Discussion in 'TSL: Club Pages' started by rschwep, May 29, 2012.
B O R U S S I A . . M Ö N C H E N G L A D B A C H Die Fohlen
Starting Lineup - PreseasonFormation: 4-4-2 ter Stegen Wendt - Stranzl - Dante - Daems Herrman - Nordtveit - Neustädter - Arango de Camargo - Reus ~ Season Preamble After three successful terms at Köln, I have accepted the short northwest move within North Rhine-Westphalia to the Borussia-Park on a one-season contract. It will surely be a short stay, as I'll likely depart the club along with backbones Marco Reus and Dante after this first and final campaign. Reus will be the engine for this club, and we'll look to use him much in the same way we used Lukas Podolski at Köln. Reus perhaps provides more creativity and speed as opposed to raw power, which is something I'm looking forward to using. Igor de Camargo will take the role of Novakovic - a strong, powerful finisher with a knack for the header. Our midfield is something of a grab bag at the moment, with tendencies and strengths yet to be determined, however Juan Arango has shown flashes of brilliance despite his plodding speed. In the back line, we are anchored by two solid center backs in Dante and Martin Stranzl, and they will have to be rocks at the back to protect against the plethora of quality finishers in this league. I'm especially excited about 20-year-old Marc Andre ter Stegen in net. He is something of a prodigy and it will be a joy to watch him develop throughout the season.
Preseason Friendly 1. Borussia Mönchengladbach 0 - 2 Werder Bremen "Sind wir bereit, um die Besten der Besten zu spielen?" After unreasonably and uneconomically traveling to Brazil to play CxMacx10 in some (thankfully) undocumented pre-draft kickarounds, die Fohlen took on noted rschwep nemesis Broncos218 and the Treble-winning Werder Bremen squad at the Borussia-Park in the first official preseason friendly, thus saving the northwest German club considerable travel dollars on the commute. What better way to prepare for the new season than to take on the best? Unfortunately for Gladbach, the results were much the same as they fell 2-0 to their rivals, with both goals coming from Bayern-bound Claudio Pizarro. Clearly fellow Bayern signee Dante was feeling generous towards his new teammate. More importantly, Dortmund-bound Marco Reus was unable to capture any lightning in a bottle, and was shackled for most of the contest. Die Fohlen nearly broke Hoffenheim-bound keeper Tim Wiese's clean sheet late in the contest on a free header by Igor de Camargo, but the powerful strike was not directed far enough from central net and Wiese made an easy save. Seemingly, none of the players involved in this rivalry will be on these two teams next season (yes, even Marko Marin actually thinks he can play at Chelsea), however, Gladbach will need to find a way to finish their chances and get Reus involved if they hope to have any success in this campaign.
Matchweek 1 Borussia Mönchengladbach 1 - 2 Flamengo Ronaldinho 22' I. de Camargo 49' M. Reus Ronaldinho 90' - pen "Wir müssen vorsichtiger sein mit den Füßen und dem Ball" Heartbreak for Gladbach as they concede a penalty in the 90th on what can only be described as confusion to fall at the very last. Our game plan was simple: keep Ronaldinho's dribbles to a minimum, double team him at all costs, and force turnovers/counter attacks with the wings of Reus. The plan worked to perfection if not for the mighty whistle, as die Fohlen committed six fouls and received two yellow cards, uncharacteristic for teams under my direction (FC Köln were booked but one time all last season). The penalty call was off of a slide tackle at the top of the box after Martin Stranzl pressed square looking to clear the ball out, but rather took the feet out from under the Flamengo attacker. "I don't know what happened to me," said the center back. "I saw the loose ball, and instinctively tried to load up a clearing animation. Instead, as if controlled by Angels in the Penalty Area, I was on the ground sweeping out the attacker's legs. Such is football." The result was a clear penalty which was well taken by the Brazilian engine. Gladbach are left to rue the one point lost, but the loss cannot be fully blamed on one play. Giveaways, a constant problem for rschwep-controlled teams, were again omnipresent, as was the failure to take a clear chance by Marco Reus just before halftime. Reus would atone just after the break, with a crafty dribble through three Flamengo defenders, freeing himself up for a cross to a wide open Igor de Camargo in the 49th, but it would be the only opportunity the German side could take all day, perhaps leaving many on the pitch in the form of poor passes and failure to avoid contact with the opponents. A hearty congratulations to CxMacx10 for his first win this campaign.
Matchweek 2 Borussia Mönchengladbach 0 - 1 PSV Eindhoven D. Mertens 38' J. Lens "Es ist früh, aber wir müssen besorgt sein" Another poor effort from die Fohlen as they drop their second straight to open Season 6. Despite leading in shots and shots on target, Gladbach never really came close to scoring, although they did put on a bit of a flurry near the final whistle. Chance creation appears to be an early bane for the squad, although it is early in the season. The goal conceded should certainly not make Marc-Andre ter Stegen hang his head, as it was the final touch on a wonderful passing play from RedAL925 's Eindhoven side, who were apt to the challenge defensively against a Gladbach team that thus far is offensively capable on reputation only. "We need to take a look in the mirror," said manager rschwep after the contest. "Yes, it is early, and we were passable defensively, but this game featured little class and creativity in the offensive third. It appears as if our only play is to hope Reus can beat five men off the dribble. That's not team football." Perhaps too much has been expected of the just-turned-23 year old German international, and quite possibly of this side in general. rschwep may have finished fourth in Serie A last season, but a terrible goal differential and several fluky games surely were red flags that are now even more apparent. "It's too early to think about the r-word, however, a few more games like that and we may effectively eliminate ourselves from the title chase before it even begins." Looming even more ominously for Gladbach is the remaining Week 1 fixture, a trip to Stoke-on-Trent to face bigox1337 's Stoke City squad that demolished Köln in two games last season -- and thus far, the move to the Borussia-Park does not appear to have enhanced rschwep's performance.
Breaking News: Gladbach to Change Formation, Tactics New Formation: 5-4-1 (1) ter Stegen Wendt - Stranzl - Dante - Daems - Nordtveit Neustädter Herrman - Arango Reus de Camargo "Jetzt spielt die Fohlen, hier ist unsere Startelf" In an effort to jump-start the squad, manager rschwep has decided to try something new despite the season being two fixtures old. "We had been using Reus alongside de Camargo up top, but we'd like to have young Marco lead the charge from midfield just behind Igor. We hope this leads to more creation. In fact, we used a 4-4-1-1 in the second half against Eindhoven, and the results were encouraging. We didn't score, but the game certainly flowed better. Marco knows he can't and shouldn't be expected to do it all, but of course having the ball at his feet more often certainly cannot be bad for this side." An astute observer may liken this formation to the one used by rschwep at Köln in some ways, one which allowed Lukas Podolski to both attack and create. "We see Reus as a finesse version of Lukas here at the Borussia-Park," said the beleaguered manager. "We think he will do just fine in a wider range of roles." The noticeable difference is the change to a five-man back line. "Our skill in the midfield just isn't there," said rschwep. "We're going to drop Nordtveit and attempt to shut teams down from the back. We need to get back to basic football. I also love the idea of positioning Dante completely centrally as he is such a rock for our side." The team will utilize a diamond in the midfield with Reus up top acting as the second striker. "We think this is best for our squad at the moment."
Matchweek 3 Stoke City 0 - 1 Borussia Mönchengladbach I. de Camargo 59'O. WendtCS - M-A. ter Stegen "Wir konvertierten unsere einzige klare Chance, und wir wurden zur Verteidigung verpflichtet." Doom and gloom was evident on the flight to Stoke-on-Trent, England for the final fixture of this first week of games, as bigox1337 's Potters side had given manager rschwep a world of trouble over the years. The Stoke manager was 4-0-0 lifetime vs. the new Gladbach manager with a +8 goal differential in all competitions. Armed with their new formation, die Fohlen responded to that piece of ignominious news with their strongest defensive performance of the season, shutting out Stoke City while limiting them to four shots (one on target) and 69% passing. "I know what this side has been able to do to me in the past," said rschwep. "But that was a different team and different tactics. This is a different club from Köln. Different tactics, different ways to win football games. I am relieved to get that first win here. If we pass to a stronger percentage than the opponent, and keep the ball longer, I like our chances." Noted assassin Peter Crouch was held in check, although he did have a header glance wide of the post in the early goings. "Crouch is always someone you have to watch," said the manager. "Our new back line really helped contain him in the middle. Dante has the strength to match up with him, and he did a great job tonight." Gladbach were looking likely to draw as they once again struggled for chances until Oscar Wendt made a play in the 59', receiving a clever through ball from Marco Reus and sending in a perfect cross to Igor de Camargo who slotted a back-post header. "If Crouch is the golden head, then we perhaps have the silver head in Igor," said rschwep. "Marco was great in his first game as the midfield engine. He was 24/27 on passes. However, he's struggling a bit with his finishing, so we need Igor to contribute. He made no mistake about that chance." de Camargo later thumped a drive off the post and had a cheeky tap glance just wide in the game's final stages, missing a hat trick by literal inches. "Am I concerned that we only put one in the back of the net? Somewhat." said the not-fully-relieved manager. "However, if we play defense like that, one goal should be all we need most nights."
Igor de Camargo's winner in the 59th.
Cup - Group Stage - Match 1 Bologna 1 - 1 Borussia Mönchengladbach M. Reus 68' I. de Camargo A. Diamanti 85' G. Mudingayi "Wir schoßen nicht auf einen Torwart heute, schossen wir an einer Wand." Borussia Mönchengladbach were optimistic entering their first cup group stage match against second division BigSmooth33 's Bologna side in the condensed group H, and were looking all the likely to take three points until A. Diamanti stole two back late with a high finish after a perfect cut to the middle. Gladbach are left to rue numerous missed chances, especially in the first half, which featured enormous save after enormous save by keeper J. Gillet. "What can you say?" said the manager following the painful draw. "Gillet was outstanding. We likely should have had two or three in the first half alone. Going into the break scoreless was absolutely unacceptable. His side were ready for our challenge today. Football is a fantastic game, and that was a fantastic game of football." Die Fohlen atoned for their first half misgivings through the magic boot of Marco Reus, who slotted a back post finish through traffic after having several other strikes saved in the early goings, including a thumper off the post. "We need more of that from Marco," said the befuddled manager. "That finish was exceptional. He was looking all the more likely to score as the match progressed." The 68' finish put Gladbach ahead and sent in some defensive substitutions and a tactical change to a defensive mindset, and that is where the match turned drastically after the Bologna side found their mental reserves to charge back. "You look at the final numbers, we were actually outshot in this match. I cannot explain that. I would wager that nearly half of their shots came in the final 20 minutes. We were much too passive. We need to be more confident in our abilities and get that second goal. We will run into a hot goalkeeper again. We need to play our outfield game and not resort to responding to theirs. This is a lesson learned and I know the men in that dressing room will not forget it. "However, credit BigSmooth33 for the outstanding response to Reus' strike. His men kept their mental composure, and ours did not." It remains to be seen how the group dynamics will be altered in a shortened group of three, but a win by Gladbach in two weeks' time over Hoffenheim would likely get die Fohlen through, although it may come down to goal differential to win the group and avoid a possible Round of 16 matchup with defending champion Broncos218. "I would rather not focus on any scenarios as of yet," said the manager who sports a poor career cup record. "Our main focus is on getting better. We need to erase the frustration of this draw and continue working to be the side we know we can be."
Matchweek 5 Werder Bremen 2 - 2 Borussia Mönchengladbach A. Hunt 18' C. Pizarro M. Reus 22' I. de Camargo C. Pizarro 45' - pen M. Reus 45' - pen "Ein großer Sprung nach vorne für uns gegen die Klasse der Liga." An exhausted Borussia Mönchengladbach mob Marco Reus after finally not losing to Werder Bremen After the haunting Cup result, Borussia Mönchengladbach were presented the opportunity to get back right at it and hit the pitch against longtime foe Broncos218 and the reigning-Treble winning Werder Bremen side. "I have nightmares of Bremen's class finishing on a near-daily basis," said manager rschwep. "They don't need a lot of chances to score a lot of goals. That might be the strongest difference between us. We are not at that level quite yet." This match, however, would soon prove to be nothing like the previous three from last season, as the sides quite literally battled to a 2 - 2 draw featuring two penalties in first-half stoppage time. "We may have received a gift from the referee on our penalty. Reus was clipped after the shot, but it was slight. However, when you receive a break, you must capitalize." Certainly Bremen took hold of that mantra, leading off the game's scoring on a scramble around the area during which not one of three Gladbach defenders could pounce on a loose ball or stop Aaron Hunt from dancing through to find it and calmly slot it home. "That was confusion at its finest, but our response was fantastic. That's the resolve I want to see in this club." The response in question was Marco Reus' first league goal just four minutes later, driving home a header off of a cross from Igor de Camargo. "The roles were reversed a bit, but as long as it goes in the back of the net, it doesn't matter. They don't ask how, they ask how many." The game settled down for a bit before the double-penalty call, sending it 2 - 2 into the break, and it would end that way, but not without a flurry of chances in the second. Igor de Camargo knocked a floating header off the crossbar, and each team missed a glorious 90' chance at a winner, Gladbach's coming off the head of Reus again. "You knew we would be in for a cracking finish after that first half, and although the scoreline remained unchanged, certainly my emotions did not." The positive building block for Gladbach will not be the unexpected point but the improvement in the side as a whole. They held the ball 54% to Bremen's 46%, and passed at an 84% clip to Bremen's 81%, while outshooting their German rivals 12 (7) to 5 (3). "I'm not sure I expected such rapid improvement against that side. Given our history, it is difficult to say we should have garnered three points today, but the underlying statistics were certainly in our favor. We could have taken three points on perhaps a more fortunate day, but we needed enough luck and effort as is to take one." Marco Reus was exceptionally brilliant again as the midfield engine, notching eight shots (five on target), completing 20/28 passes, and completing a staggering 32/36 dribbles on the afternoon. "The only way we will defeat sides of this quality is for our quality to shine through. Marco did that today."
Left - Gladbach's unfortunate central defense concedes the game's opener through Hunt's opportunistic sidestepRight - The goal that may jump start Gladbach's season - Marco Reus' 22nd minute 1 - 1 equalizer
Matchweek 6 Borussia Mönchengladbach 2 - 0 Fulham I. de Camargo 56' I. de Camargo 85' M. HankeCS - M-A. ter Stegen "Unser Torwart stahlen uns das Spiel heute, wir müssen besser." Borussia Mönchengladbach broke out the alternate baby-blue kits and continued their busy fixture listing by hosting hokie79 's Fulham side at the Borussia-Park. Having never played the newly promoted manager before, die Fohlen were unsure what to expect. They quickly learned they would be in for a formidable challenge, as the Cottagers stormed out of the gate, possessing the ball and creating chances with ease for much of the game's first half hour. "We got punched in the mouth a bit there," said manager rschwep. "Luckily, we didn't allow many clear chances. We did not possess it well, surely, but the shots we allowed through were able to be handled by Marc-Andre, who needed to be brilliant." Gladbach were stymied for much of the day possession-wise, but continued to hold serve through solid stay-at-home defense. "We knew that if we could continue to stay in shooting lanes and not allow clear chances, the game could turn in our favor." That it did in the 56th minute, when Marco Reus' attempted run-and-flick through the defense was poked away by defender Chris Baird, however, unfortunately for the Craven Cottage men, the ball ended up directly at the feet of Igor de Camargo, who calmly slotted the opening goal. "We've already seen several examples just this season -- flukes happen, bounces can be unexplainable, and you must be ready to convert." With the lead in hand, Gladbach knew their challenge was just beginning. With the memory of the earlier cup match vs. Bologna fresh in their minds, die Fohlen did not decide to sit back. "We went into an attacking mindset after halftime, and we kept it that way even after we went ahead. We must not ever believe the match is over until the final whistle. We had seen how potent their attack could be, possession-wise. We did not want to do anything to give them even more of the ball. We needed to keep pressing on." The resolve of Gladbach proved to be a successful one on this occasion, as fresh-legged substitute Mike Hanke (making his debut appearance on the season) continued a counter-attack off of a brilliant head-manning through ball from Marco Reus, and finished the play with a touchy cross to Igor de Camargo. The Belgian striker made no mistake about converting his brace. "It's a shame that replays don't show the pass Marco made to Mike," commented rschwep. "That pass was crucial. And naturally, you love to see the substitute come on and make a play that sealed the game for our club." Gladbach certainly must feel as if they escaped with a 2 - 0 win in this contest, with Fulham dominating 56% of the ball, however the shot numbers were slightly in favor of the German side. Marc-Andre ter Stegen made 10 saves for his 2nd clean sheet of the campaign. "He was definitely our hero today."
Mike Hanke's cross to Igor de Camargo for the insurance tally in the 85th
Exclusive Footage: Borussia Mönchengladbach Head Abroad Die Fohlen took to the air for a team-building voyage to Mexico, and while there decided to face El Tricolor in a friendly kick about, just for the heck of it. The team video coordinator captured this exclusive footage of an exquisite Igor de Camargo volley...
Matchweek 4 Borussia Mönchengladbach 1 - 1 Corinthians Jorge Henrique 82' Chicao M. Hanke 86'
"Unser Mangel an Kreativität erforderten eine späte Rettung." Borussia Mönchengladbach concluded their week two fixtures by welcoming the newly promoted Brazilian side Corinthians and IJGator to the Borussia-Park. Much like their recent match with Fulham, die Fohlen did not know what to expect entering the affair. While the groundskeepers had not diminished the size of the pitch at the Borussia-Park in recent days, it certainly felt that way, as Gladbach found little room to operate, especially at midfield and in the final third. "We could not generate any attack or creativity for much of that match," said manager rschwep, clearly disappointed in his team's effort. "We had looked fantastic in training recently. I am not quite sure why we could not muster the resolve to create and take more chances." In fact, Gladbach were lucky to hold Corinthians scoreless throughout much of the match, as the Brazilians looked the better side for much of the proceedings. "They displayed more speed in the final third than we have seen in quite some time," said rschwep. "Or maybe, we were simply too slow." Die Fohlen received a break when a rebound goal for Corinthians was called back for offside, however, Jorge Henrique would convert in the 82nd minute off of a mirror image play: a rebound off Marc-Andre ter Stegen. "Marc-Andre should do better with that chance," commented his manager. "However, our defense should do better than to let the initial striker waltz in." The manager was then forced to alter tactics. Having already brought Mike Hanke and Mathew Leckie in for some needed fresh legs on the wings in his traditional 5-4-1 formation, he switched to a 3-4-1-2 with Marco Reus behind Hanke and Igor de Camargo. The late formation change worked, as Gladbach knocked in an equalizer from a driving Hanke shot, who collected a high rebound off of a Roman Neustädter attempt at goal and leveled the match for his side. "What more can you say about Mike? He's come on now as a substitute twice, and he has done nothing but impress." It remains to be seen if the new manager will look to incorporate Hanke in the starting XI, but the 28-year-old native of Hamm has certainly looked the part of a starter, especially for a side lacking early creativity and finishing in recent fixtures. "We have the ability to impose our will on teams, but it hasn't been there in the final third. Perhaps we will look at a two-striker duo with Mike and Igor." As a empathizing bonus, Hanke shares something in common with his manager: being horribly allergic to grass. "We deal with seasonal allergies together on a daily basis, perhaps we can deal with figuring out opposing defenses together as well." Hanke's late equalizer saves the day only partially for Gladbach, who are left to rue not attacking Corinthians' 4-3-3 more in the early goings. "We may drop five men back, but our diamond in the middle should have been stronger against their offensive formation throughout the first half. That cost us two points today."
Mike Hanke conquers watery eyes, sniffles, and the Corinthians defense all-in-one to give Gladbach a sorely needed point at home
Matchweek 8 CSKA Moscow 1 - 2 Borussia Mönchengladbach J. Arango 27' I. de Camargo F. Daems 29' - own goal M. Reus 70' M. Hanke
"Eine verdiente Sieg, eine Aussage Sieg, und ein spektakulärer Sieg." Marco Reus and Mike Hanke celebrate together after they link up for the spectacular 70' game-winning goal Borussia Mönchengladbach resumed a long layoff while their manager took a leave of absence to move out of his college apartment by traveling to Moscow to face shiftee 's high-powered CSKA side. Off to a cracking start this season, CSKA entered the contest averaging 2.33 goals per game, tops in Serie A by far. "We know that we must be on our toes defensively," said manager rschwep. "One bad piece of footwork and their hitmen Doumbia and Honda will turn and go past us." A surprise to the manager was the formation deployed by CSKA, who also utilized a five-man back line. "I thought I was the only one crazy enough to try that," laughed off the Gladbach boss. "Scoring as many goals as they do from a five-man line is nothing but indicative of the quality they bring to the pitch." Certainly Doumbia's speed was on display throughout the occasion, but on this night the showpiece was young Marco Reus, who's 70th minute goal will surely be in the consideration for Goal of the Week, as he turned in the box and curled a shot off the back post and in as he was clipped and pushed to the ground in the process. "What can you say about Marco? That is the type of skill we have expected all season," said his delighted manager. The match got off to an auspicious start for Gladbach, when Igor de Camargo recovered his blocked cross and fired in a second attempt, which was cooly headed home by Juan Arango in the 27th for his first of the season. Moments later, the speedster Doumbia was off to the races, blowing through the entire Gladbach back line and ripping a shot which was unluckily kicked in by defender Filip Daems, however replays seemed to indicate the ball was heading for the back of the net regardless. "Unlucky decision by the scorer for Daems," said the manager. "Doumbia certainly deserved to claim that impressive tally with his speed and finishing prowess." The match continued with excitement from both sides, fueled by Reus and Doumbia, before the former's game-winning tally in the 70th, assisted by super-sub Mike Hanke, who notched his third point on the season in just his third appearance, all coming as a substitute. "Once again, Mike was the late spark we needed," said rschwep. Reus will go down as the hero, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen was once again fabulous in making seven saves for his side. "A complete, total performance by everyone tonight," said his manager. "We have been waiting all season for a game such as this one."
L: de Camargo recovers and crosses to Arango for Gladbach's firstR: Marco Reus' 70th minute game-winner
Matchweek 7 Spartak Moscow 4 - 2 Borussia Mönchengladbach I. de Camargo 10' M. Reus Welliton '11 Eminike de Zeeuw 30' (PK)E. Eminike 42' Welliton M. Hanke 52' M. Reus Dzyuba 87' Welliton "Wir haben vergessen, dass Verteidigung ist Teil von Fußball heute Abend." Borussia Mönchengladbach received a stroke of good fortune from the schedule maker as they were able to remain in Moscow to immediately play their next fixture, against Friz and the Spartak side. Unfortunately for die Fohlen, they allowed a shocking four goals in defeat. "Unacceptable defensive play tonight," said the irate manager. "We cannot play against sides of this quality with that performance and expect to win." The game began well for Gladbach, which took the early lead through a beautiful leaping scissor flick by Igor de Camargo, who received excellent service from Marco Reus. Then it all fell apart. Spartak equalized after a seemingly harmless cross was missed and misplayed by the Gladbach central defense, allowing Welliton an easy poke as the ball fell to his feet. Then, a penalty was conceded on what the book will show as a poor challenge, but what the manager will tell as laziness. "We cannot be caught with our feet poking at the ball, especially in that area. We must move our feet, play the passing and shooting lanes, and block shots. That is how you defend in the box." Eminike shocked Gladbach with a third through a beautiful curler just before halftime, and die Fohlen were forced to adjust at the break. Mike Hanke came on at halftime for a defender as the team switched to a 4-4-2 formation with Hanke alongside de Camargo up top. A wonderful team goal was scored in this tactical alignment, featuring a cross to Reus tapped back across the box to Hanke. "It reminded me of Nicklas Bendtner's goal in Euro 2012 just this week," said the manager. Hanke then nearly equalized as a shot from an impossible angle near the end line knocked off the far post. Alas, the rebound stayed out, and rschwep was forced to bring in Mathew Leckie for another defender and go to a 3-4-3 in the dying moments of the game. The surgical Spartak counter attack made sure of the result, as Dzyuba knocked in a long finish near the last. Gladbach are left to rue the poor defense on the first goal and the clumsy play on the penalty. "Our offense was wonderful this evening," said the manager. "But football is a two-part game. We need to remember that moving forward."
L: de Camargo leaps and flicks to the back post to open the scoringR: Reus lays off a cross to Hanke for a tap-in, but it would not be enough for Gladbach on this day
Cup - Group Stage - Match 2 Borussia Mönchengladbach 3 - 0 TSG 1899 Hoffenheim I. de Camargo 41' P. Herrmann R. Neustädter 47' M. Reus M. Reus 65' M. Hanke
CS: M-A. ter Stegen "Eine komplette Leistung, und wir gehen durch als Gruppensieger." Borussia Mönchengladbach manager rschwep heard through the grapevine that BigSmooth33 defeated league newcomer LAC27 's Hoffenheim side 2-0 in the penultimate group H game, meaning die Fohlen would need to beat TSG by three to win the group and avoid nemesis Broncos218 in the knockout stage. With that goal in mind, Gladbach went out and achieved it through a total team performance, outshooting the Baden-Württemberg side 23-8 and controlling 60% of the ball. "We did not want to let this opportunity to win the group slip away, and we responded with perhaps our most dominant performance on the season," said the victorious manager, who goes through in the Cup for the first time since his debut campaign at Köln in season 3, which resulted in an unexpected run to the semifinals for the then-Serie C club. While Gladbach controlled play throughout, they couldn't find the back of the net until an over-the-top ball to Patrick Herrmann resulted in a mini-break, culminating with a short cross to the head of Igor de Camargo, who would not miss the target from six yards out. At the break, Gladbach brought in their secret weapon off the bench, Mike Hanke, and switched from their trademark 5-4-1 to a 4-4-2. Roman Neustädter scored on a corner just after the break, and Marco Reus provided the third goal to put Gladbach top of the group with a genius individual run and finish in the 65'. A few posts prohibited die Fohlen from an insurance fourth marker. Marc-Andre ter Stegen needed to come up with a big save on a breakaway to preserve the precious group H-winning three goal margin, and in the end, Gladbach proved too much for Hoffenheim on this occasion. Reus was brilliant all match long, scoring a goal and assisting on another, taking eight shots (five on target), completing 18/24 passes, and completing 25/31 dribbles. Herrmann, too, put on perhaps his finest game in a Gladbach shirt, leading the side with 28/31 passes and 28/33 dribbles.
L: Gladbach notches a second off of a Marco Reus-taken cornerR: Reus sidesteps a defender and slots the group-winning goal home
Matchweek 10 Sunderland 2 - 2 Borussia Mönchengladbach S. Sessegnon 24' F. Campbell J. O'Shea 45' S. Larsson M. Hanke 90' M. Reus M. Hanke 90' M-A. ter Stegen "Schrecklich Leistung durch ein Wunder gerettet. Wir werden nicht feiern." Borussia Mönchengladbach headed to Sunderland to face HokieNYC 's surging side for the first time this season. The match that resulted could certainly be described as shocking, but only if you prefer to understate the occasion, as a completely outmanned Gladbach side rescued one point through two stoppage time goals, both by super sub Mike Hanke, one at the very last off of a goal kick, earning goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen an assist. "Absolutely horrendous performance. We required a late miracle to salvage any pride from this match. We did not deserve one point. We barely looked like a top division side tonight," said the unrelieved manager rschwep. The Black Cats pounced throughout the match, shackling Marco Reus and the Gladbach attack, limiting any sort of buildup. The shot numbers were surprisingly in Gladbach's favor, however, the scoreline certainly was not for the majority of the contest. Sessegnon struck first off of an expertly placed curler from outside the box, and John O'Shea notched a second on a set piece just before the half. This forced rschwep to adjust tactics, bringing on Hanke and Mathew Leckie while changing from a 5-4-1 to a 3-4-1-2. The change in tactics provided no change to the match, as Sunderland kept taking the play to Gladbach, controlling 59% of the ball in the match. Then, the 90th minute happened. Gladbach drew one back in what most onlookers would have described as garbage time, as Hanke volleyed home a Reus cross. After picking up the ball and racing it back to the half line, Sunderland matriculated the ball forward and drew a corner, which was parried out for a goal kick. Sensing little time remaining, ter Stegen booted the ball as far as he possibly could, and Hanke managed to find the ball in a seam and sprint away, slotting home the breakaway at the very last. "Typically, my sides have struggled with breakaways. If we can take any solace from this match, it is that we snatched one point when we were almost positively walking away empty handed. We will not be happy tonight. We will barely be relieved," said the manager. Gladbach will reportedly look for a tactical change after this match, fed up with the lack of attack. "The 5-4-1 isn't working. We haven't kept a clean sheet in several weeks. We need more attack." Look for die Fohlen to go to a 4-1-2-1-2 with Reus in behind Hanke and de Camargo. "Mike has certainly earned the right to start. He has been our best player this season."
L: Reus crosses to Hanke for the volley, the first of two stoppage time markers R: Hanke receives a goal kick in a seam (not pictured) and slots home the equalizer.
Matchweek 9 Borussia Mönchengladbach 0 - 1 Ajax S. de Jong 41'G. Van der Wiel 57' "Ihre Geschwindigkeit verursachte ein Zusammenbruch. Wir hatten wieder null Chancen." Borussia Mönchengladbach hosted table-toppers Ajax and Zikry to the Borussia-Park for their first fixture of the season. After their exciting comeback and resulting berating against Sunderland, manager rschwep was eager to see how his team would respond, and also adjusted tactics for the occasion. Die Fohlen came out in a 4-1-2-1-2 for the first time this season. What resulted was an offensive performance even worse than the previous game, as Gladbach could only muster three shots (zero on target), and were victimized by the speed of Ajax's wing players all game long. "I am not sure what to say at this point. It is the same old story every match, it seems," said the downfallen manager. While Gladbach did a relatively good job limiting Ajax's chances, they were done in by a lapse from the back when fullback V. Anita blew past his opposing mate fullback Filip Daems, as he and M. Sulejmani had been doing all game long, and snuck in a cheeky dribble down the end line. His cross was cleared by Oscar Wendt, but unfortunately for the men in black, it was directly to S. de Jong, who chested it down and slotted a shot in the 41st minute. The unassisted goal would be the only mark on the scoresheet, as die Fohlen went on to display little mettle in attack, save for a Mike Hanke shot from distance that rung the post. Even after Gregory Van der Wiel was sent off with a half hour to play for bringing down Hanke from behind, Gladbach could not generate any attack, and a 10-man Ajax held on for the victory. Manager rschwep was more frustrated than ever in the postgame media scrum. "We've tried a formation change, a personnel change, everything. We have been unable to dictate the pace of play. We are constantly responding to what others do to us. It is not good enough. I do not want to have to adjust tactics as the match goes on, but I have had to in nearly every game this season. Truthfully, I am surprised we are comfortably above the relegation zone, however, if these performances keep up, that is right where we will be." When a reporter went on to further criticize the play of the team, the manager then challenged the gentleman in question to a duel, while offering to have a "man conversation" outside. Clearly, the frustration has hit a new level in the Gladbach camp. The press conference ended abruptly after that, and with any luck, the offensive slump of die Fohlen will as well in their final fixture of this matchweek against vipermansa and the second division champion Montpellier side.
Matchweek 11 Borussia Mönchengladbach 3 - 2 Montpellier F. Daems 37' - pen M. Reus 41' P. Herrmann J. Saihi 44' Y. Belhanda P. Herrmann 45' Y. Belhanda 50' O. Giroud
"Ein weiterer unvollständiger Aufwand, aber drei Punkte wert - und wir brauchen sie." Borussia Mönchengladbach played host to league newcomer vipermansa and Montpellier to close out the first round of fixtures in season 6. Gladbach chose to deploy a 4-4-2 formation, their original one from preseason, in yet another attempt to revitalize the offense. Igor de Camargo, perhaps somewhat curiously, began the game on the bench, as Mike Hanke earned the start at striker opposite Marco Reus. As one can tell from the 3 - 2 scoreline, perhaps this change worked, although the Gladbach defense was porous at times during a trackmeet of a match. "Certainly exciting, especially the first half," stated the victorious manager. "We did not put together a complete effort, but we scored three goals, and when you do that, you naturally have a good chance of winning." The early going featured save after save by both keepers, including some exceptional ones from Montpellier netminder G. Jourdren. He would be called upon quite often, as die Fohlen registered 10 shots on target in the contest. Gladbach received a break in the 37th as Montpellier were whistled for a penalty on a soft foul on the very edge of the box. "Certainly I was surprised we received that call, but I am glad we were able to capitalize," said rschwep, referring to captain Filip Daems powering the penalty top left corner to give his side the early lead. Marco Reus would make it 2 just minutes later on one of his trademark slashing runs up the middle, cooly slotting the finish to the lower left corner. Montpellier would get one back right after that on a slick inside cut from J. Saihi. Despite the three goals in seven minutes, the game had yet to hit its peak of excitement, as just one minute later (in first half stoppage), Montpellier were whistled for yet another penalty. "Two penalties less than ten minutes apart, certainly you don't see that every day. I considered choosing another kick taker so as to not put the pressure on Daems to score again, but ultimately, the decision worked out...I suppose," laughed the German manager. Sure enough, the penalty resulted in a Gladbach goal, but not the way Filip Daems drew it up. His powerful shot to the right corner was saved by Jourdren off the post, but the rebound deflected high in the air, inside the box, and fell right to a charging Patrick Herrmann, who tapped in the deflection for a 3 - 1 halftime lead. "My video team has told me that the footage of that goal was somehow lost in the celebration," said the manager. "That's too bad, I would have liked to have seen that one again." The second half started out with another Montpellier goal on an inside cut to make it 3 - 2. After more chances missed for each side, rschwep brought in some reinforcements from the bench and switched back to a 5-4-1 for the final 20 minutes. Montpellier mustered a few chances at goal but were unable to snatch the equalizer, and Gladbach celebrate the three points earned, closing the first half of the campaign at 4 - 3 - 4. "We are slightly behind where we would like to be, and certainly where we imagined being, but we are a few points clear of the bottom as of now. With each game we become more aware of who we are as a team. I think we only can get better in the second half of the season, certainly, on all sides of the ball."
Marco Reus breaks away and slots home Gladbach's second of the contest.
Matchweek 13 PSV Eindhoven 1 - 0 Borussia Mönchengladbach O. Toivonen 89' "Einige Nächte Sie erhalten keine Pausen. Wir litten durch diese heute Abend." Borussia Mönchengladbach returned from the summer break full of optimism for an improved second half. Some observers might postulate that the second half could not possibly go any worse for the struggling German club. On this occasion, Gladbach managed to find a way to in fact start off the second half on an all-time new low, dropping a heartbreaker to RedAL925 and PSV Eindhoven at the very last. The hallmark of the club, Gladbach struggled with their finishing again, banging two glorious chances off the post in the first half and failing to create much in the second. "I was eager to return to the sidelines after a long layoff, but a result like that is depressing, heartbreaking, agitating...it really can't get much worse," said rschwep. Eindhoven was certainly up to the task, and the game was indeed an exciting one, full of furious chances. Both goalkeepers were up to the task in the first half, with each making several large saves. PSV keeper P. Tyton was saved by the post twice, and Marc-Andre ter Stegen himself saved his lackluster teammates throughout, making ten saves, but could not get a fingertip on a squibbler of a shot that deflected strangely off of a corner in the 89th minute. "Cruel for Marc-Andre, cruel for our side," said the manager. PSV was economical throughout, placing 10 of 11 shots on target. "PSV peppered us with shots and played a quality game, as always. It's a shame that perhaps their least powerful chance was the one that broke our back. It's more of a shame that once again we struggle to finish. I would have been surprised if we kept a clean sheet, given their chances throughout the match. Those breaks will even out, hence their goal near the end. However, we need to create breaks. We need to score. Time and time again, we cannot do that, and I am running out of answers. It's still a tad too early to call this a wasted season, but we need results of three points."
Flamengo 0 - 1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
I. de Camargo 30' M. Hanke
CS M-A. ter Stegen
"Oh Scheiße, wir eigentlich schlagen CMac."
Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Marco Reus sing to the fans after what some are calling "the largest intercontinental upset since the Revolutionary War"
Borussia Mönchengladbach manager rschwep was in a bittersweet mood when he received a Facebook message from CxMacx10 inviting Die Fohlen to fly to Brazil immediately after their frustrating defeat to PSV Eindhoven. "It was a convenient way to schedule the match, albeit an inconvenient time, given our emotions after the last fixture. I had planned to take the rest of the night off, but alas, football calls." Only Gladbach's gluttony for punishment led them to the plane ride, as the mood around the side was a bit like chickens being led to slaughter. Perhaps a move away from the Holiday House was all the German manager needed in his sad history vs. CMac, as his side stepped up with arguably their most poised, if not surprising performance of the season, scoring a crucial 1 - 0 victory in Rio de Janeiro, salvaging a league matchweek that was off to an ominous start. "I won't sugarcoat it - I did not expect this victory," said the manager.
The match began what some might call outrageous, but rschwep described as "typical" when Ronaldinho hit the post on an audacious curler from 25+ yards, a shot that most players might not even attempt. "You simply can't give CMac any room to shoot, from anywhere, because the ball will be in the back of the net and he'll be deadfishing in the corner before you can figure out what the heck just happened," said rschwep. The sides traded small chances for the next 30 minutes, until a defensive lapse by Flamengo set Mike Hanke off down the sidelines on a 2-on-1, which he deftly crossed to Igor de Camargo for the first goal of the match. "In football, especially for our side, we must take advantage of absolutely every miscue. Look at the way this match turned out. If we don't score on that chance, I guarantee the scoreline reads a whole lot differently."
Gladbach nearly seized a second on a blistering Juan Arango free kick shortly thereafter (saved by a diving Felipe), and then nearly did it again on a de Camargo volley that missed just wide. Die Fohlen got to the half up 1 - 0 and then adjusted strategy. "I didn't want to take any chances with this game. I figured there was absolutely no way we could keep a clean sheet in the 4-1-2-1-2. I knew that going defensive might cost us most of the ball, but I decided I would be happy with one [point] against this opponent, so I went to the 5-4-1. Essentially, I decided to give up one goal in exchange for an increased chance of not giving up 2. The strategy turned out even better than I envisioned."
The defensive-minded change tilted the stats in Flamengo's favor (shots 14-6), but the Brazilian side simply did not have their finishing boots on this day, missing the target uncharacteristically often. Despite a few curlers that nearly caught the corner, Gladbach held firm for the 1 - 0 victory. "Simply put, on most days, Flamengo at least ties this match, even with our formation change. We lucked out big time today. Perhaps that only cancels out our performance against PSV. But we will take the three points and continue to achieve our goal of getting better with every match."
Gladbach now begins a curious stretch in their schedule: a Round of 16 Cup match vs. Serie B outfit Santos, and then three straight league matches against the three lowest sides in the table. "We are taking the Pokal very seriously. We want to win every trophy available to us. And in the league, if we are to make a run at the title, however unlikely that may be, we must take nine points from our next three games. There is no alternative."
Igor de Camargo shockingly converts on the Mike Hanke cross
Cup - Round of 16 Borussia Mönchengladbach 5 - 3 (a.e.t.) Santos M. Reus 7' I. de Camargo Elano 14' Arouca Ganso 50' Henrique M. Hanke 54' P. Herrmann Ganso 82' Neymar I. de Camargo 84' R. Neustädter M. Hanke 103' I. de Camargo I. de Camargo 110' P. Herrmann "Fußball ist ein tolles Spiel, und das war ein tolles Fußballspiel."
Borussia Mönchengladbach hosted Roger and Serie B side Santos in their second straight fixture vs. a Brazilian outfit, this time in the Round of 16 in the fabled Coppa Tradizione. Surely an uptempo game was expected, as each side features a dynamic young superstar: Marco Reus for Die Fohlen, and Neymar for Santos. No one could have possibly expected this result, however: a staggering 5 - 3 scoreline after extra time with Reus and Neymar combining for just one goal and one assist. "While those two players were certainly the focus, the other 20 men on the field certainly matter as well, and we saw just how important role players can be tonight," said the victorious manager.
The game began just as many would have thought, with Marco Reus opening the scoring after receiving a beautiful counter-attack chipped ball from Igor de Camargo. 14 minutes later, Elano would score the likely goal of the match on a curler from well outside the box. The teams settled down for a while after that, until Ganso struck on a low, lightly finessed shot to the corner. Mike Hanke provided an immediate response, heading home the game's fourth goal just four minutes later. After another series of back-and-forth play with no scoring, Ganso scored what looked to be a sure winner on another low, light shot to the corner, this time through much less traffic. "When that goal went in, I truthfully believed we were done. We had already responded once. I didn't know what we had left in us. Regardless of the ultimate result, [goalkeeper] Marc-Andre [ter Stegen] needs to be better on both Ganso goals, in fact. He knows that," said rschwep.
What the manager was about to find out was that his side had a whole lot left in them. Igor de Camargo received a pass from defensive midfielder Roman Neustädter and took off down the field, cutting back to the middle and notching another equalizer for Gladbach, this time just two minutes after the Santos goal and with just six remaining in the contest. Santos then had a sure winner in stoppage time, but their usually sure footed strikers hit the post from short range twice at the very last, sending the game to extra time. "Unreal way to end regular time," said the Gladbach manager. "We gave up two short range, uncontested chances. Two posts is absolutely the largest break this club has received all season. We received new life, and we certainly needed it. Giving and receiving breaks has been the theme of this campaign, for sure."
The game headed to extra time at an outrageous 3 - 3, and Gladbach took hold of the contest from that point out. Mike Hanke scored what would be the eventual game-winner just before the break, heading home an Igor de Camargo cross. At the midpoint of extra time, rschwep made his patented 5-4-1 formation switch, in a last-ditch effort to hold the powerful Brazilians down. A counter-attacking goal from de Camargo sealed the deal (his fourth point of the game). Reus missed on a surefire breakaway that would have been a sixth (not to mention Santos again hitting the post on a chip), providing two more thrilling moments, but the game would end 5 - 3 after extra time in favor of the German side. "A simply unbelievable game, a candidate for game of the season in the TFL for sure," said the manager. "I am overwhelmed after that match. Never have my emotions ran so high and so low in a football match. The game was seemingly won and lost five different times. I am just glad that we emerged victorious and now we look forward to the Round of 8."
UPDATE: Gladbach will rest up after the cracking affair and look forward to facing snake3249 and another Brazilian side, Sao Paolo, in the quarterfinals
Top left: Gladbach's first equalizer, through Mike Hanke.Top right: de Camargo's goal two minutes after Santos' third, sending the game to ETBottom left: Mike Hanke's eventual game-winner in ETBottom right: Igor de Camargo seals the game for Gladbach.
Matchweek 16 Fulham 3 - 1 Borussia Mönchengladbach B. Ruiz 32' C. Dempsey M. Stranzl 54' J. Arango A. Johnson 56' C. Dempsey B. Ruiz 82' C. Dempsey "Unsere schlechter Leistung des Jahres, als wir brauchten unser Bestes." Borussia Mönchengladbach resumed play away to hokie79 and Fulham with a goal set of nine points in three matches against three bottom-table sides. They responded with unquestionably their worst performance of the season, in a season that has featured many letdowns and disappointments. "Not scoring a goal from the run of play, absolutely unacceptable," said rschwep. "Fulham played us tough the first time around despite their low-table standing. We know they are a side of quality. But we took 15 shots in this game and came away with zero goals from the run of play. This is a new low for us." The game started ignominiously for Gladbach when Mike Hanke missed his placement on an absolute sitter from a lovely through ball, saved by the Fulham keeper. Clint Dempsey then created the game's first marker on Fulham's first real chance, with perfect service into the box for Bryan Ruiz. Gladbach were a bit shellshocked by the goal, getting to the half and switching to a 3-man back line, knowing they needed three points. The change in shape did little to spark finishing, and although Martin Stranzl drew level on a corner kick, Dempsey's brilliant service took over the match thereafter, and Die Fohlen could muster little in the way of quality chances despite their shot advantage. "The season is officially a failure after today. We have little hope in the league. Our only hope to salvage anything is to make a quality run in the Cup. I am immensely disappointed in our side."
Matchweek 14 Corinthians 2 - 3 Borussia Mönchengladbach M. Stranzl 10' M. Reus Liedson 15' Emerson I. de Camargo 71' M. Reus I. de Camargo 89' R. Neustädter Willian 90' Paulinho "Schlechte Verteidigung, aber wir haben zwei, wenn wir sie brauchten."
Borussia Mönchengladbach took the pitch shortly after their previous match, this time to face IJGator and Corinthians. Fresh off their poor play from the field, Die Fohlen were determined to make the best of their chances. The game didn't go quite as planned, but Igor de Camargo was the rock his side needed as Gladbach emerged victorious in a wild game.
Martin Stranzl scored off of a corner for the second straight game, this time from the right side and thus the boot of Marco Reus, putting Gladbach ahead early. In what has been a curious earmark of the side all season, Die Fohlen let up a goal shortly after scoring one, a gorgeous curler from Liedson. The teams traded chances for the rest of the half and into the second. "For a while there, I thought we were destined to draw. We just, again, could not generate a key chance. What little daylight we did have we fumbled away. We are who we are, unfortunately," said rschwep.
With the match looking all the more dreary for Gladbach, Igor de Camargo stepped in and provided the lightning bolt his side needed. A scramble in the final third resulted in the ball at his feet, and from just outside the box, with little room, his desperation shot snuck inside the post in the 71st minute. "I wasn't even sure how he got that ball on frame, let alone into the net," said his manager. "He was on an island and was just trying to make a play. How huge has he been for this squad all season long?" Indeed, de Camargo now has the game-winning goal in five of Gladbach's eight wins in all competitions this campaign.
With the 2 - 1 lead, and under 20 minutes remaining, Gladbach shifted into their 5-4-1 and looked to shut down Corinthians' offense. In prime counter attack mode, Igor de Camargo received an over-the-top ball and ripped home what looked to be the sure clincher in the 89th--but Corinthians immediately responded with an incredible dribbling sequence and goal by Willian, darting through nearly all 10 outfield players. Unfortunately for the Brazilians, time would run out shortly after the ensuing kickoff, and Gladbach survived to get a crucial three points. "We haven't been able to play consistently all season, that is obvious. However, despite the shot stats in our favor once again, I do feel as if we may have stolen this game. We certainly need to continue to improve if we are to advance in the Cup, and to continue to give it our best within the league."
L: Igor de Camargo seals the game with the 3-1 marker. R: Willian goes through the Gladbach defense to score a skillful goal.
Matchweek 15 Borussia Mönchengladbach 2 - 2 Stoke City K. Jones 21' M. Etherington I. de Camargo 55' J. Arango R. Fuller 73' M. Reus 75' R. Neustädter "Unsere Verteidigung wollen wir wieder hin, aber ein Unentschieden war gerecht heute."
Borussia Mönchengladbach concluded this matchweek by welcoming bigox1337 and Stoke City to the Borussia-Park. While manager rschwep has historically been subpar against the Potters, Die Fohlen did defeat them 1 - 0 back in Matchweek 3, and they were determined to give it their best shot in the return fixture. "We know what they are capable of despite their below average position in the table. It seems that I say that about every side in this league, but it's absolutely true. The quality of teams in the top division really is second to none."
The match started out well for Gladbach, who put together a potent possession in the Stoke box, but could not get off a quality shot, as the Potters played the shooting lanes exceptionally well. The failure to put one in the net cost Gladbach, who were caught on a counter attack on a wonderful Etherington to Kenwyne Jones cross and header, shocking the home side and putting them down early. Die Fohlen were able to get to the half, and, knowing they needed something from this game, went to a 3-man backline. They found success, albeit a tad fluky, when Igor de Camargo found a cross from Juan Arango and tapped a shot over the line, deflected by the keeper on its way in. Ricardo Fuller came on for Peter Crouch (who was kept relatively contained by Gladbach) and put Stoke ahead, but it was the golden boot of Marco Reus who swerved a shot from a tight area into the back of the net just two minutes later, pulling Gladbach level again and going on to earn one point for his side.
Reus' marker now makes him the leading point-getter in the team with six goals and six assists for 12 points. He also leads the side with 49 shots this season, despite generally playing behind Igor de Camargo and/or Mike Hanke.
"It wasn't our best effort, especially defensively, but we are happy to secure one point. We have to be realistic about our spot in the table at this point. We know that a title is out of the question, and a result like this does more to help us survive, and more importantly, build confidence for our ongoing Cup run," said the manager after the contest.
Gladbach will now rest up and prepare for a haunting section of their schedule. They play Spartak Moscow, Werder Bremen, and CSKA Moscow in their next three games. "We know what the Moscow sides can do, and despite their low position in the table, Bremen is an elite side and always will be. We must be ready for them."
L: Juan Arango crosses into the box, where Igor de Camargo knocks in the game's first equalizer R: Marco Reus gets the game's second and final equalizer with a beautiful curler.
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