The king transfer was not on the field in the fourth league game of the season. No wonder, Borussia Mönchengladbach’s most important entry is the 7.5 million euro trainer Adi Hütter from Eintracht Frankfurt. Judging by the first three results (1: 1 against Bayern, 0: 4 in Leverkusen, 1: 2 at Union Berlin), this transfer had not yet caused exuberance. It was Hütter himself who said shortly before the home game against Arminia Bielefeld: “Today is an absolute key game.” That sounded threatening.
Two hours later, the situation was statistically a little better, because Gladbach climbed to eleventh place in the table with 3: 1 (1: 1) in the first win of the season – but the performance did not seem that liberating. If the Bielefeld team had used their better chances as ice cold as the Gladbach team had used their worse chances, then this game would have turned out differently. Gladbach’s next game on Saturday in Augsburg will also be a key game and the next but one against Dortmund anyway.
In the fifth competitive game, Hütter formed a five-man chain for the first time, in which the right central defender Louis Jordan Bayer was only the third youngest at the age of 21. The full-backs Joe Scally and Luca Netz are only 18. It was not only because of them that Gladbach did not get into the game for a quarter of an hour. Bielefeld pressed up, played cheekily, finished confidently. This Arminia lived up to her name of a great Germanic general.
And yet a bad passport would have almost ruined everything after 20 minutes. Gladbach’s Jonas Hofmann ran into the ball, approached Bielefeld’s goalkeeper Stefan Ortega and shortly before played across Alassane Plea – offside.
Borussia had more success in the 35th minute. In the absence of an alternative, captain Lars Stindl simply pulled away from 20 meters and used Bielefeld left-back Jacob Laursen as a ramp, because he deflected the ball to a high arc lamp that flew over Ortega to make it 1-0 into the goal. Brilliant? No: luck!
The flighty Borussia did not manage to save the lead in the break. A bad pass from Florian Neuhaus in stoppage time landed at Manuel Prietl, who staged Masaya Okugawa and saw him push in to make it 1-1 – albeit only in the second attempt after goalkeeper Yann Sommer had ricocheted off the first.
After the break, Hannes Wolf came into play, Gladbach’s most expensive purchase this summer with 9.5 million euros. But again the guests from East Westphalia had the better start. More present and more precise in appearance, they just let it fail to make use of their good opportunities. It is not for nothing in football that something like this takes revenge. And how: Patrick Herrmann, who was substituted in the 58th minute, first put the 2: 1 on Stindl in the 69th minute and Denis Zakaria promptly made the 3: 1 in the 71st minute. Short and painless. “A relief victory after a difficult game,” said the central defender Matthias Ginter.