Arjen Robben scored on a well-placed second-half header, but Schalke 04 returned with a header of their own, as the Royal Blues earned a draw with 10-man Bayern Munich, 1-1, in Bundesliga action on Tuesday night at Allianz Arena.
Bayern were in control of the match early on, with Schalke content to stay back in defense, often packing 11 men behind the ball. The match shifted in the 17th minute when Bayern defender Jerome Boateng earned a straight red card for a challenge against forward Sidney Sam in the penalty box.
Schalke were awarded a penalty kick, but forward Maxim Choupo-Moting's weak shot to the right side was saved by Ballon d’Or finalist Manuel Neuer to keep the match scoreless. In the 27th minute, Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola brought on center back Dante to replace attacking midfielder Mario Gotze to reinforce the side’s short-staffed back line.
With Bayern playing a man down, the play evened out a bit as the defending champions were forced to pick their spots going forward, and with Schalke abandoning their defensive posture. Bayern still maintained possession for 59 percent of the match.
Robben would get Bayern on the board in the 67th minute, heading a Xabi Alonso corner kick beyond the outstretched arm of Schalke keeper Fabian Giefer. It was the Dutch star's 11th goal of the season. It came just after the officials overturned a would-be Bayern goal, determing that Schalke's Mitchell Weiser touched the ball last over the end line.
Schalke would answer back five minutes later. Off a corner-kick assist from Sam, defender Benedikt Höwedes headed the ball past Neuer to help Schalke salvage a team point against the Bundesliga titans. It was a satisfying road result for Roberto Di Matteo's squad as they seek a spot in the 2015-2016 Champions League.
The Royal Blues were without star striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who was serving the first game of his six-game suspension for a harsh foul against Hannover's Manuel Schmiedebach with five minutes remaining in Schalke’s 1-0 victory on Saturday. Huntelaar received a three-game ban for challenge, and an extra three games were added to the suspension for his confrontation with referee Sascha Stegemann. Schalke are appealing the decision.
Up next for Bayern is a road match against lowly Stuttgart on Saturday, while Schalke host in-form Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday. Monchengladbach moved ahead of Schalke into third place with a home victory over SC Freiburg on Tuesday night, 1-0.