Hütter: “We need to be at our absolute best”
Head coach Adi Hütter and sporting director Max Eberl spoke before the DFB-Pokal tie against FC Bayern München on Wednesday (20:45 CEST).
The Foals’ first UEFA Champions League group game saw them draw 2-2 away to Inter Milan on Wednesday night. Ramy Bensebaini and Jonas Hofmann were on the scoresheet for Borussia, with Romelu Lukaku grabbing both goals for the hosts.
It was a high-intensity match from the get-go at the San Siro. Both sides defended resolutely as a midfield battle ensued in the first 45. Inter’s best chance was a long-range free kick from Christian Eriksen that Yann Sommer got his full body behind, while the Foals failed to really test Samir Handanovic at the other end, often missing the clinical edge in the final third. The second half started badly for Marco Rose’s side as Romelu Lukaku pounced on a loose ball inside the six-yard box and fired in the opener after 49 minutes. It was a goal that helped breathe life into the Foals, however, as they now drove forward with more purpose. Some quick feet from Marcus Thuram in the box caught out Arturo Vidal and – after consulting VAR – the referee gave a penalty, stuck away superbly by Ramy Bensebaini to level the scores.
The match was much more open now, with the midfield often being bypassed. Alassane Plea and Florian Neuhaus both had shots blocked, before Matteo Darmian rattled the post with a volley for Inter. With just five minutes to go, Neuhaus skipped the hosts’ midfield and defence with a marvellous 50-yard through ball, allowing Jonas Hofmann to bear down on goal one-on-one with the keeper and complete the turnaround with a cool nutmeg. As the game ticked towards stoppage time, Sommer pulled off a fine save from a Darmian header, but the resulting corner ran through to Lukaku at the far post and he only had to make contact to ensure the sides shared the points.
Head coach Marco Rose made two changes to the side that started the recent game against Wolfsburg, with Oscar Wendt and Lars Stindl dropping to the bench, making room for Ramy Bensebaini and Alassane Plea. The Frenchman was back in the squad having missed the weekend’s Bundesliga fixture after becoming a father.
Rose was without Valentino Lazaro, Denis Zakaria, László Bénes and Jordan Beyer, who are all still working their way back to fitness, while Andreas Poulsen (shoulder) missed out through injury. Kaan Kurt, Mamadou Doucouré, Torben Müsel, Famana Quizera and Julio Villalba also stayed behind in Mönchengladbach.
Inter Milan: Handanovic - d’Ambrosio, de Vrij, Kolarov - Darmian, Barella, Vidal, Perisic (78’ Bastoni), Eriksen (78’ Brozovic) – Sanchez (46’ Martinez), Lukaku
Borussia: Sommer - Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini – Kramer, Neuhaus, Hofmann, Embolo (75’ Herrmann) – Thuram (90+5’ Wolf), Plea (90’ Stindl)
Goals: 1-0 Lukaku (49’), 1-1 Bensebaini (63’, pen.), 1-2 Hofmann (84’), 2-2 Lukaku (90’)
Yellow cards: d’Ambrosio, de Vrij / Kramer
Referee: Björn Kuipers (Netherlands)