Hütter: “We need to be tough to play against”
Head coach Adi Hütter and sporting director Max Eberl spoke to the media ahead of Saturday’s home game (18:30 CEST) against Borussia Dortmund.
Matchday 19 in the Bundesliga saw Borussia Mönchengladbach fight back from a goal down to claim a 1-1 away draw against 1. FC Union Berlin thanks to Alassane Plea’s second-half strike.
The Foals were strong in the opening minutes at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, as Stefan Lainer forced Andreas Luthe into a save with his feet from a tight angle (2’). It was the only time that the Union goalkeeper was called into action in the first half, however. What ensued was very much a midfield battle, with the only set-pieces really carrying a threat, and the home side made use of one to open the scoring after 31 minutes. Marcus Ingvartsen’s deep free-kick was met in the box by Robin Knoche’s head and the ball dropped inside Yann Sommer’s far post to hand Union a 1-0 lead at the break.
Borussia looked to fight back early in the second half and Marcus Thuram had his first sight of goal after a ball in behind from Hannes Wolf, but the Frenchman didn’t make a clean contact with his shot and dragged the ball wide of the target (52’). Fortunately, his compatriot Alassane Plea had more luck just seven minutes later and levelled the scores. Jonas Hofmann held off his man on the edge of the box to complete a one-two with Plea, who fired a trademark first-time curler into the bottom corner of Luthe’s goal (59’). The equaliser didn’t inspire a flurry of chances, though. Union continued to defend compactly, happy to focus on counterattacks, that Gladbach in turn were able to keep under wraps. The Foals came close to snatching a win late on as they forced five consecutive corner-kicks, with one requiring a save from substitute goalkeeper Loris Karius to keep out Breel Embolo’s header.
Marco Rose made just two changes to the side that won against Borussia Dortmund, with Hannes Wolf and Marcus Thuram – making his first start since returning from suspension – replacing Florian Neuhaus and Lars Stindl.
The only players missing were Valentino Lazaro, Rocco Reitz and Joseph Scally, who are all working their way to fitness following injuries.
Union: Luthe (70’ Karius) – Friedrich, Knoche, N. Schlotterbeck (79’ Bülter) – Ryerson, Gentner (66’ Griesbeck), Andrich, Gießelmann, Teuchert (85’ Dajaku), Ingvartsen – Awoniyi (79’ Pohjanpalo)
Borussia: Sommer - Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini – Kramer (58’ Neuhaus), Zakaria – Wolf (90+2’ Herrmann), Hofmann (75’ Stindl), Thuram – Plea (90+2’ Embolo)
Goals: 1-0 Knoche (31’), 1-1 Plea (59’)
Yellow cards: Schlotterbeck – Kramer, Zakaria, Neuhaus, Marco Rose
Referee: Bastian Dankert (Schwerin)