Mönchengladbach (AP) – Marco Rose trudged bitterly disappointed on the lawn, his players set off with an empty look in the direction of the cabin corridor.
Borussia Mönchengladbach once again experienced very bitter minutes in the Champions League against Real Madrid. The Rose team led with two goals on Tuesday evening shortly before the end. After a rough, unfortunate final phase it was only enough to score 2: 2 (1: 0) against the star ensemble. Marcus Thuram (33./58.) Was successful after assists from the strong Alassane Pléa. Karim Benzema (87th) and Casemiro (90th + 3) scored for the Madrilenians around international Toni Kroos.
“It always sucks when you get compensation late,” said Christoph Kramer on the pay-TV channel Sky. “It’s very annoying right after the game.” There are “logically but also a lot of positive things”. Goalkeeper Yann Sommer said: “Of course we are disappointed. We played a good game, we exploited the weaknesses, the small ones that Real has. Only in the final phase – we have to work on it.”
After 2-2 at Inter Milan the previous week, Gladbachers still have a good chance of reaching the knockout round. Next Tuesday, the game against leaders Shakhtar Donetsk in the tough group B. “We’re taking these two points with us,” said Sommer.
Rose had described the Real professionals as “world class players” shortly before kick-off. “But they’re only human,” said the 44-year-old. Correspondingly brave, he set up his own team. The Gladbacher tried it in the initial phase with high pressing, but had to be extremely careful against extremely ball-safe opponents not to be overplayed with two or three quick passes.
Real, who had traveled to Germany with the confidence of winning 3-1 at Clásico at FC Barcelona, initially determined the first meeting of the two clubs in 35 years, driven by Kroos. The Gladbach play structure was usually disturbed by three to four Real professionals very close to the penalty area in summer. “Play quietly,” Rose shouted energetically from the sidelines.
Casemiro (7th) and Benzema (16th) fired their first shots on goal in the direction of summer, who parried Kroos’ long shot (29th). Real got stronger, played faster and posed problems for Borussia’s defense with the individual class, especially Marco Asensio. And then came Thuram. The 23-year-old, whose father Lilian and Real coach Zinédine Zidane became world champion in 1998, completed a lightning-quick attack after the Madrid star ensemble lost the ball.
By then, the Gladbach offensive had almost come to a standstill. In comparison to the 3-2 win in Mainz, Rose had ordered five regular players back into the starting line-up, who, after Thuram’s first goal in the premier class, won security against the once again injured royal. Last week, Real lost 3-2 to Donetsk. The Ukrainian champions separated from Inter 0-0 on Tuesday.
In Gladbach, Sommer was there against Asensio (38th), who hit the post after the restart (46th). The Gladbachers lurked on the counterattack in this phase – Kramer almost used one (54th) – and scored again through Thuram. The Frenchman was spot on when Pléa shot and took off. Then the Borussia turned up. Lars Stindl shot just wide of the post (65th).
Real responded with angry but erratic attacks. Zidane reacted with a double substitution (71st), Kroos left for Luka Modric. Substitute Eden Hazard hit the side netting (74th), Benzema artistically to the connection goal.