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.
Borussia Mönchengladbach will head into the international break off the back of a defeat, losing 4-3 away at Bayer 04 Leverkusen in a turbulent Bundesliga clash. Lars Stindl twice put the Foals ahead, but the hosts refused to lie down and ultimately claimed the three points.
Leverkusen started out the stronger side in the BayArena, yet it was the Foals who drew first blood. Breel Embolo was brought down in the box by goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, and Lars Stindl stepped up to open the scoring from the penalty spot after 18 minutes. Bayer 04 were unfazed though and continued to pose a threat. Nadiem Amiri though he had levelled the scores when his long-range effort beat Yann Sommer, but offside was given against Tapsoba inside the six-yard box. An equaliser did follow in the 27th minute when Lucas Alario curled a shot into the top corner, but Leverkusen weren’t level for long. Florian Wirtz’s tackle on Marcus Thuram played the ball perfectly into Stindl’s path, and he coolly finished past Hradecky to restore Gladbach’s lead. They couldn’t see it out until the break, however, with Alario again the goalscorer for Bayer 04, heading in a cross to make it 2-2.
It was now a real back-and-forth between the local rivals and the next goal should have been Borussia’s. Stindl almost had a hat-trick when his shot from a tight angle was saved on the line, yet substitute Hannes Wolf had the goal at his mercy from the rebound, only to fire high over the crossbar. The Foals were made to pay moments after with Leon Bailey finishing off a counterattack to put Leverkusen into the lead for the first time. They extended their lead to 4-2 in the 82nd minute through Julian Baumgartlinger, leaving Gladbach little time to fight back. Ramy Bensebaini headed a László Bénes free kick narrowly wide, but there was to be a late consolation goal in stoppage time, and it’s one Valentino Lazaro won’t forget in a hurry. A Patrick Herrmann cross from the right-hand side was a little behind the Inter loanee, but he acrobatically adjusted to spectacularly volley a scorpion kick into the top corner. Sadly, it still only counted for one goal, meaning Borussia were beaten 4-3, leaving them outside of the European places as we now go into the international break.
Marco Rose made just the one change from the side that beat Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0 in the Champions League earlier in the week, bringing in Breel Embolo for Alassane Plea. László Bénes had already been included in the matchday squad before, but there was a return to action for the midfielder in the second half following his injury. Denis Zakaria and Andreas Poulsen remain the only players unavailable to the coach as they work their way back to fitness.
Leverkusen: Hradecky – L. Bender (85’ Dragovic), S. Bender, Tapsoba, Wendell – Baumgartlinger – Wirtz, Amiri – Bailey, Alario (80’ Bellarabi), Diaby
Borussia: Sommer – Lainer (74’ Plea), Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini – Kramer (74’ Bénes), Neuhaus (46’ Wolf) – Hofmann, Stindl, Thuram (80’ Herrmann) – Embolo (62’ Lazaro)
Goals: 0-1 Stindl (18’, pen.), 1-1 Alario (27’), 1-2 Stindl (30’), 2-2 Alario (41’), 3-2 Bailey (68’), 4-2 Baumgartlinger (82’), 4-3 Lazaro (90+4’)
Yellow cards: Hradecky, L. Bender, Wirtz, Diaby / Bensebaini, Embolo
Referee: Harm Osmers (Hannover)