Despite a defeat, the team of trainer Marco Rose is in the next round at the “Royal”. The game begins with an early setback. But then the team increases.
Take a deep breath at Borussia Mönchengladbach – the “foals” have made it to the last sixteen of the Champions League for the first time in “kill group” B. Despite a 2-0 defeat in the decisive group match at Real Madrid, coach Marco Rose’s team is seated in the next round – as Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk split 0-0 at the same time in the parallel match. Karim Benzema (9th, 32nd) caused the guests to go bankrupt with a double package.
After the final whistle in Madrid, the guests had to survive fearful minutes – as they were still playing in Milan and the team were still watching injury time on the pitch on their iPhone. “Wahnsinn, Wahnsinn”, Captain Lars Stindl cheered at DAZN. “It was actually our weakest game in the preliminary round and we are still going. We deserved it earlier with our strong performance. Excellent.”
Moments later, the proud coach Rose spoke in a hoarse voice: “We earned eight points in this tough group in the round of 16. We scored against every opponent. I am very proud of the team and I am very happy for ours. Fans and the club that we could do something like Borussia Mönchengladbach. “
Nervous initial phase
In the previous competition, the European Champions Cup, the five-time German champion had always reached the eighth finals in the seventies.
After 14 league games in a row with at least one goal, the eleven from the Lower Rhine were left empty-handed this time. Nevertheless, Borussia will be in the round of 16 pots on Monday and can look forward to further income of 9.5 million euros in addition to the approximately 32 million euros earned so far. Rose and his players would have liked to have earned this with a brave performance by the 13-time “Henkelpott” winner. But the Gladbachers were too nervous for that on Wednesday.
The Gladbachers were too passive and hesitant
Before kick-off, Rose wanted to set an example with his setup. In captain Lars Stindl, Champions League top scorer Alassane Plea, Marcus Thuram and Breel Embolo used his concentrated attack power and thus set the direction. “That’s what characterizes us. We want to stay with us,” said the Borussia coach before the match at DAZN.
In addition, he promised stability for the final defensive defense of starting XI returnees Nico Elvedi. After a ten-day injury break, the Swiss central defender was back in the starting eleven in the preliminary round, but didn’t seem really fit and allowed Rodrygo to cross Rodrygo for Benzema’s second goal. In general, the Gladbachers were too passive and hesitant in crucial situations.
Captain Stindl made a bad pass after less than ten minutes with heavy consequences, which led to the far too easy lead for Real from striker Benzema. “We need top performance. We need to keep Real busy and capture tasks,” said Rose. This didn’t work. Instead, the nerves often failed, for example when Plea, who was so accurate in the end, launched a detached counterattack next to the target (25th).
After the break, the Rose Elf got stronger
However, with the returned captain Sergio Ramos, Real could not be compared to the team that recently received so much criticism and had put itself under pressure in the Champions League. This time, the premier class record winner performed exactly as the 34-time Spanish champion had previously announced. “For us, only victory counts,” said Real coach Zinedine Zidane, who should have feared for his job if Real missed the Champions League round of 16 for the first time.
However, the weakened Gladbach defense came to him and Real. After half an hour Benzema was too free to go. The striker did not miss this.
After the change, Rose made another tactical change, bringing in Valentino Lazaro and Denis Zakaria for Oscar Wendt and the disappointing Embolo. Gladbach got stronger, but was unhappy in the attack. That did not matter after the frightening last minutes and the view of Milan at the end. The win also spared Real a historic shame. Coach Zinedine Zidane’s team threatened to end the preliminary round for the first time in their 25th Champions League participation.