Raúl double helps Schalke overcome Hapoel
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
FC Schalke 04 3-1 Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC
Raúl González took his European goal tally to 70 with two well-taken strikes as the hosts eased to a second successive home win in Group B.
Article top media content
Raúl González, the record scorer in UEFA Champions League history, struck his first goals in the competition for FC Schalke 04 as the German club consolidated second spot in Group B.
After finding the net 66 times for Real Madrid CF, Raúl endeared himself to the Schalke faithful with vintage finishes past Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama in the third and 58th minutes. It was a great night for the Bundesliga strugglers' Spanish connection as José Manuel Jurado added an exquisite third to cap a vibrant home performance. Etey Schechter scored a consolation for Hapoel in the final minute of added time.
The crowd had barely settled into their seats when Jurado's ball became a defence-splitting pass as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's clever dummy caught out Douglas Da Silva and Raúl pounced, tucking it away with his favoured left foot. Huntelaar came into the fixture in prime form, having struck in each of his last eight appearances for club and country. Another deft pass from the impressive Jurado presented the forward with a chance to extend that formidable record midway through the opening period, only for Enyeama to prevail in the one-on-one situation.
Huntelaar must have felt it was not to be his night when he hit the crossbar twice with headers in an incredible passage of play in the 57th minute. A minute later the hosts got the second goal they deserved and Huntelaar played a critical part in its creation, finding Ivan Rakitić on the left.
The Croatian international's low cross was equally precise, inviting Raúl to sweep the ball in, this time with his right boot. Enyeama did his best to keep the score down but having parried from Jurado, the Nigeria goalkeeper could only stand and admire as the diminutive midfielder's next effort, from the left edge of the penalty area, found the back of the net via the inside of the post.
Hapoel's neat football, with Schechter and Gil Vermouth to the fore, failed to translate into scoring chances until the very last, when Shechter turned the ball past Manuel Neuer at the second attempt after initially miscontrolling a deep free-kick from substitute Salim Toama. It was only Hapoel's second attempt on target. Point-less after three games, Hapoel coach Eli Gutman faces the challenge of lifting his players before the two clubs meet again on November 2.