Borussia claim first three points of the season with 3-1 win over Bielefeld
Borussia Mönchengladbach wrapped up matchday 4 in the Bundesliga on Sunday evening by claiming their first league win of the season, beating Arminia Bielefeld 3-1 thanks to Lars Stindl’s brace and a goal from Denis Zakaria.
Around 24,500 fans in an almost sold-out BORUSSIA-PARK saw an overall commanding performance from the Foals in the first half, but some good chances went begging. A slice of luck then provided the opener for Gladbach as Lars Stindl’s shot in the 35th minute went in via a big deflection. There had been little threat from Bielefeld, so it was frustrating when Masaya Okugawa got in behind and beat Sommer at the second attempt in first-half stoppage time. The second half was evenly balanced until a quickfire Borussia double from again Stindl and then Denis Zakaria put the game beyond the visitors’ reach, securing a much needed three points for the Foals.
Head coach Adi Hütter made three changes to the team that started in the 2-1 loss to Union Berlin before the international break. Christoph Kramer, Hannes Wolf and the injured Ramy Bensebaini were replaced in the line-up by Luca Netz, Matthias Ginter and Denis Zakaria. The Austrian also opted to play a back-three in front of goalkeeper Yann Sommer, made up of Jordan Beyer, Ginter and Nico Elvedi. Joe Scally and Luca Netz took up wing-back positions on the right and left flanks respectively, with Denis Zakaria and Florian Neuhaus between them in the midfield. The front three consisted of Jonas Hofmann, Lars Stindl and Alassane Plea.
Borussia were without Marcus Thuram (knee), Stefan Lainer (broken ankle), Manu Koné (returning to fitness), Ramy Bensebaini (groin) and Mamadou Doucouré (Achilles). Breel Embolo was in the matchday squad for the first time this season following his muscle injury and came on for the final 13 minutes. There was some bad news, however, as both Jonas Hofmann and Luca Netz had to be subbed off during the game with injury problems.
3’: The first decent chance falls to the visitors. Hack crosses the ball to the back post where Wimmer volleys it over the target.
11’: Plea picks out the run of Netz and the 18-year-old goes for a chip from 25 yards that doesn’t quite come off.
21’: That really should have been the opener. Jonas Hofmann is alone after picking off a loose pass at the back, but instead of going for goal, he squares the ball for Plea to finish – unfortunately, from an offside position.
27’: Scally delivers a fizzed cross towards Hofmann at the back post. He gets on the end of the ball in, but can’t direct his effort on target.
35’: The opener! Borussia counter and Netz hands the ball off to Stindl. The captain pulls the trigger from a good 25 yards, and the shot takes a looping deflection off Laursen to leave Ortega hopeless. 1-0 to Gladbach.
45+2’: Bielefeld grab a shock equaliser. A ball splits the Gladbach defence and Okugawa is in one-on-one. Sommer makes the initial save, but the Japanese is able to finish the rebound. 1-1.
51’: The first chance of the half sees Plea go for goal after a one-two with Neuhaus, but his low shot slips wide of the post.
59’: Some nice football leads to Stindl taking a first-time strike that sails high over the top.
61’: Bielefeld come close for the first time in the half as Beyer deflects Prietl’s shot narrowly wide. The resulting corner also requires Sommer to gather Wimmer’s header.
69’: Borussia are back in front. A pinpoint cross from Herrmann finds the head of Stindl and he in turn finds the bottom corner. 2-1 to Gladbach.
72’: A quickfire double from the Foals. Zakaria wins possession on the halfway and Borussia break forward. The ball finds its way back to Zakaria on the edge of the box via Herrmann, and the Swiss midfielder picks out his spot. 3-1 to Gladbach.
84’: Sommer denies Hack from a tight angle to maintain the two-goal advantage.
86’: Bénes could have made it four, but can’t find a way past Ortega from close range.
Borussia: Sommer – Beyer, Ginter, Elvedi– Scally, Netz (58’ Herrmann) – Zakaria, Neuhaus (69’ Bénes) – Hofmann (46’ Wolf), Stindl (77’ Embolo) – Plea / Unused subs: Sippel, Jantschke, Kramer, Noß, Bennetts
Bielefeld: Ortega - Brunner, de Medina, Nilsson, Laursen – Wimmer (70’ Lasme), Prietl, Schöpf, Okugawa (77’ Serra), Hack – Klos (77’ Krüger)
Goals: 1-0 Stindl (35’), 1-1 Okugawa (45+2’), 2-1 Stindl (69’), 3-1 Zakaria (72’)
Yellow cards: Scally – Hack
Referee: Sascha Stegemann (Niederkassel)