Honours even between Borussia and Mainz
Matchday 28 in the Bundesliga saw Borussia Mönchengladbach held to a 1-1 draw by 1. FSV Mainz 05.
Around 44,200 fans at BORUSSIA-PARK saw a hard-fought match, albeit with chances at a premium in the opening stages. The Foals grew in confidence though and some intricate football saw Florian Neuhaus set up Breel Embolo for the opening goal after around half an hour. Mainz didn’t offer much in the first half and will have been happy to have trailed by just the one goal at half time. The change of ends saw a change of momentum, however, and Mainz pushed for an equaliser. Karim Onisiwo provided it with around 20 minutes to go and the visitors were closest to scoring a winner, but Yann Sommer made some world-class saves to ensure the spoils were shared.
Head coach Adi Hütter made two changes to the side that started against VfL Bochum prior to the international break, with Luca Netz and Marcus Thuram replaced by Nico Elvedi and Lars Stindl. Borussia’s number one Yann Sommer was between the sticks, with a back-three of Matthias Ginter, Jordan Beyer and Nico Elvedi ahead of him. Stefan Lainer and Ramy Bensebaini played at wing-back, while Manu Koné partnered Florian Neuhaus in the centre of midfield. Lars Stindl, Alassane Plea and Breel Embolo formed the three-pronged attack.
The Foals were without Marcus Thuram, Luca Netz (both muscular problems), Tony Jantschke (Covid-19), Jonas Hofmann (fitness training) and Marvin Friedrich (irregular blood test results following Covid-19 infection). Lars Stindl was back in the starting XI for the first time since mid-January after recovering from his knee injury.
15’: The first decent chance for the Foals. Koné puts Lainer through down the right-hand side and his ball across the box finds the outstretched leg of Plea, but the Frenchman can’t keep his effort down.
31’: A loose ball pops out to Bensebaini just inside the box and he does well to direct a volley towards goal, but it’s simple enough for Zentner.
33’: There’s the opener! Embolo plays a one-two with Neuhaus on the edge of the area and fires low into the bottom corner out of the goalkeeper’s reach. 1-0 to Gladbach.
35’: Embolo powers his way past two Mainz players in the box, but loses his footing at the crucial moment and so his shot lacks the power needed to beat Zentner.
48’: A world-class display of reactions from Sommer. Barreiro’s shot hits the post and the rebound falls to Burkardt. Sommer had dived low for the initial effort, but somehow gets upright in time to tip the follow-up shot over the crossbar. Stunning!
60’: Embolo drives forward with the ball and with little support, he goes for goal from 20 yards. The angle is against him though and the Mainz goalkeeper can make the save.
72’: Lee unleashes a venomous shot from outside the box that is swerving in the air and requires two strong hands from Sommer to push it away.
73’: The equaliser. Mainz pick up a second ball and Lee is quick to put Onisiwo in beyond the backline. His precise shot finds the bottom corner just inside the post to leave Sommer helpless. 1-1.
75’: Stach’s cross to the front post is headed towards goal by Onisiwo, but Sommer is there to gather.
89’: A brilliant double save from Sommer. Burkardt’s volley into the ground needs a fine diving stop to keep it out, but Lee heads the ball back on goal. Sommer is back on his feet in no time and pulls off a fingertip save to push the ball onto the crossbar, before it safely bounces in front of the line and eventually he can gather.
Borussia: Sommer – Ginter, Beyer, Elvedi – Lainer (87’ Scally), Bensebaini – Koné (87’ Bénes), Neuhaus (79’ Kramer) – Stindl (63’ Noß), Plea – Embolo
Mainz 05: Zentner – Niakhaté, Hack, Bell – Martin, Barreiro (68’ Lee), Stach (87’ Stöger), Widmer – Boetius, Ingvartsen (46’ Burkardt) – Onisiwo
Goals: 1-0 Embolo (33’), 1-1 Onisiwo (73’)
Yellow cards: Embolo, Ginter – Martins
Referee: Daniel Schlager (Hügelsheim)