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Gladbach open season with hard-fought point against Bayern

The opening match of the 2021/22 Bundesliga campaign saw Borussia Mönchengladbach draw 1-1 with last season’s champions FC Bayern München. Alassane Plea’s opener was cancelled out before half time by Robert Lewandowski.

Borussia made a flying start in front of 23,000 fans with three huge chances in the opening ten minutes. It was third time lucky as Alassane Plea fired past Manuel Neuer to make it 1-0 inside ten minutes. The game was a lot more open after that, with Bayern slowly taking more and more initiative as the half progressed. Yann Sommer pulled off a string off saves to protect the lead, but was finally beaten by Robert Lewandowski from a corner-kick in the 42nd minute. The visitors upped the pressure in the second half and it took more world-class stops from Sommer to deny Bayern a second. Gladbach found their rhythm again towards the end of the match and could have won it through a huge Marcus Thuram chance or two serious penalty shouts, but the final whistle signalled a deserved 1-1 draw in the season opener.


Head coach Adi Hütter made just one change to the side that started in the DFB-Pokal win against Kaiserslautern, with Alassane Plea coming in for László Bénes. Goalkeeper Yann Sommer was behind a back-four of Stefan Lainer, Matthias Ginter, Nico Elvedi and Joe Scally, while Christoph Kramer and Florian Neuhaus paired up in defensive midfield. The trio of Patrick Herrmann, Lars Stindl and Hannes Wolf played further forward behind lone striker Plea.

The Foals were without Denis Zakaria (match-fitness), Manu Koné (knee), Breel Embolo (thigh), Ramy Bensebaini (thigh) and Mamadou Doucouré (Achilles’ tendon).


4’: The first chance of the night falls to the Foals. Plea squares it to Herrmann, but his shot from the edge of the area sails just wide of goal.

6’: Another chance for the hosts, who have made a frantic start. Neuhaus splits the defence and picks out Herrmann’s run with a precision pass, but he chooses to square it to Stindl, who is unable to get a shot off.

10’: Alassane Plea opens the scoring for Gladbach after a well-worked counter-attack! Herrmann and Stindl combine to find the Frenchman, who calmly puts it past Neuer into the bottom-right corner.

14’: Sommer reacts quickly to deny Lewandowski’s first-time attempt and keep Gladbach’s lead intact.

23’: The ball finds its way to Elvedi after a free-kick from Herrmann, but the centre-back’s shot goes wide of the target.

26’: Another great save from Sommer to prevent Lewandowski from equalising after a first-time volley from the Polish striker.

37’: Sommer comes up with another huge stop, this time denying Stanisic from close range.

42’: Corner to Bayern. Kimmich whips it in and finds Lewandowski free in front of goal. The Bayern striker is able to side-foot home the equaliser, leaving Sommer with no chance this time. 


48’: Sané takes on a rebound first time, but the ball flies straight into the arms of Sommer.

52’: The visitors are starting the second half strong and this time it’s Lewandowski’s turn to test the Gladbach goalkeeper, but it’s a relatively comfortable save from the Pole’s header.

54’: Herrmann delivers a free-kick from deep and Lainer is able to meet it at the far post, his header goes wide of the goal, however.

58’: Gnabry sets up Davies in a dangerous position and Sommer has to make himself big to keep out the Canadian’s shot.

60’: Another incredible save from Sommer! Lewandowski meets Davies’ pull-back at the top of the box and the ball looks destined for the bottom corner, only for the Switzerland no. 1 to somehow get his foot onto the ball with a superb reaction stop.

70’: Now it’s Neuer’s turn to show off his skills. Wolf’s punchy pass into Thuram’s feet is laid off to Stindl on the edge of the area and his shot requires a top save at full stretch from the Germany captain.

76’ So close to the lead for Borussia! Lainer’s teasing ball across the goal looks for Thuram, but the substitute doesn’t quite make the necessary contact with the goal at his mercy and the ball trickles wide.

81’: Another golden chance for the Foals. Hofmann’s pass across the six-yard box can’t quite find Stindl, while Thuram was arguably brought down in the centre by Upamecano.

85.: Upamecano tangles with Thuram again, tumbling into him from behind while the Gladbach forward is bearing in on goal, but once more, the referee isn’t interested in giving a penalty.

90+5’: Bayern almost snatch the win late on. Thankfully, Coman’s strike slips the wrong side of the post.


Borussia: Sommer – Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Scally – Kramer, Neuhaus (90’+1 Bénes) – Herrmann (64’ Hofmann), Stindl, Wolf (72’ Bennetts) – Plea (64’ Thuram) // Bench: Sippel, Beyer, Jantschke, Netz, Noß,

Bayern: Neuer – Stanisic (82’ Sarr), Upamecano, Süle, Davies – Kimmich, Goretzka, Müller (82’ Choupo-Moting), Sané (74’ Coman), Gnabry (74’ Musiala) – Lewandowski

Goals: 1-0 Plea (10’), 1-1 Lewandowski (42’)

Attendance: 23,000 (sold-out)

Yellow cards: Stindl, Neuhaus, Hütter

Referee: Marco Fritz (Korb)


Borussia celebrate the first goal of the 2021/22 Bundesliga season
Patrick Herrmann made his 300th Bundesliga appearance for Borussia
18-year-old American Joe Scally celebrated his Bundesliga debut

Voting open for Borussia’s Player of the Season for 2021/22

Fans can now vote for their 2021/22 Player of the Season, presented by Cichon Personalmanagement, on the FohlenApp. Yann Sommer, Jonas Hofmann, Alassane Plea, Breel Embolo and Manu Koné are the nominees.


Lars Stindl now among Borussia’s top 10 all-time goalscorers

Borussia’s captain, Lars Stindl, is now 10th on the club’s all-time top goalscorer charts after finding the net against TSG Hoffenheim (5-1) on the final matchday.


Borussia loanees: Season in review

Five players left the club on loan last season. We take a look back at how Hannes Wolf, Rocco Reitz, Moritz Nicolas, Torben Müsel and Andreas Poulsen got on.