Two teams expected to be fighting for a Champions League place at the end of the season came away with a point each after a 1-1 draw at the BayArena. Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting opened the scoring for Schalke with a cool finish against the run of play before Sascha Riether put the ball into his own net with five minutes to go to salvage a point for Bayer Leverkusen.
Chances were aplenty for the home side but they failed to make them count before going a goal down just after half time. Roger Schmidt had to rely on an own goal to save face for his side.
Plenty of chances but no breakthrough
The opening 15 minutes provided nothing of note for either side except for a few half chances but the most impressive came when Kevin Kampl embarked on an adventurous run before firing a shot from the edge of the area straight at Ralf Fährmann. Schalke would fashion a chance of their own in the 24th minute but Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting's header was saved comfortably.
The best chance of the first half at just after the half an hour mark with Karim Bellarabi smashing an effort off the bar from a tight angle. Excellent work from Kampl allowed Bellarabi the opportunity but he couldn't convert. Not even a minute later, Leverkusen were creating yet again but Christoph Kramer's shot from inside the box was blocked.
Two minutes before the break, Bayer Leverkusen should've been 1-0 up through Bellerabi but his volley from close range flew inches wide of the right hand post. The last 15 minutes of the half provided plenty of chances for the home side while Schalke were holding onto the 0-0 scoreline for dear life.
Late own-goal haunts visitors
Despite the first half dominance from Bayer Leverkusen, the visitors would start the second half for the better and eventually took the lead five minutes in. Choupo-Moting was the man for the big occasion as he slotted the ball into the bottom corner from a wonderful through ball from Leon Goretzka. The goal was against the run of play but well taken by the Cameroon international.
The hosts came close to equalising five minutes after going a goal down but Javier Hernandez's header back across goal from a corner went untouched, much to the disappointment of the Mexican striker. Schalke were then unlucky not to go 2-0 up as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was found by Choupo-Moting's cross but the striker could only head over from close range.
Leverkusen continued to push for an equaliser and Hernandez had two opportunities in the space of a minute but fired one over the bar before having a second shot saved. There would be another goal before full time and it went in favour of the hosts as Sascha Riether put the ball into his own net with five minutes left to level things up at 1-1.
The result leaves Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke both on 21 points with the former ahead on goal difference alone. A fair result in the end despite the home side dominating the majority of possession and chances.