In an ultimately goaless match, 1899 Hoffenheim and Schalke 04 negated each other in what was largely a midfield skirmish. However, the game was marked by the occasional goal opportunity, and Hoffenheim used their superior possession to create several chances.
Midfielder Sejad Salihovic had an excellent opportunity when he found himself free in the 15th minute, but elected to pass the ball instead of taking the chance. The Hoffenheim captain also had numerous chances from free kicks, but Manuel Neuer did well between the sticks for Schalke. In the 22nd minute, referee Michael Wiener spotted a foul on Vedad Ibisevic outside of the penalty area in a close call, denying a debatable chance for a penalty kick.
Hoffenheim was the more dominant side throughout the match, but much of the play was caught up in the centre of the pitch, where the two teams fought out the bulk of this match. The eight yellow cards handed out spoke of the intensity of this battle. In the second half manager Ralf Rangnick brought on an extra striker in Demba Ba to complement the dangerous Chinedu Obasi and Ibisevic, but the improved performance by the Kraichgauer was not enough to earn a goal. Despite pushing back the visitors into defending in their own half for most of the second half, the numerous chances on goal were handled ably by Neuer. All told Schalke will leave this match the happier side.
Reaction to Hoffenheim : Schalke
Timo Hildebrand: "It was a tough day for the referee. In the locker room Vedo (Vidisovic) said that he had clearly been held, and one can surely give a penalty in such circumstances. Against Hannover I'm expecting a lot of effort from us and a similar amount of chances, and that we will get the three points."
Christian Eichner: "Today we just were missing that golden goal to make this good game into a perfect one. In any event it was clearly a step forward."
Marvin Compper: "It was a significant step up in performance and closer to what we expect of ourselves."
Felix Magath: "It was a bad game for our side against a very good Hoffenheim team. We were only good for the first ten minutes. In the end it was really a lucky draw for us, and overall we have to thank Manuel Neuer for the result. Whether or not Manuel Neuer is the best goalkeeper I've ever worked with I cannot say because I'm not a goalkeeping coach. Manuel Neuer is however, a player who has international quality, especially when you take into account his age. It was definitely a very physical game, not an easy game for the match official."
Ralf Rangnick: "Over large stretches it was really a very good game for us. I only have one problem with the quantity of the shots we had on goal. That was clearly a penalty - I saw this from the sidelines, and it was even more obvious when I saw it on television replays. It was really a matter of centimeters. From here we can build on this performance, and I don't think that we will have to wait too long for our first win. We could have certainly made more of the set piece situations, but with a goalkeeper like Manuel Neuer it isn't always easy regardless of how the ball is struck."
Heiko Westermann:"If we had played the way that we did in the first half against Bochum in this match today, maybe we could have gotten something more out of this match, but maybe not... In such a fixture one really has to bring another level of performance."