The team of trainer Marco Rose is despite a defeat at the “Royal” in the next round. The game starts 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.
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 Niederrhein 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. Captain Lars Stindl, Champions League top scorer Alassane Plea, Marcus Thuram and Breel Embolo used all his attacking power to determine 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 seemed out of shape 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 serious bad pass in the build-up after less than ten minutes, 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, put a free-standing counterattack off target (25th).
After the break, the Rozenelf 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 Valentino Lazaro and Denis Zakaria ahead of 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. The team of trainer Zinedine Zidane threatened to end the preliminary round for the first time in their 25th Champions League participation.