Late fightback falls short in 3-2 defeat to Leverkusen

Borussia Mönchengladbach suffered a 3-2 defeat to Bayer 04 Leverkusen in their first competitive match of 2023. The Foals trailed 3-0 going into the final stages, and a comeback charge led by captain Lars Stindl's brace proved too little, too late.

The Foals looked the better side in the opening exchanges in front of around 54,000 fans at BORUSSIA-PARK, winning possession high up the pitch and testing the visitors’ goalkeeper early on. However, Leverkusen took the lead through Mitchel Bakker’s rebound with their first real chance and changed the face of the game. Bayer 04 were able to double their lead just before half time via Amine Adli’s run in behind the defence. Gladbach looked improved again early in the half, but the away side dealt yet another blow when substitute Nadiem Amiri buried a shot into the bottom corner to make it 3-0. The game now looked beyond Borussia, and even when Lars Stindl pulled a goal back with a first-time finish from the edge of the box with eight minutes to go, a comeback charge seemed unlikely. However, the captain ensured it was a tense ending when he thundered a stunning strike in off the crossbar in stoppage time to bring the Foals within a goal. Sadly, time ran out for an equaliser, but the closing stages can give the team a push ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Augsburg.


Head coach Daniel Farke’s first official line-up of the year saw Jonas Omlin make his debut in goal, with a back-four of Stefan Lainer, Ko Itakura, Nico Elvedi and Ramy Bensebaini in front of him. Manu Koné partnered Julian Weigl in midfield, while Jonas Hofmann, Christoph Kramer and Alassane Plea supported lone strike Nathan Ngoumou.

The Foals were without Marcus Thuram (knee) and Yvandro Borges Sanches (groin) for the Bundesliga restart, although there were returns to the matchday squad for Hannes Wolf and Florian Neuhaus following their injuries in the first half of the season.


10’: Plea drives down the left flank and takes aim from the edge of the box, but his shot is blocked by Tapsoba.

21’: Frimpong lays the ball off to Hlozek, who turns and shoots. His effort is brilliantly tipped onto the post by Omlin, only for the rebound to fall to Bakker to stick away. 1-0 to Leverkusen.

27’: After a counter, Frimpong only has Omlin to beat, but the new Borussia no. 1 makes himself big and gets in the way of the shot.

41’: Another dangerous Leverkusen counter ends up with the ball in the back of the net, but Diaby was offside in the build-up and the flag goes up.

43’: This time it counts. Adli beats Elvedi to a long, bouncing ball and finishes low past Omlin one-on-one. 2-0 to Leverkusen.


55’: Almost a goal back! A corner kick finds Elvedi six yards out and his header is kept out by a fine Hradecky save.

62’: Plea forces the Bayer 04 keeper to parry his shot from an angle, and he gets a second go sooon after that is fired wide. The flag went up for offside anyway.

67’: Amiri plays a one-two with Adli and strikes the ball low into the bottom corner and out of Omlin’s reach. 3-0 to Leverkusen.

83’: Stindl pulls one back! Wolf spots him in space at the top of the D and lays the ball off, and a first-time, left-footed shot clips the inside of the post and finds the back of the net. 3-1.

90+3’: Stindl again! The ball is worked forward to the captain, who takes a touch before unleashing a rocket of a shot that hits the underside of the ball and nestles in the net. 3-2.


Borussia: Omlin – Lainer (56’ Scally), Itakura, Elvedi, Bensebaini – Weigl, Koné (77’ Neuhaus) – Hofmann (77’ Herrmann), Kramer (56’ Stindl), Plea – Ngoumou (56’ Wolf) // Unused subs: Olschowsky, Friedrich, Jantschke, Netz

Leverkusen: Hradecky – Tapsoba, Kossounou (75’ Tah), Hincapie – Frimpong (90+2’ Sinkgraven), Palacios, Andrich, Bakker – Diaby (75’ Wirtz), Hlozek (64’ Amiri), Adli (75’ Hudson-Odoi) // Unused subs: Lomb, Lunev, Demirbay, Azmoun

Goals: 0-1 Bakker (21’), 0-2 Adli (43’), 0-3 Amiri (67’), 1-3 Stindl (83’), 2-3 Stindl (90+3’)

Attendance: 53,336

Yellow cards: Koné, Weigl, Stindl / Sinkgraven, Bakker

Referee: Harm Osmers (Hanover)

Goalkeeper Jonas Omlin made his Borussia debut
Christoph Kramer captained the side until he was substituted for Lars Stindl
Stefan Lainer started a game for the first time this season


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