Borussia Mönchengladbach – TSG 1899 Hoffenheim: Hecking’s Clever Changes Allow Gladbach To Equalize Twice (2-2)
In a direct duel for a European competition spot, Hoffenheim controlled the first half through possession. By overloading space between the lines, Hoffenheim were creating chances at will, while Gladbach lacked penetrating power. In the second half, Gladbach switched formation, which allowed them to make use of space in wide areas. Exactly this led to a late equalizer.
Tactical analysis and match report by Max Bergmann.
Two sides still aiming at qualifying for next season’s European competitions in a direct matchup. What’s not to like?
Gladbach started very well into the season and briefly flirted with participating in the title race, until their performances dropped in the second half of the campaign. Hoffenheim on the other hand constantly stayed around rank seven and missed the opportunity to move up into higher regions of the standings multiple times.
Gladbach started the game with a 5-3-2 formation. Different to their typical 4-1-4-1, Gladbach aimed at defending Hoffenheim’s powerful attack with a back five. Therefore, Matthias Ginter moved between Nico Elvedi and Tony Jantschke in central defense. Up front, attacker Alassane Pléa was tasked to provide depth and took over the role of the target man for crosses, while his striking partner Thorgan Hazard was supposed to connect midfield and attack by dropping into space between the lines.
In one of his last matches at Hoffenheim, Julian Nagelsmann lined his side up in a 3-4-2-1 formation. The two central midfielders were Florian Grillitsch and Kerem Demirbay, who were primarily used to close down the halfspaces If you divide the field in five vertical lanes, the halfspaces are the lanes that are not on the wing and . . .