliantly named Umut Bulut comes on for goalscorer Yilmaz for Galatasaray.

90 minRight then, it's come down to stoppage time, which will be at least five minutes long. Schalke need to score otherwise they are out and Galatasaray are through. Nail-biting stuff.

90+2 minIt really is kitchen sink time for Schalke. They are throwing everything they have at Galatasaray, but the Turks are holding firm at the moment. It's brilliant to watch, because both sides are so desperate for different reasons.

90+4 minBOOKING! A frustrated Kolasinac is yellow carded for fouling Drogba. It's brilliant play from the former Chelsea striker, who uses his power to hold off numerous challenges before he is illegally stopped. One minute to go!

90+5 minGOAL! Schalke 2-3 Galatasaray (Bulut)

90+5 minThe fat lady has sung as far as Schalke are concerned. Having committed virtually everybody forward, Bulut bursts through into the Schalke half unopposed. His first shot is saved by Hildebrand, but he gets a second bite of the cherry and rolls the ball into an empty net. Galatasaray will be in Friday's quarter-final draw.

90+6 minFULL TIME: Schalke 2-3 Galatasaray

9.44pmWow, what a fantastic encounter that was. It kept us guessing right until the very end. As it was, Galatasaray squeeze through in dramatic circumstances. Credit to Schalke, because they played their part and on another day it could have been them celebrating.


9.46pmThat's all we have time for from Northern Germany - I need to get my breath back! Thanks for joining us this evening and until next time, goodbye.

Galatasaray's Burak Yilmaz celebrates scoring for his team against Shalke on February 20, 2013
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