What the papers say: 'Creme de la creme of the Bundesliga'

After the 2-1 defeat for Bayer 04 at Gladbach the media praise the high quality of the match. The legitimacy of the Gladbach goals is also up for discussion.
© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

The disappointment of the Werkself after the 2-1 away defeat at Borussia Mönchengladbach in the opening game of the season is easy to understand. “1-1 might have been a fairer result. We played well in our first game and put in a great effort but Borussia made more of one chance. We have to accept it,” said coach Roger Schmidt after en exciting encounter between two top sides.

The media also take a positive view of the intensity and level of the match, for example in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung: “It was a clash between two Champions League participants and that was reflected in the intensity of the Saturday night meeting between Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at the start of the Bundesliga campaign. 52,000 spectators at Borussia Park experienced a constantly exciting and fascinating game between the teams that finished third and fourth last term with Gladbach deservedly winning 2-1. Hahn’s opening goal for Gladbach (45+1) was cancelled out by Leverkusen substitute Pohjanpalo (79) before Stindl (83) netted the winner for Borussia. Over the 90 minutes both teams demonstrated they can be part of the creme de la creme of the Bundesliga this term.”

The Cologne newspaper Express adopts the following position: “At the end of a lively spectacle Gladbach beat Bayer 2-1... From the first minute the match was a thrilling encounter between two teams that gave no quarter. Bayer tried to control proceedings and Gladbach replied in kind. And, at the crucial moments, they were more ruthless and smarter. Bayer levelled through the sub Pohjanpalo. But Stindl put Borussia back in front because the three Bayer players Wendell, Kampl and Jedvaj were not in line and the weak ref Felix Brych failed to see the offside. Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt thought the result was unfair. ‘A draw would have been ok,' he said and he was also annoyed about a handball that should have led to a penalty being awarded.”

The online edition of the Kölner Stadt Anzeiger headline read “That was good” and the report continued: “The intensity and passion of the two teams was evident as they battled for every inch of ground in a sweltering temperature of over 35 degrees. In the hurly-burly encounter quality football shone through as both teams refused to accept setbacks. If this match had been the opening game of the Bundesliga campaign on Friday night and broadcast to all the countries in the world then the bosses at the DFL would not have been ashamed of the embarrassingly clear 6-0 victory for Bayern Munich over.
Commenting on the man-of-the-match the article said: “If the game had finished as a draw that award would have had to go to goalkeeper Bernd Leno. The number two to Manuel Neuer in the national side kept his team in the game with four saves in one-on-ones and he would have been the hero of the day if Lars Stindl had not scored a late goal.”

The Kicker analysis discusses the two Gladbach goals: “With the opening goal from André Hahn, Jonathan Tah was unlucky with a defensive header (45 + 1) from a quickly taken free kick from Christoph Kramer (the ball was still moving slightly) and the winner from Lars Stindl saw the defence move up too far and they were beaten too easily by sub Thorgan Hazard on 85 minutes. It was a bitter blow too – as Schmidt later described: ‘That goal was offside.’ The match winner Stindl was slightly offside when Hazard played the pass. Both Borussia goals could have been ruled out even if that was hard to judge given the speed of the action.

© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

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