Borussia Mönchengladbach – Hertha BSC: Faltering Foals Find Another Win (1-0)
Two misfiring sides made for an intriguing Friday night fixture in the Bundesliga, as Borussia Mönchengladbach hosted Hertha Berlin. Both clubs appointed new head coaches in the summer, and with this being their fourth competitive fixture in charge, we began to see some patterns developing.
Tactical analysis and match report by Neel Shelat.
Borussia Mönchengladbach had fallen a fair way from their Champions League qualification in 2019/20 as they finished outside the top half of the table last season. With long-serving sporting director Max Eberl leaving in the summer, Gladbach were undergoing a period of transition. They had started this season well as they were third behind Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund after two matchdays, but the stoppage-time equalizer conceded against Schalke last weekend must have left a bitter taste still lingering in their mouths.
Hertha were in a lot more trouble last season, as they finished 16th and only stayed in the top-flight after fending off Hamburg in the promotion-relegation play-offs. They had to resort to some fairly primitive football under Felix Magath towards the latter half of last season, but he was only given interim charge. His successor, Sandro Schwarz, instilled an almost polar opposite style of football during his time at Dinamo Moscow, and he has attempted to bring that to Hertha too.
Gladbach made no changes to their starting eleven from last week, so Yann Sommer started in goal with a back four of Joseph Scally, Ko Itakura, Nico Elvedi and Rami Bensebaini in front of him. Christoph Kramer had Kouadio Koné for company in holding midfield whilst Florian Neuhaus was in front of them. Jonas Hofmann and Alassane Pléa were on either side of Marcus Thuram . . .