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Schalke win keeps hopes alive – Ernst

FC Schalke 04 midfielder Fabian Ernst credited his team's resolute defending after a win over Rosenborg BK maintained their hopes of progress from Group B.

Coach Mirko Slomka celebrates with goalscorer Kevin Kuranyi
Coach Mirko Slomka celebrates with goalscorer Kevin Kuranyi ©Getty Images

FC Schalke 04 midfielder Fabian Ernst admitted his team had needed all three points from their game against Rosenborg BK to keep alive hopes of progressing from Group B, especially given Chelsea FC's impressive victory at Valencia CF. Schalke's 2-0 success and Chelsea's 2-1 win leaves the Londoners top of Group B on four points, with both Valencia and Schalke on three.

'Key match'
"If we hadn't won here it would be very difficult to reach the second phase," Ernst said. "This was a key match and it was our job to win here. I thought we played well and I'm pleased with the way we performed." Ernst emerged as a key figure in a match that was evenly poised until Schalke stole in front shortly after the hour through a Jermaine Jones goal.

Resolute defending
After breaking the deadlock, the visitors defended resolutely, carrying the form which had brought them three straight clean sheets in the Bundesliga into the European arena. Kevin Kuranyi then curled in a shot from 20 metres in the dying seconds to put Schalke beyond Rosenborg's reach.

Patience required
"We played very well in defence. We are a strong solid team, and we knew that if we kept our patience we would create chances eventually," said Ernst. The 28-year-old had said before the game that Schalke were well prepared to tackle the Norwegian champions and that proved the case in Trondheim. "The game developed pretty much as we expected," he added. "We knew that Rosenborg would be good in defence and push forward on counterattacks, but we managed to keep them from scoring and that gave us the win. A solid defence is the key to our success."