Borussia Mönchengladbach is finally in danger of losing touch with the international places in the Bundesliga. At the end of the first half of the season, coach Daniel Farke’s team deservedly lost 0-1 (0-0) after a poor performance at FC Augsburg, who were threatened with relegation, made the wrong start to the new year with their second defeat and continued to stagger towards mid-table.
Under-21 European champion Mergim Berisha (82′) scored the hosts’ long-awaited liberation. Coach Enrico Maassen’s team broke their streak of eight games without a win with another courageous performance and got the breath they urgently needed in the relegation battle before the start of the second half of the season.
“The team went onto the pitch with a lot of conviction. It was a deserved and important home win,” said sports director Stefan Reuter at Sky.
National player Jonas Hofmann, who was not available due to illness, was briefly absent from Gladbach. Nathan Ngoumou moved to the right wing position, Hofmann’s place in the starting lineup was taken by Marcus Thuram, who has recovered from knee problems.
However, the “best striker in the Bundesliga”, according to Farke, didn’t get too many chances to excel. While Borussia mostly looked in vain for gaps in the good Augsburg defence, FCA came dangerously in front of the Gladbach goal early on, including through Arne Maier (6th). After a strong counterattack by Berisha (9th), who returned after serving a yellow card suspension, Borussia goalkeeper Jonas Omlin had to intervene for the first time.
FC Augsburg the better team
Meanwhile, his opponent Rafal Gikiewicz saw how his team remained the much more dangerous side in a rather uneventful game until the break. The referee Daniel Schlager took back the supposed opening goal by winter newcomer Dion Beljo (36th) due to an offside position – a millimeter decision.
Augsburg’s dominance continued in the second half, and unlike in the first half, Gladbach was barely able to break free. Among other things, Ermedin Demirovic (52nd) forced the Swiss Omlin to make a brilliant save, captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw (63rd) hit the post with a powerful header – then Berisha hit. Gladbach had no answer to that in the closing stages
FC Augsburg – Gladbach: The voices
Enrico Maassen (FC Augsburg coach): “I’m very proud of my team. We finally wanted to score points, and we did that today. We achieved a pass rate today that I’ve never seen before. We played really well, especially in the second half.”
Daniel Farke (Borussia Monchengladbach coach): “We did well against the ball in the first half and hardly gave up a chance. The second half was no longer up to par. We weren’t playing well against the ball and we were too imprecise when in possession. As a result, we didn’t radiate enough danger offensively.”
FC Augsburg – Gladbach: The data for the game
Augsburg: Gikiewicz – Gumny, Gouweleeuw, Uduokhai, Pedersen – Engels, Rexhbecaj (81. Dorsch) – Arne Maier (81. Jensen), Demirovic – Beljo (66. Yeboah), Berisha (90.+2 pawns). – Coach: Maassen
Moenchengladbach: Omlin – Lainer (86th Wolf), Itakura, Elvedi, Bensebaini – Weigl (90th Friedrich), Kone (87th Telalovic) – Ngoumou (75th Herrmann), Kramer (46th Neuhaus), Plea – Thuram. – Trainer: Farke
Referee: Daniel Schlager (Hügelsheim)
Goal: 1-0 Berisha (82′)