All square between Arminia Bielefeld and Borussia Mönchengladbach
An entertaining encounter at the SchücoArena ended in a 1-1 draw after Alassane Plea’s diving header for Borussia Mönchengladbach cancelled out Jani Serra’s curling effort for Arminia Bielefeld.
Arminia Bielefeld 1-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Goals: 1-0 Serra 19’ (assist: Wimmer), 1-1 Plea 38‘ (assist: Hofmann)
Although both sides came into the game looking precariously over their shoulders, the tone was quickly set when Jonas Hofmann was played in and forced a smart save out of Stefan Ortega. Patrick Wimmer had produced a rabona assist last matchday as Bielefeld won at Eintracht Frankfurt. This time the Austrian went with a back heel between the defender’s legs to play in Janni Serra, who performed his best Arjen Robben impression by showing close control as he cut onto his left foot and curled an unstoppable shot inside the far post. Gladbach saw most of the ball but both teams posed a threat. Yet it was the Foals who hit next as Hofmann volleyed a Ramy Bensebaini cross back across goal and Alassane Plea pulled out a diving header to send the game into the break at 1-1.
The Foals began the second half in the ascendency as well but without creating much. The best chances would in fact fall for the hosts, however. Fabian Kunze was played in by a combination of Wimmer and Serra but failed to beat Yann Sommer one-on-one. The Gladbach goalkeeper was then called into action again as Nathan de Medina made a sweet connection from dead centre in the box. Again, the Swiss shot-stopper was perfectly placed to keep things level. The impressive Wimmer picked up his fifth yellow card of the campaign for preventing a quick free-kick so will miss next week’s game at Hoffenheim. US international George Bello was then introduced for his debut after signing on deadline day and had to face a barrage of Gladbach attacks from the off. But the defender and his new team stood firm to put four points between themselves and VfB Stuttgart in the automatic drop zone – still only a point behind opponents Borussia.
- Serra’s goal was the first time Bielefeld had scored at home to Gladbach in the Bundesliga since March 2003. They’d drawn blanks in five meetings since then.
- Hofmann is without a goal in four Bundesliga games but has created Gladbach’s last two.
- Two of Plea’s last three goals have been with his head. It’s his fourth headed goal in total in the Bundesliga.
- Bielefeld are on the longest current unbeaten run in the division at six games. It’s five in a row at home.
- Sommer made his 250th Bundesliga appearance for the Foals. Uwe Kamps is the only goalkeeper to have made more for the club (390).
- Gladbach maintained their strong recent record against Bielefeld, having won nine and now drawn three of the past 12 meetings.
Watch: Bello on "dream" Bundesliga debut
Bielefeld: Ortega (c) - Brunner, Ramos, Nilsson, de Medina (Bello 71’) – Kunze (Prietl 87’), Vasiliadis (Schöpf 62’) - Wimmer, Okugawa (Castro 87’), Krüger - Serra (Klos 71’)
Unused subs: Schulz, Lasme, Ince, Fernandes
Out: Andrade (ankle), Pieper (unknown)
Coach: Frank Kramer
Gladbach: Sommer (c) - Ginter, Elvedi, Friedrich - Lainer, Neuhaus, Kone, Bensebaini - Plea, Hofmann - Embolo (Thuram 82’)
Unused subs: Sippel, Herrmann, Beyer, Netz, Benes, Jantschke, Scally, Noß
Out: Kramer (not included), Stindl (knee)
Coach: Adi Hütter
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