After the UEFA Europa League match against AS Roma, Yann Sommer spoke in an interview about Marcus Thuram’s last-minute winner, as well as Gladbach’s new position in Group J.
Yann, what were you feeling when Marcus Thuram scored that late winner?
Sommer: Pure emotion. It’s a great feeling to win such an important game. I think I lost my voice from yelling. But we deserved to win this game and worked so hard for it. The coach told us before the game that this deserved to be a special evening, and it was in the end. It was fantastic how we believed in ourselves and rewarding ourselves with a victory is great. Although there were difficult moments in the second half, we pushed on. It’s nice to get the three points at the end of the day. The mood in the stadium with the fans right behind us was unique.
Why do you think that the team struggled for dominance in the second half as opposed to the first?
Sommer: We haven’t played against anyone quite like AS Roma. The team is very strong offensively and defensively and needed at least one point to progress. The fact that you have difficulties against such a strong team and have to survive a view counter-attacks is normal. After half-time AS Roma started better, as we were a bit too open and they had a lot of chances on the wings. Nevertheless, we defended well and didn’t allow too many shots. Roma are very strong on set pieces, so we conceded the goal following a free-kick. We’ll have to take a look at this in training again. In the end, I’m just happy we got the three points.
Marcus Thuram struck again and scored the winning goal in the end. How did you rate his performance?
Sommer: Marcus is often really good and he’s an important player for us, but the team performance was also great. It was fun to watch from where I was. Until the end, we believed in this victory, and it became clear that we really wanted to score a goal. We worked hard to get the ball back all game and were rewarded for it in the end.
Is continuing to believe until the end a new quality of this team, do you think?
Sommer: It is a very important point. We played 95 minutes of football in this game, why stop playing at 80 minutes in if you have another 15 minutes to score a goal?!Last minute goals like this show the team has a lot of morale, that they believe in themselves until the very end and that they know they can score at the last second. It’s nice that we have been rewarded for it and it’s great that we had such a great Europa League night in front of the fans.
And suddenly Group J looks very different. How would you evaluate the team’s new position?
Sommer: Before the game we had our backs to the wall. The situation before the match was clear: we needed to win against Roma. Our position in the table is now much better than before the game. Now we need to push on. Our goal is to spend the winter still in the Europa League, as we worked hard to qualify for it last season. Now we want to do everything we can to remain there for as long as possible. It’s important to play like we did against Rome for long periods of the game. But we still have two difficult games ahead of us.
On Sunday you have your next home game in the Bundesliga..
Sommer: We will analyse the game against Roma again, looking at what we did well and what we did less well. Then it will be time to fully focus on the next game against Bremen. It just keeps going. We have worked hard to get into the good phase we are currently in, now we have to make sure that we stay in this phase. For this we need to invest a lot into the games. No other team will help us.