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Schalke 1-0 Olympiakos: Fuchs strike sees Stevens' side through

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Schalke 1-0 Olympiakos: Fuchs strike sees Stevens' side through
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Schalke 1-0 Olympiakos: Fuchs strike sees Stevens' side through

Schalke defeated Olympiakos 1-0 in the Champions League at Veltins Arena, securing its ticket to the last 16.

Coming out of an unexpected 2-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen in Bundesliga on Saturday, the Gelsenkirchen side was eager to bounce back with a win in front of its home crowd, applying pressure early on.

The hosts had a great chance of taking an early lead in the fourth minute when Austria international Christian Fuchs crossed a ball from the left flank into the danger zone, but striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was unable to control the ball in front of an empty box.

In the tenth minute, Germany U-21 captain Lewis Holtby was given the time and space to shoot just outside of the penalty area and took the courage, but the youngster saw his effort crash onto the crossbar.

Then a superbly-placed free kick by Fuchs in the 23rd minute was well-anticipated by former Manchester United shot-stopper Roy Carroll, preventing it from hitting the right inside post.

Meanwhile, the guests were likewise constantly looking for countering opportunities through an occasionally shaky defense at Gelsenkirchen. A sweeping counterattack from Olympiakos in the 35th minute left Schalke short at the back. However, defender Giannis Maniatis could not quite get on the end of a cross by Djamel Abdoun.

At the stroke of halftime, youngster Julian Draxler tried to give his side the lead before going into the locker room, dribbling the ball from the half-way line to the edge of the penalty area with fast pace. But his effort went over the bar.

Die Knappen tried to pick up they left off in the second half, continuously trying to make some good chances pay off.

Farfan was attempting to up the pace from the right on several occasions with some good crossing efforts placed closely to Carroll's box, but his teammates could not make use of them.

On the other side, Holtby was replaced by Teemu Pukki at the 71th minute. The U21-captain was unable to pick up where he left off in the first half, leading to coach Stevens making the tactical change of replacing him with the Finland striker.

Finally, the match saw its first change on the scoreboard when a stunning strike from Fuchs found the bottom corner from 25 yards out. It was a well-deserved relief for the host after having dominated the match, apart from minor attacking spells by the guests.

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