Werkself beat Gladbach in seven-goal thriller

What a rollercoaster of a game! Bayer 04 retain fourth place in the Bundesliga after an extremely entertaining match and also remain unbeaten in the league. The goals in the thrilling 4-3 win against Borussia Mönchengladbach were scored by Lucas Alario (27’, 41’), Leon Bailey (68’) and Julian Baumgartlinger (82’).

“It was an incredibly intense game,” said goalscorer Julian Baumgartlinger after the final whistle. “Gladbach pushed us all the way but we gave our all to hold on to the win. We produce a really good performance and can go into the international break in confident mood.”

In the last game before the break, Werkself coach Peter Bosz made five changes to the side that started in the 4-2 win at Hapoel Be’er Sheva and there were three changes in the back four: Lars and Sven Bender plus Edmond Tapsoba replaced Tin Jedvaj, Aleksandar Dragovic and Jonathan Tah. In addition, Julian Baumgartlinger and Moussa Diaby came back into the side with Kerem Demirbay and Exequiel Palacios dropping down to the bench. Patrik Schick is not yet ready to return to the squad.

Impressive start by the Werkself- but Gladbach score

Early on in the game it was clear that two genuine top teams in the Bundesliga were facing each other. The pace was high from the start and the Werkself were alert from the kick-off. A lightning move ended with Leon Bailey having a chance on the right but he put his shot wide of the target (2’). There was no sign of heavy legs just two days after the match in Israel. Bayer 04 were extremely lively with high pressing, lots of challenges won and several promising moves. Another one ended again with Bailey, who beat two Gladbach players on the byline and laid the ball back to Lucas Alario. But his shot was blocked by Christoph Kramer (13’).

It was even more of a blow when Mönchengladbach took a surprise lead with their first dangerous counter-attack. After Leverkusen lost the ball, the Foals countered quickly and a pass from Jonas Hofmann was luckily deflected into the path of Breel Embolo and Lukas Hradecky just mistimed his tackle on the Gladbach striker. Referee Harm Osmers awarded a penalty to Mönchengladbach and Lars Stindl made no mistake from the spot (18’).

Alario scores wonder goal - Gladbach level after VAR intervention

Bayer 04 found the right response although a long-range effort from Nadiem Amiri that ended in the back of the net was ruled out as Edmond Tapsoba was in an offside position that was judged to have obstructed the view of Gladbach’s keeper Yann Sommer (20’). Tapsoba then had a chance to make it 1-1 but Matthias Ginter cleared the header from the central defender with Sommer already beaten (25’). However, the fully deserved leveller came shortly after that with a delightful strike: In a counter-attack, Diaby broke through the middle at high speed and put the ball through to Alario on the left - and the Argentinian did what a goalscorer does when he’s on a good run: He set the ball up and then curled it into the right top corner (27‘).

But the 1-1 scoreline did not last long as the visitors used their second goalscoring opportunity to score the second goal. The strike from Stindl was initially ruled out for the Gladbach captain being offside but VAR revealed that the ball was last played by Florian Wirtz and not Marcus Thuram. The goal was given (30’). With the second lead of the game, Mönchengladbach, who had looked clinical, were somewhat stronger and had further goalscoring opportunities: Hradecky saved a long-range drive from Embolo and Ramy Bensebaini hit the bar with the rebound (34’), Thuram put shot wide on the break (40’) and the Werkself keeper pulled off an excellent reaction save to deny him from a set piece (43’).

Alario nets next brace

The two sides went into the half-time break deservedly level because the in-form goalscorer for the Werkself was on target again: Bailey picked out Wirtz on the right and he placed a cross into the middle. Alario beat Sommer to the ball and headed it into the net to level the scores (41’). The central striker thereby continues an incredibly impressive run: Alario succeeded in scoring a brace for the third Bundesliga match in succession. Outstanding, Lucas!


Bailey rewards dominant Werkself

As in the first half, the Werkself were really impressive at the start of the second 45 – and the first chance again fell to Bailey. After an energetic run down the right, his excellent curling shot was inches wide of giving the Werkself the first lead of the match (52’). Proceedings were now almost exclusively taking place in the Gladbach half with the ball moving very quickly through the Black and Red lines. However, the visitors’ defence often made the tackle – and the Rose team again and again posed a real threat: Hradecky cleared the ball far out from his goal to deny Thuram (59’), and then, after a textbook counter-attack by Gladbach, he produced an outstanding save to deny Stindl his hat-trick and substitute Hannes Wolf put the follow-up shot over the bar (67’).

Just after the double chance for Gladbach, the Werkself then found gaps – and used it to give Bayer 04 the lead for the first time: Diaby found space outside the penalty area and put the ball through to Bailey. The angle looked too tight for the Jamaican but the Werkself number nine slipped the ball through the legs of the advancing Sommer and into the back of the net to make it 3-2 (68’). Wirtz (70’) and Amiri (74’) could have increased the lead but their long-range efforts went over the bar.

Baumgartlinger makes it 4:2 - lazaro’s spectacular finale

Bayer 04 were now really on top and kept the opposition far from their own box and were closer to making it 4-2 than Mönchengladbach were to equalising. Amiri went close at the end of an impressive move with a deflected shot but the resulting corner produce the goal: Gladbach were first able to clear the cross but the Werkself struck. Lars Bender passed to Amiri who cut into the box on the right and hit a hard and low cross to the far post. Baumgartlinger arrived at just the right time to hit the ball into the back of the net to make it 4-2 (82’).

However, it was Mönchengladbach who rounded off one of the most entertaining games in the Bundesliga this season: Valentino Lazaro converted a cross from substitute Patrick Herrmann with an overhead kick into the left top corner - a candidate for goal of the season (90+4’). But it did not affect the outcome of the game. The Werkself finally and deservedly ran out 4-3 winners and thereby remain unbeaten after seven games in the Bundesliga.

Match stats:

Bayer 04: Hradecky – L. Bender (Dragovic 85’), S. Bender, Tapsoba, Wendell - Baumgartlinger - Wirtz, Amiri - Bailey, Alario (Bellarabi 80’), Diaby

Borussia Mönchengladbach: Sommer - Lainer (Plea 74’), Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini - Kramer (Benes 74’), Neuhaus (Wolf 46’) - Hofmann, Stindl, Thuram (Herrmann 80’) - Embolo (Lazaro 63’)

Goals: 0-1 Stindl (18’ pen.), 1-1 Alario (27’), 1-2 Stindl (30’), 2-2 Alario (41’), 3-2 Bailey (68’), 4-2 Baumgartlinger (82’), 4-3 Lazaro (90+4’)

Referee: Harm Osmers (Hannover)

Booked: Hradecky, L. Bender, Wirtz, Diaby - Bensebaini, Embolo

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