Live Commentary: Galatasaray 1-1 Schalke - as it happened

Live Commentary: Galatasaray 1-1 Schalke - as it happened
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Sports Mole brings you live text commentary of the Champions League last-16 tie between Galatasaray and Schalke 04.

Good evening and welcome to Sports Mole for live coverage of the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie between Galatasaray and Schalke 04 at the Turk Telekom Arena.

Tonight marks the first-ever meeting between these two teams, who will no doubt fancy their chances of reaching the quarter-finals.

The Turkish outfit qualified from Group H along with Manchester United by winning their last three games to edge out CFR Cluj on head to head.

Meanwhile, Die Knappen finished top of Group B ahead of Arsenal and have lost just one of their last nine European away matches.

However, their domestic form has nosedived since early November, winning just one of their last 13 games.

You can follow all the action as it unfolds with us below. Please note that kickoff is at 7.45pm.

6.46pmGood evening! Welcome to Sports Mole for live coverage of this Champions League last-16 encounter between Galatasaray and Schalke 04 at the Turk Telekom Arena.

6.47pmBoth sides should be happy with this draw. They have avoided bigger names and will fancy their chances of making the last eight. However, they are enjoying contrasting domestic fortunes of late...

6.48pmGala currently have a six-point lead over arch rivals Fenerbahce at the top of the Turkish Super Lig. Schalke on the other hand have won just once since November 10, during which time Huub Stevens lost his job.

6.49pmLet's not waste any time in giving you the team news from Turkey. We'll start with the visitors...

6.54pmSCHALKE: Hildebrand, Hoger, Howedes, Matip, Kolasinac, Jones, Neustadter, Farfan, Draxler, Bastos, Huntelaar

6.56pmGALATASARAY: Muslera, Sabri Sarioglu, Nounkeu, Semih Kaya, Riera, Altintop, Melo, Selcuk Inan, Sneijder, Burak Yilmaz, Drogba

7.02pmDidier Drogba makes his first start for Galatasaray. He scored within five minutes of coming on for his debut last Friday, before setting up the winner in a 2-1 victory.

7.04pmWesley Sneijder, another January recruit, also starts for Cimbom. Hamit Altintop, Felipe Melo and Albert Riera are other rather familiar names in Fatih Terim's lineup. Burak Yilmaz was the man who fired them into the knockout stages with six goals.

7.09pmDie Knappen have no doubt been weakened by the departure of Lewis Holtby, but Michel Bastos has scored three goals in three games since his January move from Lyon and he starts tonight. Jens Keller has also selected highly-rated youngster Julian Draxler. He starts in midfield alongside Jefferson Farfan and former Blackburn Rovers loanee Jermaine Jones.

7.14pmSchalke are also suffering injuries to key players at the moment, namely Atsuto Uchida, Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Ibrahim Afellay.

7.16pmThese two teams have never once played before, but let's look at their record against teams from the same nation...

7.20pmGalatasaray have played against German opposition on 24 previous occasions, winning six times, drawing 11 and losing seven. They lost out at this stage of the competition to Hamburger SV in 2009. Their last victory was against Hertha Berlin in the group stage the same season.

7.22pmThey were unceremoniously dumped out of the UEFA Cup in 2008 by Bayer Leverkusen, losing 5-1 in Germany after drawing a blank in the first leg of their clash in the last 32.

7.23pmSchalke have only twice faced Turkish opposition, winning on both occasions against Fenerbahce (2005) and Trabzonspor (1996).

7.27pmTonight will hold special importance for Gala's Hamit Altintop, who was born in Gelsenkirchen and made 113 league appearances for Schalke between 2003 and 2007.

7.33pmGalatasaray are known for the intimidating atmosphere that they create at home. The Turk Telekom Arena looks packed out tonight, so hopefully it has a positive effect on the match.

7.36pmMY PREDICTION: Galatasaray 3-1 Schalke

7.40pmI am going with a home win. Schalke's dismal form has them in the doldrums, and I can see Jens Keller's side lacking the experience necessary to thrive in an atmosphere such as the one Gala's fans create. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has not been in the best of form this season with just five goals in 19 games, so that has been factored into my equation as well. Of course, football has a way of proving you wrong. So we'll wait and see...

7.42pmThe players are waiting in the tunnel ready to come out onto the pitch. The crowd is deafening and awash with the colour of their team.

7.44pmThis is a big night for Schalke. A win could really turn their season around.

0 minRight, Schalke get us underway at the Turk Telekom Arena...

1 minA booming chorus reverberates around the stadium to greet the kickoff. The fans are jumping up and down on their feet, but it's a positive start by Schalke. Jermaine Jones is allowed to drift inside from the left and he unleashes a shot from a tight angle that Muslera palms away. Schalke nearly made something of the rebound, but Gala shirts flooded the area.

4 minA lovely attacking move from Gala had Riera delivering a deep cross into the Schalke area, but they managed to clear the danger. He was sent clear down the left by a good ball from Sneijder.

7 minSchalke are being whistled every time they have the ball, but they have had to do a bit of chasing in the last few minutes. The referee awards a free kick for a foul on Sneijder and still they whistle. There's no pleasing some people.

10 minSchalke put together a decent attacking move. The ball was worked out wide to Farfan, who tried to find Huntelaar in the centre, but the ball ballooned into the air. Muslera claimed it despite being bundled to the floor in the process.

12 minGOAL! Galatasaray 1-0 Schalke (Burak Yilmaz)

12 minThat's either a great goal or a lucky one, either way it's 1-0 to Gala! Yilmaz flicked the ball past the defender before firing beyond Hildebrand. It looks like he meant the touch; he certainly meant the finish, which was excellent. The Schalke defending could have been better, though. Much better.

15 minCLOSE! Schalke nearly hit back immediately through Howedes! He gets his head to a corner, but directs his effort just wide of the post!

17 minOFF THE BAR! And now Gala go close to doubling their lead! Sneijder nudges a delightful lofted through ball for Drogba, who chests down and has a pop at goal. Hildebrand makes the save, but the ball runs out to Burak Yilmaz, but his shot cannons off the bar!

20 minCLOSE! Wow, what a game we've had so far! Schalke go down the other end and Farfan nearly forces Semih Kaya to turn the ball into his own net. End to end stuff!

22 minGalatasaray have been easy on the eye so far. Sneijder looks up for it.

24 minI think replays conclusively prove that Burak meant the touch to take the ball away from Howedes before scoring his goal. Great skill, as it was not an easy ball to control.

26 minCHANCE! Schalke come forward again. Draxler feeds Bastos on the left and his cross into the box is deflected, but if anything that aids Farfan, who tries to hit the ball on the turn but puts it over. That was a decent opening.

28 minFarfan wins a free kick on the edge of the area after riding a few challenges. Bastos puts the ball down and readies himself to shoot. His effort hits the wall and goes behind for a corner.

30 minFarfan takes the corner and it misses everybody in the box. A few Schalke players flail legs and heads at the ball as it bounces through, but the danger is averted.

32 minDraxler looks like he has some quality. He just played an effortlessly delicate pass with the outside of his right peg, spreading the play out wide. Just a little glimpse of his ability.

33 minSchalke seem to have contained Galatasaray now and are exerting some pressure themselves. Bastos is seeing a lot of the ball. We've not seen too much of Drogba thus far.

35 minBOOKING! Jermaine Jones goes into the book for brandishing the imaginary card to the referee. Still, free kick to Schalke. Fernando Muslera was actually booked for the same thing in the 17th minute, but with all the excitement at that stage it somehow got lost somewhere...

37 minJones just dallied on the ball too long there was was picked off by Altintop, who is buzzing about the midfield.

37 minSAVE! Drogba pokes the ball through for his strike partner Yilmaz, but Hildebrand gets something on the ball to put it behind for a corner.

42 minThe pace of the game is still quite quick, but the quality has been lacking in the last five minutes or so. The pitch isn't helping. It's cutting up badly and the ball is bobbling.

44 minGOAL! Galatasaray 1-1 Schalke (Jones)

44 minJones caps a lightning-quick counter attack! There was a moment of hesitation in midfield between Nounkeu and Felipe Melo, allowing Draxler to pinch the ball. He nudged it to Huntelaar, who sent Farfan racing. The Peruvian had the presence of mind to square the ball for Jones, who was in acres, and he did the rest. Great goal.

8.35pmHALF TIME: Galatasaray 1-1 Schalke

8.37pmAn entertaining first half at the Turk Telekom Arena comes to an end with probably a fair result from it. The hosts made the stronger start, but Schalke deserve to be heading into the break on level terms.

8.38pmBoth goals were brilliant, but for different reasons. Burak Yilmaz created something of nothing for his chance, which he buried past Hildebrand. Schalke's was a brilliant move that caught Galatasaray all at sea. Most of their players were up field for an attacking set piece.

8.42pmSchalke have finished the first half with 62% possession. That's a lot of whistling from the home fans. After a somewhat shaky start they managed to gain their composure and grew in confidence as the half wore on.

8.45pmThe score in the night's other Champions League game is currently goalless between AC Milan and Barcelona. You can follow that match with Matt Law by clicking here.

8.47pmIf you want to read the Half-Time Report from the Turk Telekom Arena, you can click here.

8.48pmWe're not long from kickoff in the second half now. Let's hope the action is as fast paced as the first 45 minutes.

45 minGalatasaray get the game back underway, but they have made a change...

45 minGALATASARAY SUBSTITUTION: Wesley Sneijder makes way for Nordin Amrabat.

46 minThe Dutch international had started brightly, showing a few nice touches. But he faded once Schalke started putting pressure on.

47 minBOOKING! Amrabat goes straight into the book for a foul on Jefferson Farfan.

54 minNot much has really happened in the last five minutes. It's been an understated start to the second half, which is lacking the intensity of the first.

55 minBLOCK! Sabri gets his body in the way of Farfan's drive at goal! The Peruvian slipped the ball through for Draxler, and the youngster did well to cut it back for him. It looked like the net might bulge, but Gala's captain flung himself in the line of fire. Schalke's claims for handball were rightly dismissed.

60 minFarfan's free kick is swung into the box, but Muslera comes out and bats it away. He totals his own man Nounkeu in the process, but still that was commanding goalkeepeing.

62 minAn inch-perfect ball from Draxler finds Bastos storming down the left, but his delivery for Huntelaar is poor. Draxler has been superb tonight, you can see why he's so well regarded in Germany.

63 minGala just cannot maintain possession of the ball for a meaningful amount of time. Two or three passes in and they're stretching for every ball.

65 minOFFSIDE! Schalke get over confident and Drogba manages to snatch the ball and Gala have a two-on-two situation. The Ivorian plays in Yilmaz, but he couldn't quite get back onside. Hildebrand made a brilliant save anyhow...

65 minGALATASARAY SUBSTITUTION: Emmanuel Eboue comes on to replace Hamit Altintop.

67 minBOOKING! Nonkeu joins his teammate Muslera in the referee's notebook for a foul on Huntelaar.

69 minDrogba has become increasingly frustrated as the service to him has dried up. Schalke have done a great job of cutting off the supply to him, with Neustadter and Draxler running the midfield.

71 minEboue's long throw finds Drogba, who flicks the ball on. Hildebrand comes out but cannot claim it, and the ball goes behind for a corner.

74 minCHANCE! Another nice move by Schalke, and Draxler again cuts back from the byline. He clipped the ball into Huntelaar, but he fires a first-time volley over the bar. You want to be getting those on target, but it was at an awkward height.

77 minCHANCE! Big chance for the home side! Drogba, as usual, climbs above his marker to knock the ball down for Yilmaz, who finds himself in space inside the area, however his right-footed shot across Hildebrand goes wide of the post. Again, the goalkeeper should have been worked at least.

78 minSHOT! A fantastic half volley from Sabri is batted away by Hildebrand! The resulting corner ends up in a scramble, but Schalke managed to clear their lines.

78 minSchalke now break down the other end, and all of a sudden the second half has livened up!

82 minGALATASARAY SUBSTITUTION: Umut Bulunt comes on for Sabri Sarioglu.

83 minSCHALKE SUBSTITUTION: Tranquillo Barnetta comes on to replace Julian Draxler.

85 minGala's passing has been quite poor tonight. The pitch is in a bit of a state, but Schalke have been far more assured in possession.

87 minBOOKING! Holger wrestles Bulunt to the ground and receives a yellow card for his troubles.

89 minSchalke are now pressing for a winner. Their interplay has been great at times, but you can argue that they haven't fully profited from it. They have the away goal and are just ahead in this tie, but it could be better...

9.37pmFULL TIME: Galatasaray 1-1 Schalke

9.39pmSo it's advantage Schalke at the half-way stage of this tie, but only just. It's delicately poised, and there's all to play for in Gelsenkirchen in two weeks.

A smiling Alex Ferguson before kickoff
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