It’s been a horrific start to the season for Borussia Mönchengladbach and just as you thought thing’s couldn’t get worse Lucien Favre resigned at the start of the week. The Swiss head coach has done a tremendous job at Die Fohlen and the club suddenly have a lot of question marks to answer. One being how will the respond in their first game without their leader?
The first opponents post-Favre were Augsburg, who like Gladbach have struggled in the early stages of the season, only managing the one victory. Could they make the most of Gladbach’s problem’s?
The first chance of the game fell to Mahmoud Dahoud, the youngster linked up with Patrick Herrmann and after the one-two he couldn’t get the ball out of his feet and after some hesitation he chipped his effort wide.
Gladbach didn’t take long to get their first goal in the post-Favre era, Dahoud came inside and set the ball back to Raffael who was arriving into the area, his effort was well blocked and it fell perfectly to the wide open Fabian Johnson, the American calmly fired past Marwin Hitz.
It was a fantastic start from the host’s and they were dominating, just after the fifteen minute mark they doubled their lead. Raffael delivered a freekick from the left side into the area and Granit Xhaka managed to break free of his maker to head home from close range.
The action didn’t stop there either, two minutes after making it 2-0 Gladbach made it three. Augsburg were left stunned as Raffael picked up another assist thanks to Lars Stindl picking up the ball on the edge of the area and firing a beautiful effort into the top corner, well out of Hitz’s reach.
Blink and you would’ve missed it, once again two minutes after finding the net Gladbach found it for a fourth time. The youngster Dahoud made a great start to the game and capped his performance off with his first senior goal. Herrmann nicked the ball off Ragnar Klavan and Dahoud wasted no time in bringing the ball forward before striking a low from range into the bottom corner. The goal from Dahoud meant that after just twenty-one minute’s Gladbach scored the fastest 4-0 lead in the Bundesliga this century.
Die Fohlen were confident and looked like scoring every time they went forward, Augsburg couldn’t find their feet in the game until the thirty-eight minute when they managed a shot on target. Ja-Cheol Koo headed down to Tim Matavž inside the area, his shot however didn’t provide problems as Yann Sommer comfortably saved.
Augsburg got what they needed to potentially spark a comeback, just five minutes into the second half they were awarded a penalty. Oscar Wendt was seen catching Dong-Won Ji with an elbow, another penalty awarded against Gladbach and Paul Verhaegh made sure they were punished by slotting into the bottom left corner just out of Sommer’s reach.
Augsburg dominated the opening stages of the second half, however they struggled to grab another goal to make things more interesting. The home side certainly took the foot off the gas and their first chance of the half came after the hour mark. Raffael arrived in the area and forced Hitz into action with a header from a cross.
Gladbach started to regain control of the fixture after that chance and with twenty minutes left they came close to a fifth. Dahoud played in Stindl, who then played the ball across to Ibrahima Traoré and the substitute was denied by a great Hitz save.
Controversially Augsburg were given another penalty as Daniel Siebert felt Xhaka did enough to foul Koo. The skipper Verhaegh stepped up again and scored again by placing the spot kick in the same corner.
Gladbach came close twice near the end with efforts from Traoré and Raffael both striking the woodwork. A deserved victory for Gladbach and that win will bring a smile to their fan’s faces after a tough week off the pitch.
Gladbach will go into the weekend’s game with plenty of confidence with their first victory of the season. Their host’s on Saturday are struggling Stuttgart, who like Gladbach picked up their first win of the season tonight. For Augsburg they’ll look to pick themselves up for the visit of Hoffenheim on Saturday, they too find themselves without a win this season.