Stindl misses out, Elvedi and Hofmann return
The Foals began a new week of training on Tuesday morning without injured captain Lars Stindl.
Matchday 26’s Bundesliga Topspiel saw Borussia Mönchengladbach return to winning ways with a 3-0 victory away at struggling FC Schalke 04, with Lars Stindl, Stevie Lainer and an own goal securing a much-needed three points.
After a fairly uneventful first quarter of an hour, the Foals capitalised on their first opportunity to open the scoring. Marcus Thuram burst past his man on the left before his cross from the byline was blocked, but William’s sliced clearance started a pinball reaction in the box that ended with Lars Stindl slamming the ball into the roof of the net to make it 1-0 (15’). Borussia were good value for their lead, clearly controlling proceedings and limiting Schalke’s threat on the counter. They could have doubled their lead in the 32nd minute when Stefan Lainer’s ball across the six-yard box looked destined to be turned home by Alassane Plea, only for the Frenchman to miscue his finish. In an otherwise quiet first half, Yann Sommer was called into action shortly before the end of it, getting two strong hands to a Kerim Calhanoglu shot to protect the Foals’ one-goal advantage (41’).
Much like the before the break, the second 45 took a little time to get going, with Borussia able to work the ball around while S04 patiently waited for their moment. A training-ground routine from a set piece finally changed the flow of the half though. Jonas Hofmann’s corner was flicked in at the near post by an unmarked Lainer to double the Foals’ advantage after 63 minutes, forcing the home side to open up. Florian Neuhaus forced a good save from Frederick Rönnow with his shot from the edge of the box (71’), but the Schalke goalkeeper will have wanted the ground to swallow him up less than a minute later. A cross from Plea headed towards the top corner by Nico Elvedi was initially well saved at full stretch by Rönnow, however, he failed to keep hold of the ball upon landing and accidentally pushed it into his own net while trying to get it under control (72’). Marcus Thuram could have made it four in the 76th minute only for Rönnow to make amends somewhat with a point-blank save, but the job was already done as Gladbach celebrated their first Bundesliga win since late January.
Marco Rose made two changes to the side that started against Manchester City on Tuesday. Christoph Kramer was back to full fitness and came in for Denis Zakaria, while Alassane Plea was preferred up front to Breel Embolo.
The only absentees remain long-term injured players Torben Müsel, Famana Quizera and Julio Villalba.
FC Schalke 04: Rönnow – Becker, Mustafi, Thiaw – William (20’ Oczipka), Kolasinac, Serdar, Mascarell, Calhanoglu – Hoppe (76’ Huntelaar), Raman (64’ Harit)
Borussia: Sommer – Lainer (89’ Beyer), Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini – Kramer, Neuhaus (89’ Zakaria) – Hofmann (83’ Embolo), Stindl (83’ Wolf), Thuram (76’ Lazaro) – Plea
Goals: 0-1 Stindl (15’), 0-2 Lainer (63’), 0-3 Elvedi (72’)
Yellow cards: Mascarell / Bensebaini, Stindl
Referee: Tobias Stieler (Hamburg)