Schalke win continues revival
© AFP

Schalke scored twice in the final 17 minutes to claim their first home win of the season against UEFA Champions League Group B rivals Benfica, winning 2-0.

The Royal Blues had looked like they would endure another frustrating evening at the AufSchalke Arena until their Peru forward Jefferson Farfan fired them ahead in the 73rd minute. Summer signing Klaas-Jan Huntelaar then added a second five minutes from the end to underline the Gelsenkirchen club's recent revival. 

Schalke are now unbeaten in their past three games in all competitions, with Huntelaar scoring in all of those, in a run which ended their horrendous five-game losing sequence to start the season. Schalke lost 1-0 at Lyon in the middle of that losing sequence, but they always looked the more likely to bounce back with a win.

"I am very satisfied. That was a tough game, Benfica are a class team," said Schalke coach Felix Magath. "We needed something to get into the game, but in the second half we took control and at the end deserved to win."

Raul hit a post in the opening period that the hosts slowly took control of. They threatened first when Ivan Rakitic was fouled by Javi Garcia on the left. The Croatian stepped up to take the free-kick but his goal-bound effort was punched clear by Roberto. 

I am very satisfied. That was a tough game, Benfica are a class team.
Schalke coach Felix Magath

Javier Saviola then spurned Benfica's first sight on goal, and possibly their best of the game, when he side-footed wide of the left post from 12 yards. Roberto was again in the action to save from Lukas Schmitz and as the match went beyond the half hour mark Schalke's dominance was clear.

Raul almost converted that onto the scoreboard when his left-footed strike from 12 yards thudded against the post before Huntelaar tried his luck from range but fired over. Rakitic was denied by Roberto again to keep the scores deadlocked at the break.

Four minutes after the restart Schmitz shot wide from 20 yards, but it was a rare chance as the second period began slowly. Farfan briefly had a sight of goal but his effort was blocked by David Luiz. The Brazilian defender was them fouled at the other end but substitute Pablo Aimar's free-kick delivery was caught by Manuel Neuer. There looked little hope of a goal in the game before Farfan broke the deadlock 17 minutes from full-time.

The Peru international was given space on the right-hand side of the area and he needed no second invitation to again try his luck with a low drive, which put his side ahead. With time ticking down Huntelaar then maintained his recent scoring run with a goal from 12 yards to seal a first home win in all competitions this season.