Mustafi begins Schalke spell with mistake that leads to a goal
Former Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi didn’t enjoy the best debut for new club Schalke on Saturday.
The Royal Blues were undoubtedly up against it when they hosted a Julian Nagelsmann RB Leipzig side that are currently flying high in the Bundesliga this season.
However it was Mustafi, who was drafted straight into his favoured central defensive position, who was ultimately at fault for the opening goal.
Although Schalke put in a solid performance for much of the first half, Mustafi’s new side finally succumbed to the better team just moments before the break when Christopher Nkunku fired in a corner.
The excellent cross found the head of Nordi Mukiele, who duly fired a bullet header into the left side of the goal. Yet upon replay it was revealed that the man tasked with marking the defender was none other than Mustafi.
Yet much of the result will undoubtedly come back to Mustafi’s mistake for the opening goal that, ultimately, opened the floodgates.
When the 28-year-old defender spoke to Sky Germany after the game, he admitted that his side had looked “concentrated and committed” prior to RB Leipzig’s opening goal. “Then it was difficult to come out and turn the game around.”
“I think we have to analyse the standards in general and change them,” said Mustafi, before reassuring fans by stating that he and his teammates “accepted the challenge” of trying to avoid relegation this season and that “of course it won’t be easy”.
The result means that Schalke remain dead last in the Bundesliga table, but a surprising win for Mainz over Union Berlin on Saturday confirms that the Royal Blues are now five points off seventeenth position and a massive nine points from safety.