Mönchengladbach (dpa) – The pros from Borussia Mönchengladbach left the field with their heads bowed. Instead of a magical evening with a big win over Real Madrid, the protégés of trainer Marco Rose had to settle for a 2-2 again.
Just like with the draw against Inter Milan (2-2), the equalizer fell shortly before time. “We are of course very disappointed,” said Borussia coach Marco Rose after the game in the empty Borussia Park.
THE GAME PLAN: Rose had recalled five regular players to the first team and defended his team in a run of four. The hosts were busy against the playful and strong-running Spaniards, waiting for errors, but initially had hardly any offensive plays. “We controlled the game and were the better team in the first half,” said Real coach Zinedine Zidane.
THE LEADERSHIP: The Gladbacher’s first good attack came after a careless defense and led to the surprise 1-0 via Marcus Thuram (33rd minute), who was served by Alassane Plea and goalkeeper Thibaut Curtois with a left hand position. Left shot didn’t stand a chance. With the second goal, the two Frenchmen of Borussia irritated their fellow countryman on the Spaniard’s coach bench. After just under an hour, Zidane saw his goalkeeper bounce off a shot from Plea and Thuram hit from four yards to make it 2-0 – the goal was still being checked by the video assistant and proved to be regular. The goalscorer was not offside.
THE FINAL STAGE: The Madrid coach brought in two new offensive troops with Luka Modric and the recovered Eden Hazard, and Real put a lot of pressure on the hosts. Nevertheless, Plea and Lars Stindl still had good chances for the Gladbach team. “That looked good for a long time,” said Captain Stindl. But after Karim Benezma’s goal (87th), the guests pressed hard and Casemiro managed to make it 2-2 after a header from advanced center-back Sergio Ramos in the third minute of injury time.
THE TRAINER’S OPINION: “We had Real on the hook. But when there are so many passes, you can’t always defend it. That’s bitter, of course. But we can draw a lot of positive things from our first two performances,” said Borussia- coach Rose. Real coach Zidane, who is still without a win with his team, said: “We showed character today. If we keep playing like this, we will get through the group stage. I have no doubt about that.”