Rose: "Take on the challenge"
Head coach Marco Rose and sporting director Max Eberl spoke to the press ahead of Saturday’s encounter with Eintracht Frankfurt and future Borussia head coach Adi Hütter.
Matchday 5 in the Bundesliga produced a rollercoaster encounter against 1. FSV Mainz 05, with the Foals staging a second-half comeback to win 3-2. Lars Stindl had put Borussia ahead, but a Jonas Hofmann penalty and Matthias Ginter’s header were needed to claim all three points after Jean-Philippe Mateta’s double.
Both sides got stuck in during the opening exchanges at the Opel Arena in Mainz. It took quarter of an hour before we had our first chance, but Lars Stindl fired Breel Embolo’s knockdown into the back of the net to draw first blood with it. The hosts could be forgiven for allowing their heads to drop, with Mainz 05 yet to pick up a point this season and with a new coach at the helm, yet their response belied the statistics. First they recorded their first shot on target under Jan-Mortiz Lichte, albeit a comfortable one for Yann Sommer to save, before Jean-Philippe Mateta got them back on level terms, scrambling home a rebound off the post. Patrick Herrmann almost restored the lead, if not for the crossbar, yet it was Mateta again who struck next, picking out the bottom corner from an unlikely position to put Mainz ahead at the interval.
Borussia had to respond in the second half and had a couple of early chances through Herrmann and then Oscar Wendt, but Robin Zentner pulled off two top saves. Sommer also had to stay on his toes at the other end, rushing out well to smother a shot from Levin Öztunali. Marco Rose turned to his bench to try and turn the tide, bringing on Marcus Thuram, Alassane Plea, Florian Neuhaus and Jonas Hofmann, as well as switching from a back-three to a back-four. The move did the trick, with Thuram drawing a penalty with 15 minutes to go after this shot was blocked by Moussa Niakhaté’s arm. Like in Milan, Hofmann stepped to convert the spot-kick and pull the Foals level. Rose’s side were in the ascendancy now and soon completed the turnaround, and Hofmann involved once more. His corner was flicked home at the near post by fellow Germany international Matthias Ginter to make it 3-2 in the 84th minute. There were chances to add a fourth too, with Plea and Stefan Lainer forcing more good saves from Zentner, but Borussia were able to see out their advantage to claim an important away win.
There were five changes from the side that started in the UEFA Champions League draw at Inter on Wednesday night. Tony Jantschke, Oscar Wendt, Rocco Reitz, Patrick Herrmann and Lars Stindl all came in for Ramy Bensebaini, Florian Neuhaus, Jonas Hofmann, Marcus Thuram and Alassane Plea. The Foals initially set up in a 3-4-3 formation, with 18-year-old Reitz lining up in the centre of the park for his first-team debut. Rose had to do without Valentino Lazaro, Denis Zakaria, László Bénes and Jordan Beyer for the trip to Mainz, with all four working their way back to fitness. Andreas Poulsen also remains sidelined following his shoulder operation.
Mainz: Zentner, St. Juste, Kilian, Niakhaté, Brosinski, Kunde (65’ Barreiro), Latza (80’s Ji), Öztunali (65’ Fernandes), Boetius, Quaison (68’ Burkardt), Mateta
Borussia: Sommer, Lainer, Jantschke (54’ Thuram), Elvedi, Ginter, Wendt, Reitz (60’Neuhaus), Kramer (60’ Hofmann), Stindl (54’ Plea), Herrmann, Embolo (72’ Wolf)
Goals: 0-1 Stindl (15’), 1-1 Mateta (23’), 2-1 Mateta (36’), 2-2 Hofmann (76’, pen.), 2-3 Ginter (83’)
Yellow cards: Kunde, Kilian, Niakhaté, Latza, Zentner / Embolo, Neuhaus, Thuram
Referee: Frank Willenborg (Osnabrück)