November 18, 2017

Borussia Mönchengladbach MatchDay 2: An odd loss of power

Borussia Mönchengladbach can not win against FC Augsburg. On Saturday, one minute was missing from the first three points in Augsburg, but the Borussen could not bring the lead over the time. A quick start and a goal in the last minute helped FC Augsburg to keep a well deserved point. Gladbach had the right answers after the early deficit, but lost the thread completely after the break and could not bring the victory back home.

It lasted 35 seconds before the ball jumped for the first time in the goal. Finnbogason won the duel against Vestergaard and extended to Gregoritsch, who passed back on Finnbogason. The attacker struck Elvedi with a shock, and defeated goalkeeper Yann Sommer, who was still on the ball with one hand. Referee Stegemann then checked the duel between Finnbogason and Vestergaard with the help of the newly introduced video evidence on the turf and allowed the goal.

The viewers saw an open exchange of attacks from both teams. Direct and quick plays came to the opposing penalty areas. In the 7th minute Finnbogason played the ball with the chest to Schmid, who shot directly from 16 meters. Vestergaard threw himself in the shot and got the ball by the hand. Stegemann, however, continued to play, the video assistant did not intervene, so that the hosts were only given a corner instead of penalty. For Augsburg the more annoying, as it stood shortly thereafter 1:1. With the help of a simple double-pass Stindl could put Zakaria in a good position, who kept the nerves against goalkeeper Hitz and scored his Bundesliga goal. The FCA defense was too far advanced, so that the Swiss international player could exploit the free space in front of him in the 8th minute.

And the next blow had it for the FC Augsburg in itself. Finnbogason was free before Sommer, but his shot from 17 meters was too weak and looked more like a return. Gladbach made the better of it: Raffael dribbled into the penalty area and served Herrmann, who failed to score due to a great reflex of Hitz. But Oscar Wendt could utilise the rebound and scored in the 30th minute the lead with his head. 2:1 for Borussia Mönchengladbach. Well deserved at that moment.

But the FC Augsburg did not let their heads hang and were prepared to fight to the very end for a point. Immediately after the break, the deficiencies of the householders could no longer be overlooked. Four huge opportunities in three minutes remained unused. Finnbogason’s distance shots were skilfully managed by the Swiss international goalkeeper Yann Sommer, Gregorich and Caiuby, both of whom had won the ball against the normally strong central defender Vestergaard, missed the target by a mere centimeter.

The Borussen were not able to get the right balance into their play due to the overwhelming attacking power of the Augsburger after restart. They were simply impressed by what Augsburg did in the first minutes after the break.

After 64 minutes Zakaria had to be replaced after he had already been warned. Especially in the combat zone in the defensive midfield area, one should stay as far as possible without a card, in order to have an active influence on the game. Zakaria was close to a red card so coach Dieter Hecking had to replace him. László Bénes came in, which was unfortunately beneficial for the robust Augsburgers to continue their aggressive play. “We did not know what to do,” Max Eberl said. “They played long balls and we were not able to defend the attacks very well as a team.”

Augsburg has played and pressed well and the Fohlenelf did not get the second balls and let too much come in in the penalty area. The Fohlenelf got little right and only could provide a certain amount of relief in the second half. In the 89th minute Cordova scored the 2:2 and the long-desired draw was perfect.

In the first half Gladbach appeared impressive in Augsburg, but then followed a second half, which raises many questions. Coach Hecking had a very mild mood after 2:2 (2:1) against FC Augsburg. “We played an outstanding first half. The second one of us was rather weak and shows that we are still in the learning process.”

The Fohlenelf has no longer dared to play football. Instead, they lost a lot of balls and one attack wave after another came towards the Gladbach defense which they could not defend sovereignly. It was a chain of many circumstances which brought them under high-pressure. Augsburg took over control completely in the second half, while the Borussen could not keep up their game.

It was remarkable that the Borussen could not repeat the good performance from their match against the 1.Fc Köln. They lacked footballing ability and physical toughness in comparison to put up resistance. The Augsburger showed more will and were much more motivated than the Gladbacher. There is still a lot to do for coach Hecking and a lot to learn for the players.

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Erkán Karakoyunlu

Erkan is a Mönchengladbach-born, Cologne-based football enthusiast with a great obsession for his hometown club 'Gladbach. After studying communication design, concept design, East Asian studies, and philosophy he gained experience in the entertainment industry and is trying to put his thoughts about Fussball into words. He is also avid for design, art, culture, tech and video games. Follow him on Twitter at @fruechtegott.

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