Embolo shines as Schalke floor Gladbach
Schalke 04 ended a run of five consecutive defeats to move off the bottom of the Bundesliga on Sunday with a 4-0 thrashing of Champions League side Borussia Moenchengladbach as new-signing Breel Embolo scored twice.
The 19-year-old Embolo, who cost 22 million euros ($24.5m) from Basel in June, scored his first goals for Schalke following a goalless first-half.
“I am happy to have scored, but the main thing is we won and we were rewarded for a good performance,” said Embolo.
Having covered his ears as part of his goal celebrations, Embolo explained his gesture after Schalke’s recent poor performances led to plenty of criticism from the German media.
“A lot has been said and written about this team, but I just wanted to show that we need to keep going and block out any negative comments,” explained the Swiss striker.
Schalke flew out of the traps after the break at Gelsenkirchen’s Veltins Arena with three goals in six second-half minutes.
Cameroon striker Eric Choupo-Moting converted a penalty with 52 minutes gone.
The hosts doubled their lead four minutes later when Embolo hit the bottom right corner after Sead Kolasinac’s final pass found him sprinting into the area.
It was then 3-0 on 58 minutes when Choupo-Moting’s shot was blocked, but midfielder Leon Goretzka fired home the rebound.
Swiss international Embolo then saved his best for last by breaking through Andreas Christensen’s tackle on the wing.
Although the Denmark defender then hauled him down in the area, Embolo got to his feet, rather than waiting for the penalty, to tap into an empty net with Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer out of position on 83 minutes.
The result lifted Schalke up to 16th, leaving Hamburg bottom following Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Hertha Berlin which was their fifth league loss in a row.
Gladbach, who lost 2-1 at home to Barcelona on Wednesday in the Champions League, drop to ninth.
Earlier, Mario Gomez’s goal-drought continued in Wolfsburg’s goalless draw with Mainz.
The 31-year-old, who has netted 29 goals in 68 internationals for Germany, joined Wolfsburg from Fiorentina in August for seven million euros ($7.8m), saying he wanted to help his new club return to the Champions League.
But Gomez has so far failed to score in 450 minutes of Bundesliga action and endured another frustrating afternoon at Wolfsburg’s Volkswagen Arena.
The best of his four chances came in the 67th minute when the ball flew agonisingly past his out-stretched boot with the goal at his mercy, after Julian Draxler’s cross was palmed away by Mainz goalkeeper Jonas Loessl.
Wolfsburg have just one win in six league games this season.
Home fans started chanting: “We want to see you fight” around 20 minutes before the final whistle.
“Every passing minute without a goal just makes me more stressed,” Gomez admitted to German daily Bild before the game.
He has now failed to score in five matches.
“At some point, the ball will have to go in,” he added. “But it makes me more stressed and more hectic in front of goal, I can feel it.
“I am confident that it is only a matter of time, but I’m sorry for the team: goals from me would make things easier.”
The draw with Mainz leaves Wolfsburg, who reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League last season, 13th in the table while Mainz are 11th