Schalke secure group with Asteras win

Asteras Tripoli 0 Schalke 4

Di Santo opens scoring

Choupo-Moting doubles advantage

Asteras suffer double injury

Schalke score twice late on

 

Full Report:

Schalke forward Franco Di Santo grabbed the games opening goal, before the German side doubled their advantage just before half-time through Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

The Cameroonian then doubled his tally for the evening with just 12 minutes remaining and Max Meyer added a fourth as the hosts never really troubled the German visitors who cruised to a 4-0 victory in Greece to secure passage into the Europa League knockout stages as Group K winners.

The visitors started the better of the two sides picking up where they left off from the 4-0 drubbing in Germany during the reverse fixture, but it was Choupo-Moting who picked up the games first yellow card with a bad foul on the breaking Greek side.

The initial breakthrough, though, didn't take long as Di Santo opened the scoring for the Bundesliga side just ahead of the half hour mark after meeting Junior Caicara's cross with a header from the left side of the six-yard box which found the back of the net. 

Early offender Choupo-Moting then doubled the advantage in the 37th minute for the visitors with a right-footed shot from the left side of the box after clever work from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar found the Cameroonian.

Manuel Lanzarote's left-footed shot from a difficult angle and long range was as close as the SuperLeague side got to threatening the Schalke back line in the opening period as the first-half came to a close.

The German side began the second-half in much the same vein as they forced an early corner, but, when the ball fell to Pierre-Emile Højbjerg outside the area the Dane could only blaze his attempt into the crowd.

The hosts continued to struggle for opportunities to haul themselves back into the tie with Schalke dominating much of the possession and the Greek side were forced into a change after an injury to Dorin Goian, who was replaced by Georgios Zisopoulos. 

Facundo Bertoglio then switched places with Lanzarote with 25 minutes remaining, while Schalke brought on Kaan Ayhan to replace Johannes Geis.

Sidney Sam had a fantastic opportunity to seal the victory but his attempt from outside the area was blocked by the diving Asteras defence, before the Greek side were then forced into their final change with another injury with Elini Dimoutsos replacing Walter Iglesias as Schalke looked to be in complete control. 

And, with just 12 minutes remaining Choupo-Moting grabbed his second of the night in almost a carbon copy of his first with Huntelaar again doing the providing honours. Schalke then added even more gloss to the scoreline through Meyer who slotted home a left-footed shot from the edge of the area to repeat the scoreline of the reverse fixture just a month ago as the Germans cruised through to the Europa League knockout stages as Group K victors.

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