Borussia handed 2-1 defeat by visiting Leverkusen
The first home game of the year ended in a 2-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen, with Nico Elvedi’s goal too little, too late.
750 fans were at BORUSSIA-PARK and saw an entertaining first half, albeit without any goals. Borussia had the better chances, but failed to carve out a golden opportunity. Leverkusen found another gear after the restart and, despite Yann Sommer saving Patrik Schick’s penalty, took the lead through Robert Andrich from the resulting corner (51’). They then made it 2-0 through Schick from another set-piece (75’). Gladbach hit back courtesy of Nico Elvedi (81’) and Sommer even saved another penalty, but the Foals’ late rally fell short of a result.
There were two changes to Adi Hütter’s side compared to the win over FC Bayern last Friday. New signing Marvin Friedrich and László Bénes came into the starting XI, with Matthias Ginter and Christoph Kramer making way. The formation featured a back-three in front of goalkeeper Yann Sommer, as debutant Friedrich was joined by Nico Elvedi and Tony Jantschke. Luca Netz was at left wing-back, with Stefan Lainer on the opposite side. Bénes and Manu Koné occupied the two central positions, with Lars Stindl, Florian Neuhaus and Breel Embolo making up the front-three.
The Foals had new absentees for Leverkusen’s visit in the form of Denis Zakaria (hip) and Kramer (cold), while Jonas Hofmann (knee), Mamadou Doucouré (Achilles) and Ramy Bensebaini (AFCON) remained unavailable.
16’: The first decent chance of the match comes through some brilliant hold-up play from Embolo. He’s able to hand off the ball to Neuhaus, who shimmies past the final defenders to get a shot off, but Hradecky sticks out a hand to block.
25’: Leverkusen with their first opening. Diaby drives into the box down the right-hand side and unleashes and effort that Sommer is able to get in the way of.
37’: A free-kick is whipped into the box by Bénes and is cleared as far as Jantschke on the edge of the box. His first-time effort looks dangerous, but Tah is able to block it a couple of yards in front of goal.
50’: Friedrich catches Bellarabi in the box and a penalty is given. Sommer goes the right way and claws Schick’s spot-kick away from the bottom-left corner.
51’: Leverkusen score from the resulting corner-kick. No one picks up Andrich, who buries a first-time finish from inside the six-yard box. 1-0 to Leverkusen.
63’: A counter from the Werkself sees Schick get past Elvedi and unleash a shot, but Sommer is on hand to deny him.
64’: Borussia finally make their mark in the second half with Stindl’s curling effort forcing a decent save out of Hradecky.
75’: Another for the visitors. Schick is on the end of Demirbay’s free-kick and only needs to direct it on target. 2-0 to Leverkusen.
77’: Substitute Thuram has a pop from the edge of the box, but it lacks zip and the Leverkusen goalkeeper can easily get behind it.
81’: Game on! Scally forces Hradecky into a fine save that results in a corner kick. The ball from the set-piece falls to Elvedi and he digs out a shot that finds the back of the net. Now just 2-1 to Leverkusen.
87’: Sommer with a second penalty save! Beyer tripped Wirtz, but again the Borussia number one goes the right way and keeps out Demirbay at full stretch.
90+1’: Adli is in one against one, but there’s no beating Sommer, who makes himself big.
Borussia: Sommer – Friedrich, Elvedi, Jantschke (70’ Beyer) – Lainer (79’ Herrmann), Netz (61’ Scally) – Bénes (61’ Thuram), Koné – Stindl (79’ Plea), Neuhaus – Embolo / Unused subs: Sippel, Ginter, Noß, Müsel
Leverkusen: Hradecky – Frimpong (56’ Fosu-Mensah), Tah, Hincapie, Bakker – Andrich, Demirbay, Bellarabi (81’ Adli), Wirtz (89’ Amiri), Diaby (89’ Retsos) – Schick
Goals: 0-1 Andrich (51’), 0-2 Schick (75’), 1-2 Elvedi (81’)
Yellow cards: Stindl, Beyer – Tah, Bakker
Referee: Sascha Stegemann (Niederkassel)