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Borussia Dortmund

BVB lose 4-2 in Gladbach

Boris Rupert reporting

Gladbach converted three of their first four shots to score through Hofmann (4), Bensabaini (26) and Thuram (30) in a breathtaking opening 45 minutes. BVB expended an immense effort and could have scored significantly more goals before the break than the two they ultimately netted via Brandt (19) and Schlotterbeck (40). Koné upped the score to 4-2 with Gladbach’s fifth attempt 30 seconds after the restart, after which BVB could not find a route back into the game.

The scenario:
Ninth versus sixth. The 101st Bundesliga meeting of the Borussias kicked off the final matchday before the 10-week winter break. The last draw in this fixture came almost 10 years ago in February 2013, when the two teams played out a 1-1 stalemate in Mönchengladbach; since then, this pairing has produced a winner in 18 consecutive games (BMG five times, BVB 13 times).


Personnel matters:
The Black & Yellows travelled with the same squad that lost 2-0 in Wolfsburg on Tuesday, with Bynoe-Gittens, Dahoud (both shoulder operations), Haller (tumour), Meunier (fractured cheekbone) Morey (knee operation), Rothe (bone sprain), Reus (ankle) und Wolf (vestibular system disorder) still sidelined. Reyna and Can replaced Adeyemi and Özcan (both bench) in the line-up.

Both teams took to the field in a 4-2-3-1 formation. BVB pressed high up the pitch and looked to exude dominance from the beginning. Once they had taken an early lead, Gladbach resorted to counterattacks that were initiated via long balls into the path of centre-forward Thuram from the half-spaces. When the Black & Yellows had the ball, Bellingham pushed forward from his holding role and offered another passing option in attacking midfield.

The match & analysis:
BVB immediately seized the initiative, with Gladbach’s first touch of the ball coming 100 seconds into the game. After 220 seconds, the hosts launched their first attack: Weigl fed Stindl, who picked the ball up in a central position and spotted the diagonal run of Hofmann, who had too much space and fired home a low effort into the bottom corner from 14 metres relatively unchallenged. BVB found themselves behind early on as they had been in Wolfsburg, though on that occasion they were really passive from the outset.

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The Black & Yellows created and finished off the equaliser nicely to swiftly put themselves back on level terms: Bellingham floated a lovely ball from a deep position in the inside left channel towards the penalty spot, where Brandt’s control, turn on a sixpence and left-footed shot were executed to technical perfection. It was his fourth goal of the season.


Thuram immediately had the chance to make it 2-1 following a counterattack. Hummels’ energetic tracking back on Hofmann gave Schlotterbeck, who had fallen over on the slippery surface, the necessary time to make up the ground on the VfL striker. Together with Kobel, he managed to keep out another goal – though the offside flag was raised, and it probably wouldn’t have counted (23).

Borussia Dortmund were too open on the retreat, with Gladbach’s counters posing a huge threat. One such instance in the 26th minute led to a free-kick for the hosts that was played in from the right flank by Hofmann, with Bensabaini winning the aerial battle against Bellingham to make it 2-1. Only four minutes later, Stindl played the ball from the centre-circle into the path of Thuram, who accelerated away from Schlotterbeck, rounded Kobel and tapped home for 3-1.

BVB had a gilt-edged chance to close the deficit shortly after the half-hour mark. Guerreiro played in a cross towards Moukoko, whose downward header was kept out by the outstanding reactions of Olschowsky in the Gladbach goal before Bensabaini turned Reyna’s follow-up behind for a corner (32). Olschowsky was on hand again to keep out Moukoko’s shot from inside the box five minutes later and Guerreiro’s free-kick (40). BVB were rewarded for their huge effort with their first league goal of the season from a corner only three minutes later. Olschowsky saved Süle’s header from Brandt’s cross, only for Schlotterbeck to slot home the rebound. It could have been 3-3 only three minutes later, but Olschowsky made another save to stop Malen’s close-range shot following Reyna’s cross from the right (43). The whistle blew for half-time with Dortmund having registered more shots (13-4) and chances (6-3).


Hazard came on for Reyna after the interval, while Hermann replaced Kramer and Stindl moved over into the middle. The home side continued to be afforded too much space, with neither provider Hofmann nor goalscorer Koné, who pulled the trigger from 17 metres out to score the fourth goal a matter of seconds after the restart, tightly marked. Thuram had the chance to make it five but fired narrowly wide of the upright. BVB were wobbling at this point; the fourth goal had left its mark. It developed into an exchange of blows in the following minutes, with Kobel next saving from Thuram (59).

Terzic reacted by making a double substitution, bringing on Modeste and Özcan for Schlotterbeck and Can. The formation switched to 4-3-3, with centre-backs Süle and Hummels flanked by Hazard and Guerreiro. Bensabaini’s handball might well have been sanctioned by VAR on another day (67), before Thuram’s foul on Hummels initially went unpunished and Hofmann slotted home for 5-2 – only for referee Jablonski to review the pitchside monitor and reverse his decision. Hummels continued for a few minutes but was then forced off with the knock, with Papadopoulos replacing him.

Modeste had two more glimpses of goal in the 66th and 84th minutes, but – in contrast to the first half – the Black & Yellows appeared to lack the belief that they could turn the match around after Koné’s killer blow to make it 4-2.

During the World Cup break, Borussia Dortmund will travel to South-East Asia between 21 November and 1 December. The Bundesliga campaign will resume at home to FC Augsburg on 22 January.

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Teams & goals

Bundesliga Matchday 15

Bor. M’gladbach: Olschowsky – Scally, Friedrich, Elvedi, Bensebaini – Weigl, Koné (Itakura, 88) – Hofmann (Netz, 90+4), Kramer (Herrmann, 46), Stindl (N’Goumou, 90) – Thuram 
Bor. Dortmund: Kobel – Süle, Hummels (Papadopoulos, 78), Schlotterbeck (Modeste, 59), Guerreiro – Bellingham, Can (Özcan, 59) – Reyna (Hazard, 46), Brandt, Malen (Adeyemi, 71) – Moukoko
Substitutes: Brüll, Jantschke, Lainer, Borges Sanches, Reitz – Meyer, Passlack, Coulibaly, Pasalic
Goals: 1-0 Hofmann (Stindl, 4), 1-1 Brandt (Bellingham, 19), 2-1 Bensebaini (Hofmann, 26), 3-1 Thuram (Stindl, 30), 3-2 Schlotterbeck (Süle, 40), 4-2 Koné (Hofmann, 46)
Corner: 2-5 (1-2 at half-time), chance ratio: 8-7 (3-6)
Referee: Jablonski (Bremen), yellow cards: Stindl – Hummels, Guerreiro
Attendance: 54,042 (sold-out), weather: dry, 8 degrees

Source: BVB

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