Borussia make winning start to 2021 in Bielefeld

Borussia Mönchengladbach kicked off the new year with a 1-0 win away at Arminia Bielefeld on matchday 14 in the Bundesliga. Breel Embolo scored the match-winner for the Foals.

After a mini winter break – just 11 days separated Borussia’s final game of the 2020 and 2021’s opener – Gladbach returned to action at Arminia Bielefeld’s Schüco-Arena. The visitors immediately took command of proceedings and had the ball in the back of the net after only three minutes. Lars Stindl slipped a pass through to Patrick Herrmann, making his 349th competitive appearance for the club to move level with eight-placed Günter Netzer in the all-time charts, and Flaco applied a neat finish, only for the flag to go up for offside. Moments later it was the post that denied Breel Embolo, and he was unable to guide the rebound on target either. It was the start of a frustrating half for the Swiss attacker, who had two or three other decent chances to give Borussia the lead, but it remained goalless at the interval.

The second half started with another Embolo opportunity and when that effort was also kept out, he could be forgiven for letting his head drop. Breel’s determination didn’t waver, however, and a brilliant ball over the top from Jonas Hofmann gave him the chance to use his pace to get ahead of Amos Pieper and this time he buried a shot past the goalkeeper to open the scoring. Borussia pushed for a second goal to put the game to bed, and Herrmann twice came close but couldn’t find a way past Ortega. As time ticked away, fans no doubt felt nervous as Bielefeld pumped balls into the box hoping to capitalise on Borussia’s susceptibility to conceding late on. It perhaps proved to be an issue left behind in 2020 though, not least thanks to a brilliant block by Matthias Ginter from a dangerous-looking Reinhold Yabo strike.


Marco Rose made three changes to the side that started in the cup before Christmas, with Yann Sommer, Florian Neuhaus and Valentino Lazaro coming into the team for Tobias Sippel, Lázsló Bénes and Hannes Wolf. There was a last-minute change of plans though, with Lazaro picking up a groin injury in the warm-up and so he was replaced by Patrick Herrmann.

The boss was without Ibrahima Traoré (cold) and Marcus Thuram (suspended), but there were returns to the squad for Alassane Plea and Ramy Bensebaini, with both also coming on in the second half to make their comeback from injury.


Bielefeld: Ortega – Brunner, Pieper, van der Hoorn, de Medina (71' Lucoqui) – Prietl (88' Maier), Hartel (71' Schipplock), Doan, Gebauer (52' Yabo) – Klos, Cordova (52' Kunze)

Borussia: Sommer – Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Wendt (85' Bensebaini) – Kramer, Neuhaus (77' Zakaria) – Herrmann (85' Wolf), Stindl, Hofmann – Embolo (64' Plea)

Goals: 0-1 Embolo (58')

Yellow cards: de Medina, Ortega – Neuhaus

Referee: Sascha Stegemann (Niederkassel)

Attendance: 0

Matthias Ginter won almost every aerial duel in Bielefeld
Nico Elvedi & Co. kept a first Bundesliga clean sheet since Halloween
Breel Embolo celebrates his match-winner


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