Worst possible start
VfB, again playing a 4-4-2 formation, were caught cold shortly after kick-off, with Borussia Mönchengladbach opening the scoring with their very first attack. Jonas Hofmann connected first time with Alassane Plea’s cross and gave the hosts a spectacular opener in just the fourth minute.
Although Tiago Tomás had a shot that hit the crossbar shortly after that (11th minute), Gladbach were still the more dangerous of the two sides and began to dominate proceedings, and an excellent move was rounded off by Marcus Thuram to make it 2-0 (25th minute).
After half an hour, VfB finally started to get into the match, with Chris Führich and Borna Sosa looking particularly dangerous. The lads from Cannstatt managed to halve the deficit in the 35th minute, with Tomás controlling the ball with his heel, turning and firing home into the far corner – giving VfB a much-needed confidence booster in the process.
Costly lack of precision
The two teams were more evenly matched in the second half, but their respective attacks lacked the necessary cool head in front of goal, meaning that the game turned into a midfield battle. In the 83rd minute, VfB had their best chance of an equaliser, but Serhou Guirassy was thwarted by Tobias Sippel from point-blank range.
VfB then threw everything forward in the dying minutes, but that allowed Gladbach to pick them off on the counter-attack, with Patrick Herrmann making sure of the three points in injury time.
4th minute (1-0): Alassane Plea sends the ball into the middle where Jonas Hofmann hits it first time and opens the scoring.
25th minute (2-0): A wonderful move by Gladbach sees Marcus Thuram one-on-one with Florian Müller and he makes no mistake.
35th minute (2-1): Tiago Tomás controls the ball with his heel, turns and fires home into the far corner.
90+4th minute (3-1): VfB throw everything forward looking for an equaliser, but that allows Gladbach to catch them on the break, and Herrmann does just that, slotting the ball into the far corner.
VfB coach Michael Wimmer: “With the match just having finished, we’re obviously feeling disappointed. We got off to a really bad start and Gladbach scored with their first shot on goal. We were unsteady, and Flo Müller did well to keep us in the game. It was only when we went 2-0 down that we started to show the grit that we could have done with right from kick-off. The second half was more balanced, and maybe we even created a few more chances than they did. We’ll do things better at home on Tuesday in the next match.”
Chris Führich: “We were caught napping at the start of the match and shipped a couple of early goals. We then fought our way back into it but couldn’t make the most of our chances. We’ll have to do better than that in the matches to come.”