We gathered the thoughts from the players, coaches and the match referee after Borussia’s 2-1 derby win over Köln behind closed doors on Wednesday.
Christoph Kramer: You almost had the feeling it was a training match. We were missing a decisive element in the fans. The atmosphere in training is always very different to in a match, so it was important to get into the right mode as quickly as possible. I think that we dealt with the situation well. It’s a shame that it ended up being so close at the end. We basically gave them their goal during a phase in the game where we were very much in control. We stopped playing football after that and were just lumping the ball forward, but we showed the right level of determination and possibly had just enough luck to hold out. I definitely think it’s a fair result.
Tobias Strobl: We were really looking forward to playing the derby at home in front of our fans, but people’s health comes first of course. We accepted the situation we were dealt with and just tried to push ourselves to come away with the three points. I think we put up a good fight from the start and deserved to be 1-0 ahead at the break. We managed to get the second goal, but then it got a little tense at the end. We conceded a silly goal and ought to have wrapped the win up sooner. Nevertheless, we still ended up with all three points and that’s all we were after.
Referee Deniz Aytekin: It’s hard to put what we experienced today into words. Playing behind closed doors is extremely different to what we’re all used to. It’s missing something – and boy do you notice it. I can only hope that we won’t have to play without the fans in the long term. It was a little daunting. It’s not really what football is about – the passion wasn’t there. It’s hard to maintain your focus. Many experts are discussing whether it makes more sense to postpone matches instead. They will continue to assess the situation and make their decision. The footballing family has to stand together behind that notion that fans belong in the stadium, cheering on their team. Football without fans isn’t half of what it is with them.
Marco Rose: The lads got stuck in and got their reward for a battling performance. We obviously talked before the game about how the onus is on us without the fans there, and that every player has to push themselves and their teammates – I think we dealt with it well. We got the win, so we’re happy about that, but it doesn’t change the fact that football without fans just isn’t the football that we want. We dealt with the situation very professionally, but now we know even more just how important fans are for this sport. We can only hope that they will be able to return to the stadium soon.
Köln head coach Markus Gisdol: I don’t judge my team based only on the result, although we’re of course not happy with it. The performance was very good. We were on a level playing field for much of the game against a very strong opponent. We were a little unlucky every now and again and I think we would have deserved a point, but ultimately it’s about who scores more goals, and that was Gladbach. We didn’t close down the space well enough for both goals.