SCHALKE 04 (Veltins Arena)

Wednesday 20th October 2010
Champions League Group Stage
Schalke 3-1 Hapoel Tel Aviv
Attendance: 50,900

First up was a trip to Gelsenkirchen, the home town of Schalke 04. The ground is a good 25 minute tram journey out of the town centre. A good place to stop off en-route for a beer, which I did, is one of the supporters bars near to the old ground. The Gl├╝ckauf-Kampfbahn was used up until 1973, when Schalke moved to the Park Stadium before moving to the current Arena AufSchalke in 2001. Only the main stand remains as this is a listed building and cannot be demolished.

It was then back on the tram from the rest of the journey to the Arena AufSchalke (currently sponsored by Veltins). 

The ground is an impressive arena with a capacity of just over 61,000. I was led to believe that quite an atmosphere can be generated in the ground but sadly there was little evidence of that tonight.

The game was a routine 3-1 home win against a very, very poor Hapoel side. Once Raul had scored given the home team the lead inside 3 minutes, there was only going to be one winner. The only surprise was that the second goal took so long to come, Raul eventually adding a second on 59 minutes before Jurado hit a great third on 68 minutes. Itey Shechter bundled home a consolation for the Israeli's with the last kick of the game.

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