Mönchengladbach - Borussia Mönchengladbach came from behind to deny Borussia Dortmund victory in a contest which came to life in the second half on Sunday.
Mario Götze put the champions in front from the penalty spot in the 31st minute and they went on to dominate the first half, albeit without adding to that solitary strike. Gladbach upped their game after the interval and Amin Younes’ first Bundesliga goal in the 67th minute earned them a share of the spoils.
Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp revealed the mystery surrounding who would fill in as striker for the suspended Robert Lewandowski and Julian Schieber only when the players actually lined up. Then, it became clear that Götze would be the most advanced player with Marco Reus, back at the Borussia Park for the first time since switching Borussias last summer, in support. The lack of an out-and-out striker did not appear to upset the defending champions, though, as they set to work with their usual flair and vigour.
When Marc-Andre ter Stegen brought Götze down inside the area after half an hour, Dortmund’s next big decision was due: who, in the absence of Lewandowski, would assume the responsibility for taking the spot kick. Having filled Lewandowski’s boots in a positional sense, Götze stepped up to take his first ever penalty in the Bundesliga - and duly drilled the ball past ter Stegen, no stranger to penalties himself with Gladbach having now conceded seven this season.
Whether it was a knock-on from their UEFA Europa League asignment n Rome on Thursday night, or the more likely fear of leaving too many gaps for their opponents, Gladbach were up to ths point turning in n exceptionally passive performance. Indeed, they did not not manage a single shot on goal before the break for the first time since losing 2-0 in Dortmund last April. Something had to change in the second half, and it did in the form of Younes.
Having shown glimpses of his skill in the 2-0 defeat at S.S. Lazio, the 19-year-old prospect showed further signs of maturity as he led the Foals’ charge. His shot in the 56th minute was the first time Roman Weidenfeller was tested, yet it was only a sighter from a man who has appeared more often for Gladbach’s reserves this season. Younes' next effort ended in the back of the net, and his first competitive goal for the profesionals brought Lucien Favre’s side level midway through the second half.
Oscar Wendt’s cross was deflected to the feet of Younes by Neven Subotic, and he took aim from the edge of the area with a shot which beat Weidenfeller with the aid of a deflection off Lukasz Piszczek. The game was thrown wide open once again and Gladbach, having ditched their earlier prudence, gave as good as they got with the kind of counter-attacking football which took them to fourth in the Bundesliga last season. There was not to be a winner this time though as a frenetic finale ended with the teams still level.
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