Raul strike seals Schalke's big Euro date with United
Schalke 2 Internazionale 1 (Schalke win 7-3 on aggregate)
Thursday 14 April 2011
With Sir Alex Ferguson watching from the stands, Schalke reached their first-ever Champions League semi-final last night in Gelsenkirchen with a stylish display that showed their 5-2 San Siro humiliation of the Italian title-holders last week was no fluke. Manchester United will be taking nothing for granted after the German side simply outplayed one of the European club football's aristocrats.
With Schalke rapidly recovering from an erratic start to their domestic campaign under new coach Ralf Rangnick, United will be especially concerned at the resurgent form of Raul, who killed the contest with a sweetly constructed goal on the stroke of half-time, picking up Jose Manuel Jurado's pass before coolly rounding Julio Cesar and slotting home.
It was the 71st goal in the Champions League for the competition's record scorer. The 33-year-old former Real Madrid talisman, a summer arrival on a two-year contract, looked a reinvigorated player last night.
The first half had been a cagey affair with the Germans happy to soak up the pressure and attack on the counter, but the Italians failed to create anywhere near enough chances to bring about the unlikely comeback
Inter changed shape at the interval by bringing on Goran Pandev for Dejan Stankovic, and pulled a goal back four minutes into the second half when a deep Wesley Sneijder corner was headed goalwards by Lucio and bundled home by Thiago Motta from four yards out past the generally rock-solid Manuel Neuer in goal.
But the Germans sealed the victory they deserved nine minutes from time when Benedikt Howedes raced on to a lofted pass from Raul to fire in the winner.
Schalke (4-4-2) Neuer; Uchida, Metzelder, Howedes, Sarpei; Baumjohann, Matip, Papadopoulos, Jurado; Edu, Raul.
Internazionale (4-3-1-2) Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Ranocchia, Nagatomo; Stankovic, Motta, Zanetti; Sneijder; Eto'o, Milito.
Latest in Sport
Manchester United can learn lessons from the transfer template of rivals Manchester City
Pavement The Forum, London
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea top the list of the Premier League's most expensive squads
Bayern Munich 'training camp' to supply refugees with food, footballs and German lessons
David De Gea, Peter Odemwingie and the 18 weirdest transfer deadline day stories
- 3 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 4 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up