Borussia Dortmund’s U23s picked up their 23rd win of the Regionalliga West season against their Borussia Mönchengladbach counterparts. Goals from Steffen Tigges (2), Richmond Tachie and Felix Passlack sealed a 4-1 (2-0) win over the 13th-placed Foals to maintain their lead at the top of the table.
The scenario: The Black & Yellows had won their big clash with Münster and remained nine points clear at the summit. Borussia Mönchengladbach were in 13th place but the prospect of relegation was no longer on the cards.
Personnel matters: BVB coach Enrico Maaßen made four changes to the team that drew 1-1 in Münster. Haymenn Bah-Traore, Alaa Bakir and Kolbeinn Finnsson were given a breather and dropped down to the bench. Henri Weigelt missed out through injury. Marco Hober, Albin Thaqi, Dominik Wanner and Felix Passlack were drafted into the starting XI. It was Passlack’s first appearance in the Regionalliga West this term.
The match & analysis: There was heavy rainfall at Mönchengladbach’s Grenzlandstadion. BVB dominated possession at the outset, while the hosts took an extremely defensive-minded and counter-attacking approach in their 5-4-1 system. The Black & Yellows initially struggled in the final third, with their final balls failing to reach their destination. But BVB went 1-0 up in the 20th minute with their first successfully executed attack. Dominik Wanner was played through down the left flank. The winger fed the unmarked Richmond Tachie on the penalty spot, who was left with a simple finish.
BVB now had more control going forward and were creating more goalscoring chances. Felix Passlack had an long-range effort kept out by Gladbach shot-stopper Olschowsky in the 25th minute. But Steffen Tigges went one better a few moments later. The Dortmund captain was picked out by Tobias Raschl and comfortably slotted home the second goal of the day. BVB controlled the match, dictated the tempo and gave away no shooting opportunities whatsoever at the back, ensuring they went in at the interval with a deserved lead.
There were no personnel changes for BVB ahead of the second period. The first few minutes after the restart belonged to Gladbach, with Luca Unbehaun forced to make two stops in a matter of seconds. BVB boss Enrico Maaßen reacted to the increasing pressure from the hosts and brought on some fresh legs in the form of Florian Krebs, who replaced Marco Hober. Midway through the spell of Gladbach pressure, BVB countered to devastating effect. Dominik Wanner fed Richmond Tachie. Steffen Tigges then found Felix Passlack, who slotted home from close range.
But Gladbach had not thrown in the towel, made some attacking changes and pulled a goal back from a corner in the 69th minute. Captain Michel Lieder headed home the goal. The Black & Yellows defended passionately, however, putting their bodies on the line and scoring from their next counter on 81 minutes. Richmond Tachie set up Steffen Tigges, who picked his spot and slotted home to seal the points.
The match reactions:
Enrico Maaßen: “It was our third game in the space of six days. We absolutely deserved to win the match. We scored some beautiful goals. It was all about winning the game today; we managed that because we didn’t give anything away ourselves.”
Steffen Tigges: “The result is obviously clear-cut. We scored the goals at the decisive moments. We gave it everything and deserved to win.”
Franz Pfanne: “I’ll be happy to only be playing once a week now. We’ll now be able to recharge our batteries for a little longer each time, which means we can give it our all in our last seven games to achieve our dream.”
Outlook: The U23s are next in action when they face RW Oberhausen at Stadion Niederrhein next Sunday (14:00 CET).
Team & goals
BVB U23s: Unbehaun – Passlack (Bah-Traore, 77), Maloney, Hober (Krebs, 59), Tachie, Tigges, Thaqi, Pfanne, Dams, Raschl (Bakir, 64), Wanner (Finnsson, 62)
Goals: 0-1 Tachie (20), 0-2 Tigges (28), 0-3 Passlack (61), 1-3 Lieder (69), 1-4 Tigges (81)