10-man Montpellier snatch late equaliser

Champions League Group B, Veltins-Arena - Schalke 2 (Draxler 26', Huntelaar 53' pen) Montpellier 2 (Ait-Fana 13', Camara 90')

10-man Montpellier snatch late equaliser

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Schalke's Christian Fuchs and Montpellier's Garry Bocaly (Reuters)

Souleymane Camara grabbed a late equaliser as 10-man Montpellier salvaged a point in their 2-2 draw with Schalke in the Champions League.

Montpellier took the lead in the 13th minute thanks to a wonder strike from Karim Ait-Fana.

All-action wonder kid Julian Draxler had a number of efforts on goal before drawing the game level as he rounded the keeper in style to roll the ball into the net.

The visitors were sent down to 10 men early in the second half as Garry Bocaly fouled Draxler in the penalty area.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar stepped up to convert the penalty and it looked from there on in that the hosts would stroll to victory.

The current Ligue 1 champions didn’t test Lars Unnerstall throughout the entire second half but somehow stole a point as Camara whipped the ball into the bottom right-hand corner from the edge of the penalty area with just minutes to go.

Despite Schalke’s dominance at home in the Champions League, which has seen them win their last five consecutive matches, they were overawed in the opening quarter of an hour as French club took the lead.

The visitors, playing a very attacking 4-3-3 formation, controlled the tempo of the game from kick off and were patient in their build-up play.

Despite that, it was the hosts that had the first half-chance of the game when a rare attack saw Atsuto Uchida race down the right flank to pull the ball back into the path of Teemu Pukki. The striker should have done better with his effort but could only tamely play it into the feet of the covering defender.

Montpellier continued to play with confidence and cohesion and went ahead courtesy of a sublime finish from Ait-Fana.

Remy Cabella was instrumental in the build-up play as the winger cut in from the right, shrugged off two challenges and then played it into the feet of Ait-Fana on the left of the penalty area.

The Frenchman took one touch to get the ball out of his feet and then unleashed an unstoppable curling effort into the far corner.

The goal seemed to spur on the hosts, though, as they instantly picked up their game and had a number of decent efforts on goal.

Julian Draxler was at the heart of almost everything in a golden 15-minute period for Schalke and he went close a number of occasions.

Initially, he drilled a low shot at goal from 25 yards - that was headed for the bottom corner - but Geoffrey Jourdren was equal to it.

He then had another effort from a tight angle that flashed narrowly wide before finding his range and pulling his side level.

The young German burst in between the two Montpellier central defenders and was found with an excellent pass from Huntelaar. Draxler rounded the onrushing Jourdren to coolly slot into an open net.

With just seven second-half minutes on the clock, Montpellier were down to ten men and were facing a penalty.

Again, it was Draxler that was influential in the move as he somehow managed to wriggle through the challenges of the very impressive Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Hilton before being brought down by Bocaly.

Russian referee Sergei Karasev brandished the red card as Draxler writhed in agony on the floor. He was instantly taken off the field and to the hospital with a suspected broken arm.

Huntelaar, who missed his last penalty against Olympiacos on matchday one, dispatched it with ease.

As expected, Montpellier were then on the back foot and didn’t carve out anything to bother Unnerstall in the Schalke net until the final few minutes.

In fact, the German side should have added to their tally and put the game to bed.

Huntelaar was denied a spectacular volleyed-goal from 18 yards as he stung the hands of Jourdren.

Substitute Ibrahim Afellay then forced the visiting goalkeeper into an acrobatic save with an effort reminiscent of Ait-Fana’s goal in the first half.

There was to be a twist in the tail, though, as the Ligue 1 side stunned the home crowd with an incredible equaliser.

Camara capitalised on a poor clearance from Papadopoulos to sublimely whip a fierce shot into the far corner, leaving Unnerstall no chance.


Julian Draxler - Schalke: The 19-year-old produced scintillating footwork, great vision and an eye for goal in the 55 minutes that he was on the field. Every time he touch the ball it looked like something was going to happen. The performance was capped with a well-taken goal and he also won his team's penalty.


Schalke: Unnerstall 5, Höwedes 6, Papadopoulos 7, Uchida 7, Fuchs 6, Holtby 7, Höger 6, Draxler 9, Neustädter 6, Pukki 7, Huntelaar 7 SUBS: Afellay 6, Barnetta 6, Farfán 5

Montpellier: Jourdren 7, Bocaly 4, Yanga-Mbiwa 8, Hilton 5, Stambouli 5, Belhanda 6, Estrada 5, Cabella 6, Saihi 5, Aït-Fana 7, Camara 7 SUBS: Congré 5, Marveaux 5, Tinhan 4


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