Game Report: DFB Pokal, 2nd Round, Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Bayer Leverkusen 1:1 (6:5 after penalties)

The same story as last year! We are out of this competition in the 2nd Round! Just one subtle difference we reached this time the penalty shootout. But this was more luck than anything else.

Jupp Heynckes decided to go into the match with the standard tactical formation of last season with Helmes and Derdiyok in attack. Rolfes was left on the bench and Balitsch played on the left wing in a position that is not known to him.

Borussia Mönchengladbach showed no respect right from the start and could have easily gone 2:0 in front after 22 minutes. An inspiring Adler kept us in the game by saving 1 on 1 situations against Idrissou and Bobadilla.

We then slowly took command of the match and showed decent offensive football. Mönchengladbach continued to have good scoring opportunities with quick played attacks after our ball losses. It became an open game with a lot of chances on both sides and with no team managing to score. This did not change when Leverkusen received a penalty in the 63rd minute. It was Helmes who was fouled and missed the following penalty.

In the 90th minute Mönchengladbach could have also received a penalty. The referee in a centimeter decision gave a free-kick which Daems luckily missed.

In the first half of extra-time both teams played very cautious and the match for instances cooled down. The second half was then more like what we saw previously during the 90 minutes. But this time with goals! Derdiyok put us ahead and Idrissou less than 2 minutes later equalled to 1:1. To top it off 8 minutes before the end of extra-time Mönchengladbach’s de Camargo could have decided the encounter in a counter-attack but his intent luckily hit the crossbar after Adler’s intervention.

In the following penalty shootout Adler proved once again that he is not a penalty stopper (no complain here, without him the match would have been over after 20 minutes or extra-time) and the coach committed a huge mistake by letting Helmes take another penalty.

I could have extended the above narration but it would have taken up a lot of space. Too much happened at both end of the areas.

Apart that Helmes should never have taken the penalty later in the shootout, what surprised me was that he took the first one.  He declared after the match that he is in charge of this set piece. Whether this is true I cannot say. All previous penalties this season were shot by Vidal (not including Ballack’s disputed one) and happened when Helmes was off the pitch. However you can see in the video, that he signalises to the Chilean that he wants to take the penalty. The coach needs to take a clear decision: “You are shooting the penalties until you miss one. No discussion!” and make it public.

What I did not like as usual is our defense. Mönchengladbach is currently ranked 17th in the Bundesliga, how can we as a team that wants to fight for the top spots show such weakness in defense?

-After the first 20 minutes: Mönchengladbach could have gone ahead 2-0 in the scoreboard. I doubt that we would have recovered from this shock.
at the end of regular time: we committed a foul centimetres away from the area and gave Mönchengladbach a last-minute chance to win (on a bad day the referee gives a penalty).
-we went ahead 1:0 and received a goal less than 2 minutes later
near the end of extra time: we ran into a counter-attack in which de Camargo only hit the crossbar thanks to our goalkeeper.

Offensively we improved yesterday but at the price of defense which was back at 3:6 level shown in the 2nd fixture of the Bundesliga. That we only saw a 1:1 after 120 minutes is a miracle made possible by the goalkeepers.

Despite playing with 2 strikers we failed to score a goal in the first 90 minutes against Mönchengladbach. Every other team so far this season managed to score:

DFB Pokal 1.Round: FC Erzgebirge Aue – Borussia M’gladbach 1:3
BL, Fixture 1: Borussia M’gladbach – 1. FC Nürnberg 1:1
BL, Fixture 2: Bayer Leverkusen – Borussia M’gladbach 3:6
BL, Fixture 3: Borussia M’gladbach – Eintracht Frankfurt 0:4
BL, Fixture 4: VfB Stuttgart – Borussia M’gladbach 7:0
BL, Fixture 5: Borussia M’gladbach – FC St. Pauli 1:2
BL, Fixture 6: FC Schalke 04 – Borussia M’gladbach 2:2
BL, Fixture 7: Fixture: Borussia M’gladbach – VfL Wolfsburg 1:1
BL, Fixture 8: 1899 Hoffenheim – Borussia M’gladbach 3:2
BL, Fixture 9: Borussia M’gladbach – SV Werder Bremen 1:4

What in my eyes was very interesting to see is that Mönchengladbach wings (Arango and Idrissou) played often in central positions together with Bobadilla. They created a numeric superiority between the centre-backs and our defensive midfielders who in attack mode were meters away from them. After ball losses Mönchengladbach switched quickly to attack with Reus as leading man giving passes into free space.  Reinartz was especially pressured to make him commit mistakes.

You should expect that by now every Bundesliga coach knows how to harm our team. That’s what coach Frontzeck did yesterday!

I am still the opinion that we cannot play as open as last season. Hyypiä injury is putting us into even further problems than we already had before. I think time has come to stop “experiment Reinartz” and look for other solutions: Balitsch, Schwaab and Kadlec are candidates that could play this position. Reinartz should be moved back to defensive midfield and play the role during our most successful week of football (Stuttgart,Atletico, Bremen) that means staying back at all times closing the gap between defense and midfield. In front of him Rolfes and Vidal, the 2 wingers and the only striker.

Line-up: Borussia Mönchengladbach (bottom) vs Leverkusen (top)

Substitutions Mönchengladbach
71 min. de Camargo for Bobadilla

Substitutions Leverkusen
100 min. Rolfes for L. Bender
100 min. Jørgensen for Balitsch
103 min. Sam for Barnetta

Yellow cards: Reus (Mönchengladbach); Vidal, Helmes, Reinartz (all Leverkusen)

0:1 Derdiyok (107 min.)
1:1 Idrissou (109 min.)

Penalty shootout:
-0:1 Vidal
-1:1 Marx
-1:2 Rolfes
-2:2 de Camargo
-Helmes misses penalty
-3:2 Idrissou
-3:3 Derdiyok
-4:3 Bradley
-4:4 Kadlec
-5:4 Daems

Videos uploaded by third party with no link to We assume no responsibility for it!

or here:

"Stadion im Borussia-Park"

All was good....

That changed 70-90 seconds later

More pictures >>

Our coach Heynckes and Rudi Völler blamed yesterday’s defeat on bad luck 🙂

Sorry but that was “flip-a-coin football” we saw yesterday. The players and the coach are responsible for this defeat not the evil football god.

That Dortmund, Bremen, Hamburg, Mainz, St.Pauli, Freiburg and Hannover (all 1.Bundesliga) have also been eliminated in the 1st and 2nd Round could help as consolation. For me we missed a big opportunity to achieve something in the DFB-Pokal with so many strong teams out. We should take this competition more seriously, look at these stats:

Season 2004/05 = Round 2 – Niederlage Bremen
Season 2005/06 = Round 2 – lost to Hamburg
Season 2006/07 = Round 2 – lost to Duisburg
Season 2007/08 = Round 1 – lost to St. Pauli
Season 2008/09 = Final – lost to Bremen
Season 2009/10 = Round 2 – lost to Kaiserslautern
Season 2010/11 = Round 2 – lost to Gladbach

I am interested in your point of view! Please comment below!

4 responses to “Game Report: DFB Pokal, 2nd Round, Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Bayer Leverkusen 1:1 (6:5 after penalties)

  1. Good therapy having a blog. I emptied all my anger from yesterday in this post 🙂

  2. MagicBayer04

    Take it easy Patrick. This elimination might be very useful for the next games in Europa League and of course the Bundesliga, especially because of the amount of injured players-three competitions are too much at the moment.
    Good idea for Reinartz, he is good in the defensive midfield, everything else will be ok.

  3. I explained my point of view in the forum and I agree on everything you wrote 😉
    the only thing I’d like to add is that: we played with (almost) the best line-up (the same we use in bundesliga matches) because we can’t trust the reserves (Giefer, Vda, Kaplan, Jorgensen and Kampl (–> where is Kampl???)) and if you want to compete on three competition you must have a long list of reliable reserves…
    so maybe that defeat can be considered positive after all (as Magic said)… the team will have more time to rest…

    PS: who would you choose instead of Reinartz as central defender?

  4. @ Magic: of course this elimination releases game pressure but the next match would have been days before Christmas.

    I am just disappointed with our coach:

    -the sudden change of tactic (all after the striker were upset of playing alone and said this to publically to the newspaper Express)
    -the disorganisation at the penalties. According to an article in the newspaper today Helmes says that Vidal offered him the penalty. He was like: “Hey Pat why don’t you shoot it?” Not sure whether to believe this
    -and the declarations after the game: bad luck….and now for Schalke: “we are in excellent shape..I have seen an amazing performance on wednesday”

    I have always been a great fan of Heynckes, in this week for the first time he really changed that. Let’s see what Schalke brings, it looks like we will continue playing like this.

    @ Luca:

    Schwaab played as centre-back in that friendly against Fortuna Düsseldorf not long ago. All three players have gathered some experience in this position when they were not at Bayer 04. Schwaab in the Under-xx teams.

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