VfL Bochum 1-1 Gladbach (Agg: 1-2)

Posted on May 25, 2011

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MARCO REUS’ 72nd minute equaliser was the decisive goal in securing Borussia Monchengladbach’s place in the Bundesliga next season.

The 21-year-old netted his 11th goal of the season to cancel out Havard Nordtveit’s own goal in the first-half to complete ‘The Great Escape’ after Gladbach looked dead and buried just a few months ago.

Bochum coach Freidhelm Funkel made two changes from the team that lost 1-0 in Gladbach last week. Mimoun Azaouagh and Zlatko Dedic replaced Bjorn Kopplin and Umit Kormaz.

Midfielder Paul Frier slotted back in to right-back to replace Kopplin and Dedic joined Azaouagh and Toski in supporting Aydin in attack.

Gladbach kept the same team that played in the first-leg and has chased the ‘great escape’ over the last few weeks.

Marco Reus past a late fitness test to start on the right-side of midfield after suffering a thigh injury in the home leg. Igor Di Camargo, who scored the winning goal at Borussia park, started on the bench.

VfL Bochum 1-1 Gladbach: 90 minutes

The second leg started at a ferocious tempo and Bochum immediately asked questions of Marc-Andre Ter Stegen in the Gladbach goal and almost found the net in the opening minutes but Maltritz’s header smacked the bar.

From such a positive start, the game was fairly scrappy and neither side imposed themselves enough to create any clear-cut chances.

But VfL Bochum did just that mid-way through the half, when a good run and pass from Aydin on the left-hand side of the box, played in Dabrowski who cut the ball across goal, only for Havard Nordtveit to steer the ball past his own goalkeeper.

It took a while for Gladbach to come back in to the game and Mohammadou Idrissou was just inches away from equalising on 41 minutes when his header from Arango’s corner-kick smacked the cross-bar.

The visitors should have made up for Idrissou’s miss when Mike Hanke delivered an excellent cross from the left and Roman Neustadter could not direct his glancing header towards Andreas Luthe’s goal.

After the break, Gladbach soon had the ball in the net when Idrissou could not divert the ball towards goal, but it fell to Marco Reus who slammed it in to the empty net. However, the linesman correctly ruled the goal offside.

Die Fohlen were looking the more likely to score and their lack of cutting edge was preventing them from really testing Andreas Luthe in the Bochum goal. Neither Neustadter or Nordtveit were pushing forward enough to support Hanke and Idrissou up front.

Gladbach then hit the post through Stranzl’s header that was missed by Johansson on the line before hitting the woodwork.

But the elusive goal came seconds later, 18 minutes from time, when a lovely move from Gladbach was rounded off when Hanke slid in Reus to fire home past Luthe in to the net.

Toski’s free-kick just a few minutes after Reus’ goal almost caught out goalkeeper Ter Stegen as it looped over the 19-year-old’s head towards the net but he managed to flick the ball over the crossbar.

Lucien Favre’s men were never in any danger after going ahead on aggregate and the backbone built by the Swiss coach was reliable enough to see the Bundesliga side in to safety.

Bochum: Did not take advantage of early pressure

When the disappointment wears off, Bochum will see that they were very lucky to even have a chance of winning this tie in the second-leg after an inspired performance from Andreas Luthe in the 1-0 defeat last Thursday.

Things got off to a good start for Freidhelm Funkel’s men and they were by far the better team in the opening 25 minutes of the game. They opened the scoring through an own-goal and really should have capitalised on the pressure they put on Gladbach before-hand.

But the future looks positive for Bochum under Freidhelm Funkel, a promotion specialist, and there’s no doubt that Bochum will be challenging for automatic promotion to the Bundesliga with the quality they have in their squad.

Gladbach: Mission Accomplished

‘The Great Escape‘ led by Swiss coach Lucien Favre has finally been achieved after an enthralling 180 minutes against VfL Bochum in the relegation play-offs.

And Marco Reus’ goal on 72 minutes switched the momentum in Gladbach’s favour after a nervy first-half against Freidhelm Funkel’s side.

Favre has had a stunning impact at Borussia Park and has notched up 23 league points from a potential 36. That record is even more incredible when you see that Gladbach had only won 14 points before Favre arrived.

Continuity has been a key factor in Gladbach’s success in recent months. The starting eleven for Die Fohlen is becoming a regular feature in the Bundesliga and has allowed Favre to build a stubborn defence helped by a ‘defensive-minded’ pairing in the midfield.

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen has had a superb season and has taken over the number one slot from Logan Bailly and Christian Heimeroth. At the back, Dante and Martin Stranzl have been an imposing partnership and have conceded just three goals in seven matches.

Daems and Jantschke have been reliable and solid full-backs, not offering much skill in an attacking sense, but making up for that through sheer desire and work-rate to get forward.

Neustadter and Nordtveit have been dominant in central-midfield, and the latter in particular has enjoyed a fantastic end to the season for Gladbach.

What can you say about Marco Reus?

11 goals is a great return from a 21-year-old winger, playing in a side that has been rock-bottom of the Bundesliga for three-quarters of the season. Gladbach’s next big challenge is to keep hold of their prized asset with Europe’s finest looking to take him away from Borussia Park.

All Lucien Favre can say next season is “same again”.

Congratulations Borussia Monchengladbach.

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Posted in: Matches