Bayern Munich – Schalke 04 04-02-2017
FC Bayern München 1:1 Schalke 04
Saturday – 4 February 2017
Allianz Arena – Munich, Germany
Attendance- 75,000 (Away- 7,000)
After arriving back in Ingolstadt about 10:30pm from the football game in Fürth, I was up at 8:00am and checked out of the hotel to go down to stay in Munich. After a quick drive down to the capital of Bavaria, I drove around the Mittelring and went by the Stadion an der Grünwalderstraße in the southern area of Munich.
With the game starting at 3:30pm, it was decided to check into the hotel early and head towards the Allianz. I was staying at the GHotel Nymphenburg, which was conveniently located within half a block of the Rotkreuzplatz U-Bahn station. I jumped on the U-Bahn, changing at Sendlinger Tor before heading out towards the Allianz. I spoke to a couple Schalke fans on the train, sharing stories of our different football weekends and their thoughts on the current Schalke team.
They were hopeful that their wildly inconsistent team would have one of their better performances against the reigning league champions, while I was less confident than they were. However, it was fun talking with other football supporters to find out all the things we have in common.
Up arriving at Fröttmaning U-Bahn station, I joined the throng heading towards the Allianz. I acquired my customary scarf, and was just about to tuck into my first sausage of the day when I realized I forgot my new phone at the scarf kiosk. I frantically went back and was lucky that the vendor got it and held it for me. Crisis averted, I continued to the stadium while enjoying some delicious cooked meat. I got an arena card at the stadium, since they don’t take cash or credit cards, and tried to inquired at the ticket booths about getting a real paper ticket, without any success. Print at home tickets just don’t look as good with my ticket collection, but that is a rant for another day.
I was seated in the south end, above the ultras for Bayern Munich. They were in good voice throughout the game, but I was more impressed by the Schalke fans on the other side of the stadium.
They were loud and active, and could be heard above the Munich fans during most of the game. Robert Lewandowski gave FCB the lead in the 9th minute, at the end of a well threaded through ball that shredded the Schalke defense, but the lead lasted a mere 4 minutes before Schalke was able to equalize off of a well worked free kick routine. The rest of the game was a fairly stale affair, with neither team able to produce much until the final 10 minutes, when Bayern brought on David Alaba and Philipp Lahm. They put Schalke under considerable practice, but just ran out of time to break the deadlock.
A 1-1 draw seemed a fair result, but I was more impressed by the Schalke fans than any other aspect of the visit. It is a beautiful new, modern, stadium and a great football experience, but I’m continually impressed by the passion and effort of the German football fans, and this is quickly becoming my favorite country to visit.