Matchday 22 in the Bundesliga ended with a third straight defeat for the Fohlenelf, as VfB Stuttgart claimed a 1-0 home win thanks to Daniel Ginczek’s goal.
53,296 spectators saw Stuttgart make the perfect start at the Mercedes-Benz-Arena. There were only five minutes on the clock when a quick attack was ended by Daniel Ginczek firing past Tobias Sippel to open the scoring. Borussia struggled to process the shock of such an early goal, giving VfB time to organise themselves, as they set up to defend their lead. Gladbach dominated possession as a result, but failed to forge many clear-cut chances. Thorgan Hazard came closest to levelling the scores in the first half, and really should have, but failed to sort his feet to slot home the rebound from Jonas Hofmann’s parried shot.
The introduction of Raffael at half time improved the Fohlenelf’s attacking threat and the Brazilian forced a superb save from Stuttgart keeper Ron-Robert Zieler. However, a wall of Stuttgart defenders made it difficult for fellow substitutes Josip Drmic and Raúl Bobadilla make their presence felt. The golden opportunity never arrived as the clock timed out on Borussia’s comeback hopes, resulting in a third game without a goal in a spell that has produced zero points.
Head coach Dieter Hecking made just the one change to the side beaten late on by RB Leipzig last week, with Jonas Hofmann preferred to Patrick Herrmann. Tobi Sippel continued to deputise for the injured Yann Sommer in goal, and the back four of Tony Jantschke, Matthias Ginter, Jannik Vestergaard and Nico Elvedi remained unchanged too. Christoph Kramer was paired up with Denis Zakaria in the centre, Vincenzo Grifo and Hofmann took the wings, and Lars Stindl was supported by Thorgan Hazard in attack.
Borussia were without eight players due to injury: Oscar Wendt (partial thigh tear), Yann Sommer (minor strain), Julio Villalba (muscle tear), Fabian Johnson (back problems), Ibrahima Traoré (thigh strain), Tobias Strobl (ACL tear), László Bénes and Mamadou Doucouré (both training deficit). Raffael returned to the squad, however, after recovering from a stiff calf muscle.