The battle of the two mid-table sides ended all-square on Friday night with Borussia Mönchengladbach and Werder Bremen sharing a 2-2 draw. All the goals came in a somewhat chaotic second half where mistakes were the order of the day. Marvin Ducksch equalised twice for the visitors after goals from Marcus Thuram and Florian Neuhaus. His second came in the 88th minute to snatch a point from the jaws of defeat.
1. Friday night chaos at the Borussia Park
As far as entertainment goes the 2-2 draw certainly provided a spectacle, but at times in the second period the game became more than a little chaotic with both sides exchanging attacks that ended in mistakes/ giving away possession. Both sides were able to capitalise on their opponents giving the ball away with Thuram and Marvin Ducksch’s second goal prime examples of this. Both coaches will want to see these errors ironed out, but for the neutral it certainly provided plenty of talking points.
2. Inconsistency is still the issue for Gladbach
As Gladbach trainer Daniel Farke said after the match, it will feel like a defeat for the Foals rather than a point gained. To be leading 2-1 at home going into the final two minutes and then to emerge without a win will hurt. This has been the story of the season really for Borussia, who are struggling to free themselves from mid-table anonymity and push for a European place.
The talent the squad has on paper should be enough to achieve more, but they fail to show the consistency we see from the likes of Union Berlin and Mainz (so-called smaller teams above them in the table). Their last win came against Bayern Munich which shows they can beat the best, but then building on that has proved the stumbling block.
3. Werder’s traditional front two on song
Yet again it was the forward pairing of Niklas Füllkrug and Marvin Ducksch that was the key for Werder. This time Ducksch was the hero with his two goals, but the link up play with his strike partner Füllkrug was the important factor (especially for the late equaliser where they combined superbly).
Both know each other’s game perfectly and know where the other will be and what they are going to do. They are a nightmare for defenders in the air and are equally adept combing on the ground. Füllkrug didn’t manage to add to his 15 goals as he seeks to win the Torschutzenkanone, but he will be pleased for his strike partner Ducksch.
4. Is Luca Netz ready to replace Ramy Bensebaini?
Ramy Bensebaini’s enforced absence through suspension gave Luca Netz the chance for a Bundesliga start- something that will be happening a lot more next season with Bensebaini departing the club in the summer.
His talent and potential are clear to see, but a rather flaky performance against Werder will raise a few questions as to whether he is fully ready to step into the left-back berth and make it his own. To be fair Joe Scally on the right had an equally flaky night, but in terms of a like-for-like replacement for Bensebaini, the jury will still be out for Netz.
5. Florian Neuhaus is back!
The disappointment of dropping two points will be hard to take, but there will be some consolation taken by the fact that midfielder Florian Neihaus got himself on the scoresheet for the first time in an absolute age and is seemingly back to full effectiveness following long-term knee injury.
Coming back from a cruciate ligament injury always takes time, but his well taken goal against Werder and his all-round performance showed that Gladbach fans can expect to see him back to his best real soon. He will have his eyes firmly set on making it back into the German national squad and playing at the 2024 European Championships on home soil.