Thrilling cup fight, but: Hertha accuses Schalke fans of racism

              Wednesday, February 05, 2020
                By Stefan Giannakoulis, Gelsenkirchen

              It's a gripping cup fight that FC Schalke 04 wins against Hertha BSC, in which a player and a coach fly off the pitch. Now comes the big BUT. The Berliners accuse the Gelsenkirchen fans of racially insulting a Hertha player.
              It could only get better. At least that was the hope of everyone who likes good football. After the Bundesliga match between Hertha BSC and FC Schalke 04 last Friday in Berlin's Olympic Stadium was a goalless and joyless event, something had to come now. Or not? Some fans in the tram on line 302 from Gelsenkirchen's main station to the stadium feared that their Schalke team would not score a goal against Hertha: "It will probably still be 0-0 after ten minutes on penalties." You should be extremely wrong. In the end, the 53,225 spectators saw everything that makes a good, exciting and, at the end, also dramatic DFB Cup eight final. The Schalke scored three times, one of them in a turbulent extension, won 3: 2 (2: 2, 0: 2). FC Schalke 04 now, unlike its neighbor from Dortmund, belongs to the illustrious circle of the best eight teams in the DFB Cup. They will play the quarter-finals on March 3rd and 4th. The Herthan dream of finally reaching the final, which has been taking place in the Berlin Olympic Stadium since 1985, once again remains unfulfilled. Benito Raman was the man who met her on Tuesday night in the covered arena in the 115th minute to 3-2 (2-2, 0-2). After an intercepted corner and a pass from colleague Juan Miranda, he simply ran off and all the opponents away, 70 meters to the opposing goal and then also tunneled Hertha's goalkeeper Rune Jarstein. That was, "Raman said in the basement of the stadium," the longest sprint of my life ". After all, it was worth it. Schalke 04 – Hertha BSC 3: 2 n.a. (2: 2, 0: 2) Schalke: Nübel – Boujellab (60th McKennie), Todibo (46th Kabak), Nastasic, Oczipka – Mascarell – Caligiuri (91st Miranda), Schöpf – Harit – Kutucu (60th Raman) , Gregoritsch. – Trainer: WagnerBerlin: Jarstein – Boyata, Stark, Torunarigha – Wolf (90. + 1 Klünter), Arne Maier (105. Dilrosun), Ascacibar, Plattenhardt (69. Mittelstädt) – Skjelbred – Köpke (77. Lukebakio), Piatek. – Coach: Klinsmann Referee: Harm Osmers (Hannover) Goals: 0: 1 Köpke (12.), 0: 2 Piatek (39.), 1: 2 Caligiuri (76.), 2: 2 Harit (82.), 3: 2 Raman (115.) Spectators: 53,525 yellow-red card: Torunarigha for unsportsmanlike conduct (100.) Red card: Wagner (Schalke 04 coach) after an assault (102.) Yellow cards: Harit, Raman, Miranda, Oczipka Da had the Berliners only ten players on the lawn. Defender Jordan Torunarigha had seen the yellow-red card in the 100th minute. After a tackle by Omar Mascarell in front of the opponent's bench, he grabbed a water box and threw it on the floor in front of Schalke's coach David Wagner. From the stands it looked as if he had subsequently tried to support and calm the angry Torunarigha. Referee Harm Osmers was of the opinion, however, that he could prove that he had been assaulted using the video assistant. Wagner looked puzzled: "I have zero explanation for the red card." But he admitted: "To be honest, it looks stupid in slow motion. But that was less than nothing. My hand was on his neck, yes. But I try more to keep everyone balanced. The player then throws the water box. "" He was crying on the square "However, that doesn't seem to be the whole story either. The Berliners accuse the Schalke fans of racially insulting Torunarigha. His teammate told him that, said Herthas captain Niklas Stark. "It is inhumane to start with monkey sounds. It is repulsive and must not happen. He was crying on the pitch. You have to ask what's going on." Trainer Jürgen Klinsmann confirmed the incidents and reported: "He was crying on the pitch." The question remains, why did the players not leave the field then? "If the signal had come, I would have been on the march," quotes the "Bild" newspaper Stark. "But you want to bring the game to an end, you want to play football. The first step is that we stand behind Jordan as a team and don't tolerate something like that. We have to raise our voice against something like that, it doesn't work." Faced with this Schalke coach Wagner said: "If such statements have been made, I would like to apologize on behalf of FC Schalke 04 to the player and to Berlin." Jochen Schneider, the sports director of Gelsenkirchen, also emphasized that he lacks "any understanding for this. I haven't heard it, but the player doesn't invent it. We have to apologize to him and do everything we can to ensure that we are the ones responsible , locate". Then you can also search for the fans in the north curve who tried to throw objects at Berlin's goalkeeper Jarstein in the second half. Ultimately, only Wagner's sporting conclusion was completely uncontroversial: "It was a great football game." Despite everything. "We are Schalke, anti-social Schalke" The Berliners had started better, Klinsmann was initially allowed to claim for himself, if not everything, that he had done a lot correctly. He swapped his team in five positions compared to Friday and let the Polish attacker Krzysztof Piatek play from the start. It came from AC Milan for 23 million euros and is now the record purchase of Hertha and its beacon of hope. Somewhat surprisingly, 24-year-old Pascal Köpke was at his side. And that should pay off. Köpke scored the first Berlin goal after twelve minutes and presented the second after 39 minutes, which Piatek got at the end of a fine counterattack. The 23 million euros for Krzysztof Piatek look well spent. (Photo: imago images / Moritz Müller) The concrete tactic with which the Berliners under Klinsmann had managed to get twelve points from eight games in the relegation battle of the Bundesliga was only reminiscent of it. They played tactically disciplined, were strong in the duels – and extremely effective in front of the opponent's goal. And even after the break it didn't look like FC Schalke 04's big comeback. But then the hosts had six minutes to balance it out. In the 76th minute Daniel Caligiuri dribbled pitiable Maximilian Mittelstädt and then shot the ball flat from seven meters into the goal. And in the 82nd minute, Caligiuri played that very middle town again before laying across on Amine Harit, who even had the time and calm to take the ball before he finished from nine meters and forced the extension, the arena raged, and the fans in the north curve sang with ironic intention, as they always do when they are in a good mood: "We are Schalke, antisocial Schalke." If the allegations of the Berliners harden, it is simply true. At least for the racists among them.

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