Stalemate in Wolfsburg
Borussia Mönchengladbach were held to a 0-0 draw at VfL Wolfsburg on matchday 21 of the Bundesliga, with both defences on top in a chilly Volkswagen Arena.
Wolfsburg came into the game with a lot of aggression, pressing the Foals deep into their own half and recovering the ball quickly. A set piece produced the opening chance of the game and it needed a fine reaction save from Yann Sommer’s fingertips to keep out Kevin Mbabu’s flick-on (8’). Oliver Glasner’s side continued to enjoy more of the ball, although Borussia looked a decent threat on the counter. Ultimately, both defences remained stubborn and the only other real opening before the break saw Valentino Lazaro fire a snapshot over the target (42’).
Borussia started the second half better and gave Koen Casteels his first notable test courtesy of Christoph Kramer’s curling shot towards the top corner, but it was gathered easily enough by the Dutch goalkeeper (48’). The hosts soon regained the initiative and almost took the lead through a John Anthony Brooks header that clipped the outside of the post (63’). A half opening for Wout Weghorst came and went without Sommer having to be at his best to keep it out (65’), and he similarly only had to put his weight behind a long-range effort from Maximilian Arnold (84’). Xaver Schlager came the closest to scoring a winner at either end with his daisy-cutter looking like it had nestled in the bottom corner, but it was merely the illusion from hitting the back stanchion (89’). Fresh legs couldn’t help Gladbach to muster another chance in the freezing temperatures and so the Foals left Wolfsburg with a hard-fought point.
Marco Rose made six changes to the side that lost to Köln last weekend, with Nico Elvedi, Ramy Bensebaini, Christoph Kramer, Jonas Hofmann, Alassane Plea and Valentino Lazaro coming into the team for Tony Jantschke, Oscar Wendt, Denis Zakaria, Hannes Wolf, Patrick Herrmann and Breel Embolo.
After returning to the matchday squad last time out, Lazaro made his return from injury in Wolfsburg. Rocco Reitz was also back on the bench this time as he approaches full fitness. Marco Rose was without Denis Zakaria because of a bruised knee picked up against Köln, while Marcus Thuram also picked up a knee problem shortly before the game that ruled him out of contention.
Wolfsburg: Casteels – Mbabu, Lacroix, Brooks, Paulo Otavio – Schlager, Arnold, Baku, Gerhardt, Steffen (80’ Joao Victor) – Weghorst
Borussia: Sommer – Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini – Kramer, Neuhaus – Lazaro (70’ Wolf), Stindl, Hofmann (80’ Embolo) – Plea
Yellow cards: Brooks – Bensebaini, Plea, Embolo
Referee: Tobias Stieler (Hamburg)