Milan (dpa) – Pumped out and equally disappointed, Gladbach’s professionals trotted off the lawn of the San Siro. In the Champions League comeback, Borussia was very close to the surprise victory over Italian number two Inter Milan.
Ramy Bensebaini (63rd) and Jonas Hofmann (84th) scored 2: 2 (0: 0) for the team of coach Marco Rose, which was in the lead shortly before time. Star striker Romelu Lukaku (49th and 90th) tore the guests out of all dreams. In group B, the top ensemble of Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk, who leads group B after a totally surprising 3-2 in Madrid, are now waiting.
“We can live with the point in two or three hours, but right now it doesn’t feel so good,” national player Matthias Ginter said on the DAZN streaming service. “We have shown that we can keep up, even if we have not done everything perfectly.” His team “didn’t allow much the whole game”. Goalscorer Hofmann said in view of Lukaku’s second goal: “It is extremely bitter. We are unable to defend this corner.”
Rose attacked his team at the premier class. Initially, however, the Gladbachers showed respect for the big names. Before kick-off, Rose had warned about Lukaku, who was mainly Nico Elvedi. Next to the massive Belgian was Alexis Sánchez, followed by Christian Eriksen, who fired the first warning shot into the arms of Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer with a free kick from a good 35 meters (13th).
Borussia missed the speed in the first half and especially the precision in the other half. Rose had raised a chain of three behind Alassane Pléa, who had just become a father. Sports director Max Eberl said the team should appear “brave”, “disgusting” and “cheeky”. The matches against Real and Donetsk are not getting any easier. The substitution worked too rarely.
The hosts had to do without the former Dortmund Achraf Hakimi, who was infected with the corona virus. The announcement of the positive test just hours before kick-off had no effect on the trial at the venerable Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. 1000 spectators created a bit of a European Cup atmosphere, but the almost shouted instructions from Milan coach Antonio Conte could be heard clearly.
Under Eriksen’s leadership, Inter put the Bundesliga side under pressure. Lukaku’s finish in the penalty area just missed the post (41st). That aside, the defense around Elvedi and Ginter was remarkably safe at goal for a long time. Their own offensive efforts, such as Jonas Hofmann (33rd) or Marcus Thuram (44th), did not consistently finish the Gladbachers. But they showed that the Inter defense could be cracked faster.
Conte brought in attacker Lautaro Martínez for the second half, who immediately fit perfectly. The Argentinian headed the opening goal via Lukako, who never guarded Gladbach’s team. After that, it became more difficult for the Rose-Elf to get into the match offensively – before referee Björn Kuipers pointed to the point, according to the video footage. Former Bayern professional Arturo Vidal had made Thuram a foul in the penalty area, Bensebaini certainly converted.
Inter then decided the match. Martínez hit the post (81st). Opportunities seldom arose for Borussia – Hofmann used the one important one perfectly. Then Lukaku came again.