Derby defeat at home to Köln
Borussia Mönchengladbach were beaten 2-1 by local rivals 1. FC Köln in the Rhine derby on matchday 20 in the Bundesliga.
It was a nightmare start for the Foals at BORUSSIA-PARK, as Köln raced into the lead with the game’s very first chance. Elvis Rexhbecaj’s shot took a deflection on its way into the bottom corner, leaving Yann Sommer helpless (3’). Gladbach didn’t trail for long, however, making their first opportunity at the other end count. Florian Neuhaus picked up the ball just outside the box and shimmied into space to get a shot away. There was still a number of red shirts between him and the goal, but they almost came in handy, as two deflections sent Timo Horn the wrong way (16’). It was a fast-paced start to the derby, but that momentum didn’t continue throughout the half, with a cagey midfield battle taking over.
Like in the first half, Borussia were dealt a painful blow early in the second 45 too. Not only did Denis Zakaria have to make way after only three minutes with an injury, but a mistake by Stefan Lainer put the chance on a plate for Rexhbecaj to make it 2-1 from a tight angle (55’). Sommer had to get down quickly to stop Ondrej Duda from adding a third on the hour-mark, which is when Marco Rose also made a triple change to try and swing the game back in his side’s favour. The fresh legs in attack didn’t have the desired effect though, with the Foals forced into more rustic football than usual by Köln’s compact defending. Notable chances never materialised resulting in a painful derby defeat that leaves Gladbach seventh in the Bundesliga table.
Marco Rose made seven changes to the side that started in the midweek DFB-Pokal win over Stuttgart. Yann Sommer replaced Tobias Sippel in goal, while Tony Jantschke, Oscar Wendt, Denis Zakaria, Hannes Wolf, Patrick Herrmann and Breel Embolo were preferred to Nico Elvedi, Ramy Bensebaini, Jonas Hofmann, Christoph Kramer, Marcus Thuram and Alassane Plea.
The boss had more or less the entire team at his disposal, with Valentino Lazaro returning to the matchday squad for the first time since his injury. Rocco Reitz is still working his way back to fitness, however.
Köln: Horn – Ehizibue (82’ Schmitz), Cestic, Czichos, Meré, Özcan – Skhiri, Rexhbecaj – Duda (90+3’ Arokodare), Jakobs (90+3’ J. Horn) – Dennis
Borussia: Sommer – Lainer, Ginter, Jantschke, Wendt (72’ Bensebaini) – Zakaria (48’ Kramer), Neuhaus– Herrmann (58’ Hofmann), Stindl, Wolf (58’ Thuram) – Embolo (58’ Plea)
Goals: 0-1 Rexhbecaj (3’), 1-1 Neuhaus (16’), 1-2 Rexhbecaj (55’)
Yellow cards: Stindl, Herrmann, Jantschke, Neuhaus // Ehizibue, Rexhbecaj
Referee: Christian Dingert (Gries)