Munich - As the dust settles on a miserable night in Europe for Borussia Mönchengladbach, Lucien Favre's side are left to reflect on what might have been, with the odds heavily stacked against them overturning a 3-1 Champions League first-leg play-off defeat in Kyiv next week.

"We conceded two silly goals. Of course it's difficult to come back into the game against such a difficult team," said defender Filip Daems. "We played well and had the chances to score a second, but instead they scored two from two opportunities. We tried everything but after the own goal it was all over."

Flipped on its head


It had all started so well for the Foals as Finnish midfielder Alexander Ring fired the Bundesliga side ahead, but the pendulum swung in Kyiv's favour through goals from Taras Mikhalik and Andriy Yarmolenko. As if a bad night's work couldn't get any worse, a Luuk de Jong own goal made a tough ask near-impossible late on.

"We played pretty well, scored a very nice goal early on, but you can't lose your concentration so easily. They're a very good team, which we just found out. You don't just play for 30 mins, you play over 90 minutes," said head coach Lucien Favre. "We need to forget about this defeat, but it'll be difficult."

Bundesliga and back again


Favre's men will, at the very least, have to put the result to the back of their minds as they prepare to kick off their Bundesliga campaign at home to 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday. But following their heroic efforts of the previous season, fans might be beginning to wonder if the loss of Marco Reus to near-neighbours Borussia Dortmund could turn out to be the difference between a top-four and top-ten finish. "We're missing thrust up front, our passes aren't penetrating enough," said Favre.

On the face of it, Mönchengladbach's chances of overhauling the Ukrainian side next week look pretty bleak, but Mike Hanke and Co, though disappointed and frustrated, haven't given up all hope just yet. "I'm optimistic, anything is possible, but they're very strong at home," said the former German international. "I'm very annoyed. It'll be a very tough game. We'll do everything we can to get through," added goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Having managed the miraculous turnaround from relegation candidates to Champions League pretenders in just 18 months, it would be unwise to write Gladbach off just yet.

Christopher Mayer-Lodge