FC Schalke 04: Top 3 performances from 2-2 draw with Freiburg

GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 21: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been digitally enhanced) Nils Petersen of Freiburg in action against Omar Mascarell of Schalke 04 during the Bundesliga match between FC Schalke 04 and Sport-Club Freiburg at Veltins-Arena on December 21, 2019 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images)
GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 21: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been digitally enhanced) Nils Petersen of Freiburg in action against Omar Mascarell of Schalke 04 during the Bundesliga match between FC Schalke 04 and Sport-Club Freiburg at Veltins-Arena on December 21, 2019 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images) /
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FC Schalke 04 ran into some trouble against SC Freiburg in their final game before the holiday break, but a late goal from substitute Ahmed Kutucu ensured they would pick up a point against one of the Bundesliga’s best teams.

Heading into the holiday break, FC Schalke 04 sit fifth in the Bundesliga table and are tied on points with fourth-place rivals Borussia Dortmund, who occupy the final Champions League position. Since the Royal Blues outplayed BVB in a goalless draw at the October Revierderby, David Wagner has to like his chances of winning a Champions League spot by season’s end.

But finishing in the top four of the Bundesliga isn’t easy, as evidenced by Saturday’s 2-2 draw with SC Freiburg, who were in sixth place right behind Schalke before this game. Two penalty goals from Freiburg put the away team ahead at the Veltins Arena, but a late goal from young striker Ahmed Kutucu salvaged a point for the favorites.

Here were the top three individual performances from a thrilling draw for Die Knappen.

CM Suat Serdar

It all starts with Suat Serdar, who is now tied with Amine Harit as Schalke’s leading scorer with six goals in 2019-2020. Serdar struck first in this match and was a constant threat throughout. According to WhoScored.com, Serdar had a pair of key passes and shots on target with three tackles and four dribbles completed.

Those statistics highlight how important the Germany international is to his team, as Serdar has quietly been the most well-rounded player in the Bundesliga this season. Serdar carries the ball into the attacking third, scores goals, creates opportunities, and makes an impact on defense. He has been one of the biggest breakout stars in Europe this season, and more fans around the world need to be talking about the 22-year-old’s 2019-2020 campaign thus far.

GK Markus Schubert

The young goalkeeper wasn’t a hero for scoring a first-half goal like Suat Serdar, but he certainly saved what would have been a goal (two goals, really) with a sensational double-save on Jonathan Schmid before the first half ended.

Markus Schubert has been exceptional since filling in for Alexander Nubel after the latter’s horrific red card in the second half of last weekend’s win over Eintracht Frankfurt. Before the season, Schubert was tabbed as one of the top young goalkeeping prospects in the country, and the 21-year-old German has clearly shown that ability in the last two games.

He finished this 2-2 draw with five saves and could not be faulted for allowing either penalty.

DM Omar Mascarell

Like Suat Serdar and Amine Harit, Omar Mascarell needs to receive the highest of praise for his sensational work in the middle of the park for the Royal Blues this season. But unlike Serdar and Harit, Mascarell doesn’t pile up goals or assists. Instead, he puts in the dirty work by racking up interception with reading the game and keeping the attack quietly ticking with his smart passing.

Per WhoScored.com, Mascarell had three key passes and drew two fouls on offense. Defensively, he was impeccable, leading the team with three interceptions, four clearances, and two blocked shots. Mascarell also had two tackles to boot.

Schalke vs. Freiburg Player Ratings. dark. Next

Those are incredible numbers for a defensive midfielder, but it’s all in a day’s work for Mascarell, who has been Schalke’s most consistent player this season. The man even led the team with a 91.4% pass completion percentage on Saturday.

You can make the case that he’s been the most consistent player in the entire league this season, with the exception of maybe Robert Lewandowski and Timo Werner.