Foals produce another big win over Shakhtar
Matchday 4 in the UEFA Champions League group stage saw Borussia Mönchengladbach consolidate their position at the top of Group B, making it back-to-back big victories over Shakhtar Donetsk with a 4-0 win at BORUSSIA-PARK.
It was another Champions League night for the Borussia history books, sadly once again witnessed by no fans at the stadium. A lack of home support didn’t stop the Foals from taking the initiative from the off against their Ukrainian counterparts and, like in Kyiv, soon translated their chances into goals. A brilliant one-two between Lars Stindl and Marcus Thuram saw the latter tripped in the penalty box, allowing the captain to open the scoring from the spot after 17 minutes. Breel Embolo was making a nuisance of himself as usual, but he was still missing a bit of luck in front of goal, highlighted when his curling effort clipped the post and a penalty shout fell on deaf ears. A second goal wasn’t far behind, however, as Nico Elvedi rose at the near post to head home a Stindl corner. Another even followed before the break, and it was Embolo who finally got his deserved goal, scoring from am acrobatic overhead kick on the stroke of half time to make it 3-0.
While the Foals’ attacking rampage continued after the break in the away fixture, Marco Rose’s side took their foot off the gas in the second half, allowing Shakhtar to take control of possession. It didn’t mean there was any less effort from the hosts though, with every player covering ground to restrict Donetsk to speculative efforts that failed to test Yann Sommer. Borussia mostly looked to threaten through set-pieces, and a tantalising free-kick delivery from Oscar Wendt was so good that it drifted past everyone and went straight in off the far post to make it 4-0 in the 77th minute, removing any lingering doubts and wrapping up another big win over Shakhtar following the 6-0 victory in Kyiv. The Foals remain top of the group and can secure a place in the knockout stages with a win over Inter Milan next week.
Marco Rose made two changes to the side that started against Augsburg, with Valentino Lazaro and Marcus Thuram coming in for Patrick Herrmann and Hannes Wolf. The man on loan from Inter Milan was making his first start for the Foals, taking up a position on the right wing. Alassane Plea was back in the squad after testing negative for coronavirus, although Ramy Bensebaini remained absent following his positive test on the weekend. Only Jonas Hofmann (hamstring) was missing through injury.
Borussia: Sommer - Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Wendt – Kramer (69’ Zakaria), Neuhaus – Lazaro (69’ Herrmann), Stindl (81’ Bénes), Thuram (84’ Traoré) – Embolo (69’ Plea)
Shakhtar: Pyatov – Dodo, Kryvtsov, Bondar, Matviienko – Stepanenko – Marlos (71’ Marcos Antonio), Alan Patrick (81’ Maycon) – Tete, Junior Moraes, Solomon (59’ Fernando)
Goals: 1-0 Stindl (17’, pen.), 2-0 Elvedi (34’), 3-0 Embolo (45+1’), 4-0 Wendt (77’)
Yellow cards: Lazaro, Lainer – Stepanenko
Referee: Cüneyt Cakir (Turkey)