FC Schalke 04 suffered their second blowout loss to a Bundesliga title contender in the Rückrunde, falling 5-0 at home to RB Leipzig. Here are five things we learned.
Several weeks ago, FC Schalke 04 lost 5-0 to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. But this latest 5-0 loss to RB Leipzig at the Veltins Arena felt so, so much worse.
Schalke’s only loss at the Veltins came early in the Hinrunde to Bayern, so they had built a reputation for being a top team at home. That reputation came crumbling down against Leipzig, who would have been forgiven if they were slow out of the gates after defeating Tottenham at mid-week in the Champions League.
Instead, Leipzig struck early courtesy of a mistake from Alexander Nübel and never looked back, demolishing a Schalke side that is spiraling.
Here are five things we learned from the Royal Blues’ loss.
1. David Wagner needs to make changes
Clearly, opposing teams have figured out the magic that made Schalke title contenders coming out of the Hinrunde. After their 2-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach to start the season’s second half, Die Knappen have never looked convincing, and they cannot afford to lose a third big game – especially in THIS fashion – as they prepare for the upcoming Revierderby.
The onus is on David Wagner to show that he has what it takes to lead Schalke to glory in the coming years. He’s cleared the low bar of being better than what Schalke had last year, but that’s not enough.
If Wagner can’t get more width in the team’s play, change up the formation, or get more out of underperforming players, this team will continue to put up sub-standard results. Now, European football of any sort isn’t guaranteed, as wild as that may sound. This team cannot take anything for granted; they have lost that privilege.