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Schalke 2 Galatasaray 2 (agg 3-3) match report: Didier Drogba"s Champions League dream still on

Schalke 2 Galatasaray 3 (agg 3-4): Drogba's Champions League adventure goes on

PUBLISHED:

21:42 GMT, 12 March 2013

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UPDATED:

21:49 GMT, 12 March 2013

Galatasaray held off a gallant Schalke comeback to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League after battling to a 3-2 victory in Gelsenkirchen.

With the tie evenly poised after a 1-1 draw in Istanbul, Schalke took 17 minutes to take the lead on the night. Roman Neustadter kept his head in the area after a corner prompted a goalmouth scramble, sidefooting home through a raft of bodies.

Hamit Altintop then cracked home an unstoppable drive into the top corner from 30 yards against his former club to level the scores.

And the Turkish champions doubled their lead through Burak Yilmaz, who lead a breakaway for the visitors before lifting a shot over Timo Hildebrand, scoring his eighth goal in the competition in the process.

But Schalke were not done, and after Marco Hoger smashed the crossbar with a 20-yard effort, Galatasaray failed to clear their lines and Atsuto Uchida squared across the box for Michel Bastos to slot home.

And with Schalke pressing for a winner, Umut Bulut added the winner on the counter-attack.

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Follow me: Galatasaray players run to congratulate Altintop

Follow me: Galatasaray players run to congratulate Altintop

Match facts

Schalke: Hildebrand, Uchida, Howedes, Matip, Kolasinac, Hoger (Meyer 86), Neustadter (Fuchs 46), Farfan, Draxler, Michel Bastos, Pukki (Obasi Ogbuke 85). Subs not used: Fahrmann, Metzelder, Barnetta, Moritz.

Booked: Hoger, Kolasinac.

Goals: Neustadter 17, Michel Bastos 63.

Galatasaray: Muslera, Eboue, Kaya (Zan 78), Nounkeu, Riera, Felipe Melo, Altintop, Sneijder (Amrabat 70), Inan, Drogba, Burak Yilmaz (Bulut 86). Subs not used: Iscan, Balta, Kurtulus, Sarioglu.

Booked: Drogba.

Goals: Altintop 37, Yilmaz 42, Bulut 90+4.

Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden).

Attendance: 52,000.

No mistake: Roman Neustaedter keeps his head in a crowded Galatasaray penalty box to give Schalke the lead

No mistake: Roman Neustaedter keeps his head in a crowded Galatasaray penalty box to give Schalke the lead

On target: Roman Neustaedter

On target: Roman Neustaedter

Unstoppable: Hamit Altintop

Remember me Hamit Altintop lets fly from 30 yards to level matters on the night against his former club

Remember me Hamit Altintop lets fly from 30 yards to level matters on the night against his former club

Nifty finish: Burak Yilmaz hits his eighth strike of this season's Champions League, tapping the ball past Schalke keeper Timo Hildebrand

Nifty finish: Burak Yilmaz hits his eighth strike of this season's Champions League, tapping the ball past Schalke keeper Timo Hildebrand

Nifty finish: Burak Yilmaz hits his eighth strike of this season's Champions League, tapping the ball past Schalke keeper Timo Hildebrand

Nifty finish: Burak Yilmaz hits his eighth strike of this season's Champions League, tapping the ball past Schalke keeper Timo Hildebrand

Going down: Didier Drogba turns his ankle while celebrating with Yilmaz, prompting Felipe Melo to check up on his team-mate (below)

Going down: Didier Drogba turns his ankle while celebrating with Yilmaz, prompting Felipe Melo to check up on his team-mate (below)

Cause for concern: Felipe Melo checks up on Didier Drogba

Back in the hunt: Michel Bastos sidefoots home to give Schalke hope of progression

Back in the hunt: Michel Bastos sidefoots home to give Schalke hope of progression

Late hope: Michel Bastos (left) made it 2-2

Schalke 2 Arsenal 2 – match report

Schalke 2 Arsenal 2: Rocky road for Gunners after Walcott's flying start

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UPDATED:

00:03 GMT, 7 November 2012

Theo Walcott may have put himself closer to a new deal at Arsenal with a goal on Tuesday night but manager Arsene Wenger may feel he would be better spending the money on shoring up his leaky defence.

Walcott hit the opening goal and Olivier Giroud added a second soon after as Arsenal raced into a 2-0 lead.

On target: Jefferson Farfan's second-half strike goes in off the outstretched foot of Thomas Vermaelen (below)

On target: Jefferson Farfan's second-half strike goes in off the outstretched foot of Thomas Vermaelen (below)

Thomas Vermaelen

Match facts

Schalke: Unnerstall, Uchida (Hoger 25), Howedes, Matip, Fuchs, Jones, Neustadter, Farfan, Holtby (Barnetta 90), Afellay, Huntelaar, Hoger (Papadopoulos 66).

Subs Not Used: Hildebrand, Moritz, Draxler, Kolasinac.

Booked: Matip, Fuchs, Jones.

Goals: Huntelaar 45, Farfan 67.

Arsenal: Mannone, Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Arteta, Wilshere, Walcott, Cazorla (Coquelin 90), Podolski (Andre Santos 90), Giroud.

Subs Not Used: Shea, Djourou, Arshavin, Jenkinson, Chamakh.

Booked: Cazorla, Podolski.

Goals: Walcott 18, Giroud 26.

Attendance: 50,000

Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy).

Latest Champions League results, fixtures and table

But it was the Gunners' defensive
frailties – evident in Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Manchester United on
Saturday – that came to the fore yet again as they threw away their
advantage to remain a point behind leaders Schalke in Group B with two
games remaining.

The England winger's eighth goal in four starts this season – and 50th for Arsenal – put his side ahead.
An increase on the 75,000-per-week five-year deal offered to him and a
regular chance to play as a centre forward remain the two sticking
points in talks over a new deal.

But while Wenger may not be able to
guarantee the 100,000-per-week deal Walcott is asking for, giving him a
chance to play up front is something he can control and Walcott did his
chances of being the club's No 1 striker no harm with a cool finish,
although he missed a glorious chance to snatch a dramatic victory with
the last kick of the game.

Walcott was the shock name on Arsene
Wenger's teamsheet, recovering from a stomach illness to make his first
Premier League or Champions League start since rejecting a new contract
at the end of August.


Theo joy: Walcott pounces to open the scoring

Theo joy: Walcott pounces to open
the scoring

French fancy: Giroud celebrates after giving his side a two-goal lead over the German outfit

French fancy: Giroud celebrates after giving his side a two-goal lead over the German outfit

Touch of Klaas: Huntelaar scores on the stroke of half-time

Touch of Klaas: Huntelaar scores on the stroke of half-time

As the Eye of the Tiger boomed out of
the Veltins-Arena PA system ahead of kick-off, Wenger – who returned
to the Champions League touchline after a three-match ban – knew it
would take the iron will of Rocky Balboa to keep Schalke's attacking
quartet of Lewis Holtby, Ibrahim Affelay, Jefferson Farfan and Klaas-Jan
Huntelaar off the scoresheet.

Inevitably, the Germans, who
comfortably won 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium two weeks ago, started much
the brighter, dominating early possession with right back Atsuto Uchida
looking dangerous down the Arsenal left.

Christian Fuchs had the first clear
chance of the night when his strike was blocked by midfielder Mikel
Arteta after a rapid counter-attack before Arsenal goalkeeper Vito
Mannone was forced into an excellent low stop to deny Afellay's low
effort.

Huub Stevens's side went close again 60 seconds later as captain Benedikt Howedes headed narrowly over the bar.

Arsenal were rocking and should have
been behind. But somehow, against the run of play, they conjured up a
surprise opening goal for Walcott. Roman Neustadter's dreadful defensive
header in the 18th minute gave Giroud the opportunity to bear down on
goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall but just as the Frenchman was about to shoot,
Howedes slid in with a brilliant last-ditch challenge.

But following up was Walcott, who
picked up the rebound before stroking the ball into an empty net.
No-one, not even Wenger, could say his side deserved their goal.

Blow: Arsenal let slip a two-goal advantage in Germany

Blow: Arsenal let slip a two-goal advantage in Germany

So, you can only imagine what was
going through his mind when eight minutes later his side doubled their
advantage. Schalke made a mess of clearing their lines after Walcott and
Jack Wilshere combined down the right, with the ball eventually
breaking to Lukas Podolski, whose cross was nodded home by Giroud. It
was the France striker's first Champions League goal for the club.

Giroud missed a glorious chance to
double his tally with a poor header from Santi Cazorla's free-kick. But
Huntelaar dragged the home side back into the game with the final kick
of the first half, firing past Mannone from 12 yards after Holtby's
intelligent flick.

Lukas Podolski

Arsene Wenger

Fury: Podolski was booked after kicking the ball away in frustration as Wenger (right) watches on

Arsenal had Mannone to thank in the
51st minute when he thwarted Huntelaar in a one-on-one after
Neustadter's through-pass. Schalke were throwing everything at Arsenal
and had an appeal for a penalty turned down after Per Mertesacker looked
to have handled in the box.

But the Germans deservedly dragged
themselves level in the 66th minute when Farfan fired home from close
range, via a Thomas Vermaelen deflection, as Arsenal failed to clear
Afellay's cross.

Yellow peril: Walcott is mobbed after opening the scoring in Germany

Yellow peril: Walcott is mobbed after opening the scoring in Germany

Level pegging: Schalke egualise with 67 minutes gone

Level pegging: Schalke egualise with 67 minutes gone

Huntelaar, Farfan and Jermaine Jones
missed decent chances to give the hosts the lead their dominance
warranted. And the Germans' wastefulness in front of goal was nearly
punished with the final kick of the game. But it was Walcott who fluffed
his lines after capitalising on defensive uncertainty as, with only
Unnerstall to beat, he shot straight at the goalkeeper.

It would have been an epic end for Walcott and his side. But an end they would not have deserved.

Schalke v Arsenal

EURO 2012: Germany name preliminary squad

Mertesacker named in Germany's preliminary Euro 2012 squad despite injury

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UPDATED:

11:05 GMT, 7 May 2012

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has been named in Germany's preliminary Euro 2012 squad despite not having played since February due to an ankle injury.

The 27-year-old is joined in Joachim Loew's 27-man squad by future team-mate Lukas Podolski, uncapped 18-year-old Julian Draxler and former Manchester United and Northampton goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler.

Crocked: Mertesacker has been out for two months with an ankle injury

Crocked: Mertesacker has been out for two months with an ankle injury

More to follow…