Winning end to the season in Bremen
The final matchday of the Bundesliga season saw Borussia Mönchengladbach win 4-2 away at Werder Bremen, but it wasn’t enough to climb into the European places.
The Foals made a good start and were ahead inside three minutes thanks to a pinpoint finish from Lars Stindl after Stefan Lainer had picked him out at the edge of the box. The home side soon began to find their feet and came mighty close to an equaliser, but Yann Sommer produced an incredible reaction save from close range to deny an almost guaranteed goal from Davie Selke (19’). Borussia were nearer to scoring a second goal before the break, with Thuram actually putting the ball in the back of the net, only for the flag to go up for offside (32’).
Gladbach upped the intensity in the second 45 and struck three times in the space of 14 minutes to put the result beyond doubt. Hannes Wolf’s through ball sent Marcus Thuram in one-on-one and he finished well to double the Foals’ advantage after 52 minutes, before a set piece six minutes later made it 3-0. Stindl’s delivery from deep found Ramy Bensebaini and he brilliantly flicked a looping header over Jiri Pavlenka. Florian Neuhaus then picked out the bottom corner after a loose ball fell perfectly to him to add Borussia’s fourth in the 68th minute, continuing the Foals rampant second-half performance. Things were looking promising for both sides at this stage, with both Union and Köln drawing, meaning Gladbach and Werder were on course for Europe and the relegation play-offs respectively. The hosts then scored two quickfire consolation goals, first when Milot Rashica beat the offside trap to finish one-on-one (81’), and then from a special Niclas Füllkrug curling effort (84’). Two goals then went in that did bear significance for both sides, albeit elsewhere. First, Köln grabbed a late winner against Schalke to relegate Bremen, before Union Berlin did the same in their match with RB Leipzig, ensuring they remained in seventh place to deny the Foals a chance at Conference League qualification.
Head coach Marco Rose made three changes for his final match in charge of Borussia, with Denis Zakaria, Valentino Lazaro and Hannes Wolf preferred to Christoph Kramer, Jonas Hofmann and Alassane Plea. It was also Oscar Wendt’s final game in Gladbach colours, and the Swede came on for the final 15 minutes, taking over the captain’s armband from Lars Stindl as a farewell gesture.
Werder: Pavlenka – Gebre Selassie, Toprak (79’ Agu), Moisander, Friedl – Eggestein, Mbom (55’ Osako), Bittencourt (79’ Möhwald), Schmid – Selke (66’ Füllkrug), Sargent (66’ Rashica)
Borussia: Sommer – Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini (84’ Jantschke) – Zakaria, Neuhaus – Lazaro (74’ Hofmann), Stindl (74’ Wendt), Wolf (84’ Herrmann) – Thuram (74’ Embolo)
Goals: 0-1 Stindl (3’), 0-2 Thuram (53’), 0-3 Bensebaini (58’), 0-4 Neuhaus (68’), 1-4 Rashica (81’), 2-4 Füllkrug (84’)
Yellow cards: Moisander -Wolf, Zakaria
Referee: Dr. Feix Brych (Munich)