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Unlucky 3-2 home defeat to Inter

Matchday 5 in the UEFA Champions League saw Borussia Mönchengladbach beaten 3-2 at home by Inter Milan.

It was a hard-fought battle throughout at a wet BORUSSIA-PARK on Tuesday night, although the visitors looked the more dangerous of the sides early on. The opening goal followed after 17 minutes, when Matteo Darmian’s shot from an angle slipped through the legs of Yann Sommer. The Foals took a little time to gather themselves from the early setback, but started to take control around the half-hour mark. Stefan Lainer, Lars Stindl and Marcus Thuram produced Borussia’s first shots on target, but each time Samir Handanovic was equal to them. Just as it looked like they would trail at the break, the hosts grabbed a deserved equaliser when Valentino Lazaro’s pinpoint cross was brilliantly headed home by Alassane Plea (45+1’).

The Foals changed up their approach for the second half, switching to a back three with the introduction of Denis Zakaria. It seemed to be working well and there were a couple of half-chances, but they went begging. There was always danger at the other end though in the form of Romelu Lukaku, and even the fresh legs of Zakaria struggled to keep him under wraps. The Inter striker held him off and finished low into the far corner to put his side back in front (64’), before he added his second and the away side’s third soon after. Borussia’s high line was punished this time, with substitutes Alexis Sanchez and Achraf Hakimi combining to set up Lukaku for an easy finish one-on-one (72’). It looked a long way back for Marco Rose’s side but a quick response provided the necessary belief. Florian Neuhaus won a tackle in midfield, allowing Thuram to quickly send Plea in behind. The Frenchman kept his cool to find the bottom corner with his fifth Champions League goal and get Borussia back in the game at 3-2 (76’). Rose had since added Breel Embolo and Hannes Wolf to the Foals’ attack in search of an equaliser, and it seemingly arrived in the 83rd minute when Lainer’s pull-back to the edge of the box was curled into the far corner by Plea. Handanovic was motionless to the shot, but the referee consulted VAR and determined that Embolo was in an active offside position when he jumped out of the way of his teammate’s strike. The hat-trick goal was chalked off and time ran out on a renewed push to level the scores. Gladbach remain top of Group B following Shakhtar Donetsk’s victory over Real Madrid earlier in the evening. They now require at least a point against Real next Wednesday to guarantee progression or hope that Inter and Shakhtar draw.

TEAM NEWS

Marco Rose made three changes to the side that started in the 4-1 win over Schalke, with Denis Zakaria, Patrick Herrmann and Breel Embolo dropping to the bench. That paved the way for Stefan Lainer, Christoph Kramer and Lars Stindl to take to the starting XI.

Borussia were still without Jonas Hofmann (hamstring) and Ramy Bensebaini (coronavirus), while Nico Elvedi also joined the injury list in the week, picking up a muscle problem during training.

MATCH FACTS

Borussia: Sommer - Lainer, Ginter, Jantschke (46’ Zakaria), Wendt (78’ Wolf) – Kramer, Neuhaus – Lazaro, Stindl (70’ Embolo), Thuram – Plea

Inter Milan: Handanovic – Skriniar, de Vrij, Bastoni – Brozovic, Darmian (60’ Hakimi), Barella, Gagliardini, Young (88’ Perisic) – Lukaku, Martinez (71’ Sanchez)

Goals: 0-1 Darmian (17’), 1-1 Plea (45’), 1-2 Lukaku (64’), 1-3 Lukaku (72’), 2-3 Plea (76’)

Yellow cards: Stindl, Lainer, Plea – Martinez, de Vrij, Barella, Young, Lukaku, Gagliardini, Bastoni

Referee: Danny Makkelie (Netherlands)

Attendance: 0

01.12.2020

Florian Neuhaus
Alassane Plea
Stefan Lainer

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