Matchday 21’s rescheduled derby against 1. FC Köln ended in a 2-1 win for Borussia Mönchengladbach on Wednesday evening, although the game took place behind closed doors for the first time in Bundesliga history.
After Storm Ciara meant the derby was delayed by a month, the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus forced the game to be played behind closed doors, meaning no fans were able to attend a Bundesliga game for the first time in the league’s 57-year history. A lack of atmosphere was evident in the match’s intensity at BORUSSIA-PARK. Both sides struggled to create chances in the first half, although the one noteworthy moment for the Foals produced a half-time lead. Breel Embolo picked up the ball from Patrick Herrmann inside the box, before neatly cutting onto his left foot and curling the ball inside the far post of Timo Horn’s goal.
The second 45 began with significantly more energy, the hosts now buoyed by their opening goal. Alassane Plea was unlucky to see a shot deflected wide, before the Frenchman combined with Patrick Herrmann, who couldn’t beat Horn one-on-one from a tough angle. Gladbach continued to look the more dangerous side and finally got their cushion in the 70th minute when Embolo’s cross bound for Thuram was inadvertently turned into his own net by Jorge Mere. A comfortable performance had a nervy ending, however, when a slip on a very wet pitch saw Yann Sommer’s goal kick fall to the feet of Köln striker Mark Uth, who muscled Nico Elvedi away and reduced the deficit for the visitors. He very nearly grabbed a last-second equaliser too, but Sommer did brilliantly to hold on to Uth’s snapshot and make up for his earlier mistake. The win means Borussia are now level with the rest of the top half in terms of games played and have moved back into fourth place. Next up is a trip to Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday, with the game again set to take place behind closed doors.
Marco Rose made wholesale changes for his side’s midweek clash. Oscar Wendt, Tobias Strobl, Patrick Herrmann, Breel Embolo and Marcus Thuram all came into the side in place of Ramy Bensebaini, Denis Zakaria, Florian Neuhaus, Jonas Hofmann and Lars Stindl. The full starting XI was as follows: Sommer; Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Wendt; Strobl, Kramer, Herrmann, Embolo; Thuram, Plea.
The boss was without Florian Neuhaus following his fifth yellow card of the league season, while László Bénes (ill) and Denis Zakaria (thigh) were also unavailable.