Matchday 27 saw Borussia Mönchengladbach fall behind Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the Bundesliga table after losing 3-1 at home to their Rhineland rivals.
The visitors made the better start and took a seventh-minute lead through the in-form Kai Havertz after he was put in 1v1 against Yann Sommer. Borussia struggled to find a way through the tireless Leverkusen press and also lost Breel Embolo to injury early on, with Lars Stindl replacing him. It took until the 40th minute for the Foals to forge their first clear-cut chance; Florian Neuhaus’ strike from the edge of the box was invitingly spilled by Lukas Hradecky, only for the Finn to somehow keep Ramy Bensebaini from turning in the rebound. Bayer 04 arguably should have doubled their lead before the interval and would have done if not for a monumental goal-line block from Nico Elvedi to deny Kerem Demirbay an all but empty net from a few yards out.
The second half started with much more promise for Gladbach, getting back on level terms in the 52nd minute when Alassane Plea’s inch-perfect ball over the top was expertly fired first time in the bottom corner by Marcus Thuram. He almost added a second moments later too, but this time Hradecky was in the way. The shift in momentum was stopped in its tracks just before the hour mark, however. Nico Elvedi was penalised for catching Karim Bellarabi in the box while trying to block his shot and Havertz restored Leverkusen’s lead from the spot. Borussia’s sole chance to equalise again went begging in the 65th minute, with Thuram’s back-heel finding Neuhaus in the box, but a heavy touch allowed the Bayer 04 keeper to block his shot. The away side were able to keep things tight in the closing stages and nicked a third to kill the game shortly before full time, albeit with a slice of luck as Sven Bender’s attempted header found the net via his shoulder. The 3-1 defeat sees the Foals fall behind Leverkusen in the Bundesliga table, but the chance to bounce back comes on Tuesday already when Marco Rose’s side travel to Bremen (20:30 CEST kick-off).
The boss didn’t make any changes to the side that won in Frankfurt last weekend, meaning the starting XI was once again as follows: Yann Sommer; Stefan Lainer, Matthias Ginter, Nico Elvedi, Ramy Bensebaini; Tobias Strobl, Florian Neuhaus, Jonas Hofmann; Marcus Thuram, Breel Embolo, Alassane Plea.
Just two players remain sidelined for the Foals: Denis Zakaria (knee) and Fabian Johnson (muscular problem).