Samuel Eto’o has a natural sense for goalkeeper’s mistakes and Timo Hildebrand may have to look for a new job.
Almost three weeks ago in a 4-1 victory over Cardiff City FC in Premier League Chelsea’s striker Samuel Eto’o utilised a concentration lapse of Cardiff’s goalkeeper David Marshall which lead to a goal.
Last night in the Champions League return leg between FC Schalke and Chelsea FC it was same spot, different time. Schalke’s Timo Hildebrand looked for a short pass instead of just firing the ball to the other half. Hildebrand didn’t see Eto’o or react too late. The deflected ball went in the net. That was the game changer.
Suddeutsche Zeitung, a national newspaper from Bavaria, headed “Schalke defeated itself”. This strange goal lead to the defeat of the “surprisingly offensive” side from the West of Germany. Before the game former Tottenham Hotspur player Kevin-Prince Boateng revealed the new strategy: “We will wait for Chelsea. We will try to counterattack and wait for our opportunities.” But that wasn’t it. Schalke started strong and stellar.
As Dortmund gets all the praises but sits now at third place in their Champions League table some tend to forget one thing. Suddeutsche Zeitung wrote that Schalke “who had shown up until Hildebrand’s lapse, had a strong showing against the Europe Leagua winners, but benefited from the fact that Basel could not win versus Steaua Bucharest and remains before the final two group matches in Bucharest and against Basel in the second place.“
Bild, Germany’s favourite newspaper, blamed Schalke’s goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand too. They wrote “Mourinho’s best man” on the pitch was Schalke’s Timo Hildebrand. “Normally Germans are laughing about English goalkeepers. This time all of England is laughing about a German goalkeeper.”
And the conservative national newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung joins the chorus heading “The most famous German goalkeeper since Trautmann” and commenting with some joy about Chelsea Fans doing Aahhh and Ohhh sounds when Hildebrand had the ball. A hail to the well respected English sense of humour.
Interestingly enough Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung analysed that Hildebrand’s lapse was not the game changer. “On Schalke the setback showed less effect. Undeterred, they continued their game […].“
Do you agree? Or do you think Hildebrands‘ mistake was the main reason for Chelsea’s victory?
image: © Ben Sutherland