Borussia suffered their first defeat of the season in the capital on Saturday, with Hertha Berlin running out comfortable 4-2 winners on matchday 4.
Around 52,000 fans saw a fairly tame first half hour at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, but a Borussia penalty brought the game to life. Fabian Johnson was illegally nudged off his stride by Niklas Stark, and Thorgan Hazard stepped up to put the Foals ahead from twelve yards. The lead lasted barely a minute though. First, a cross was headed in by the unmarked Vedad Ibisevic, before Gladbach made the same mistake again. Just three minutes later, Valentino Lazaro was allowed to nod the ball past Yann Sommer from inside the six-yard box to make it 2-1 at the break, although it could have been worse if not for some quality saves from the Swiss goalkeeper.
A couple of Dieter Hecking changes at the break looked to get the Foals back into the game, but just when they looked like equalising, Hertha struck at the other end, again through Ibisevic. A quick goal back was the perfect response, however, as Alassane Plea demonstrated his aerial ability to brilliantly head home a Patrick Herrmann cross. Despite the overall poor performance, there was now only a goal separating the sides, but once again it was too easy for Berlin to find the back of the net. Ondrej Duda had time to pick his spot and wrapped up a deserved 4-2 win for the hosts.
Head coach Dieter Hecking didn’t make any changes to the side that beat Schalke last weekend. Yann Sommer started in goal behind a back four of Nico Elvedi, Matthias Ginter, Tony Jantschke and Oscar Wendt. Tobias Strobl, Jonas Hofmann and Denis Zakaria made up the three-man midfield, with Thorgan Hazard, Fabian Johnson and Alassane Plea leading the attack.
Michael Lang travelled with the squad to Berlin, but was deemed not quite ready to be part of the team. Lars Stindl, Mamadou Doucouré and Julio Villalba are also almost fit but didn’t travel, while Raffael (calf) and Josip Drmic (back) missed out through injury.