Wild ride out of the relegation zone: Borussia Mönchengladbach wins 5-2. – Sports

The Borussia Mönchengladbach footballers have an impressive memory of March 18, 2022 for two reasons. Firstly, the guest game at VfL Bochum that Friday evening was canceled when Gladbach had a 2-0 lead in the 69th minute because a spectator hit assistant referee Christian Gittelmann in the head with a half-full beer cup. And secondly, with the 2-0 win decided by the sports courts, Borussia experienced for the last time the feeling of having won two Bundesliga games in a row.

Back then, the successful double pack consisted of a home win against Hertha and the away win in Bochum. “It’s been a while now,” midfielder Florian Neuhaus said with an embarrassed grin in the locker room at Borussia Park on Saturday evening: “So it’s about time.”

Neuhaus gained hope that Gladbach’s fickleness would end before the second anniversary on March 18th thanks to a 5-2 win against VfL Bochum. Gladbach’s performance was such that he was considering an away win next Saturday in Mainz. After all, Gladbach’s sports director Roland Virkus also found that the team played “good football at times”. That doesn’t happen too often this season. Coach Gerardo Seoane was the first to announce in the press conference: “It was a wild ride.”

Cup finals and staying in the league – these are Gladbach’s goals for the season

Experience has shown that such metaphorical formulations are well received in a club whose players have called themselves ‘the Foals’ for half a century. Things can sometimes be as chaotic as a herd of wild horses this season. The Gladbachers had to wait until matchday six (in Bochum) for their first win of the season and until matchday 23 (against Bochum) for their first win of the second half of the season. In the latter, there were an incredible nine goals to marvel at, seven of which were finally validated after one cancellation per side: five for Gladbach by Nathan Ngoumou, Julian Weigl, Rocco Reitz, Jordan Siebatcheu and Franck Honorat and two for Bochum by Philipp Hofmann and Keven Schlotterbeck.

While the Bochum team endured the defeat somewhat bravely, as they had defeated FC Bayern six days earlier, the long-suffering Gladbach team moved a comfortable distance away from the relegation zone with the victory. After only two points from five games in the second half of the season and the resulting fall to fourth-to-last place in the table, the specter of relegation is said to have already been spotted somewhere in the local Nordpark. But of course the media could have made that up too. Now Gladbach’s safety distance from the ghost kingdom is only eight points, and the chances of further progress into the ghost-free midfield arise from the next three league games in Mainz, against Cologne and in Heidenheim. “Important games,” confirms sports director Virkus with a serious look, but he spontaneously reacts to a word like “pressure” thrown at him with a mocking laugh. “Every athlete always has pressure,” he says, and he’s certainly not wrong.

The fact that the next two weeks will be particularly important for the Gladbach team is due not only to the three groundbreaking league games but also to the DFB Cup game against third division team 1. FC Saarbrücken on March 12th. A win there would give them entry into the semi-final game on April 2nd in Kaiserslautern and give the local second division team a great chance of reaching the cup final for the first time since 1995. Borussia won this 3-0 against Wolfsburg. Club legends like Heiko Herrlich, Martin Dahlin, Karlheinz Pflipsen and Stefan Effenberg won a title for Gladbach for the last time to date.

Cup final and relegation – that would ultimately be a quite acceptable first season for Gladbach under the new coach Seoane. In terms of play, not much goes together, at least not consistently. Before the win against Bochum, sports director Virkus said on WDR radio about the season so far: “We are certainly not satisfied.” After the victory he added: “There is no reason for euphoria.” The two sentences capture the mood at Borussia Park relatively well.

But even in the face of the very changeable results, at least the fans spread a consistently positive mood. After pretty much every home game, they applauded the players regardless of the result, and after the triumph against Bochum they sang and announced their unclouded view of the eternal hierarchy in the football cosmos: “Gladbach is the greatest club in the world.”

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