Bayer Leverkusen frustrated by Borussia Mönchengladbach


Bayer Leverkusen dominated regional rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday but were held to a goalless draw, setting up a title six-pointer with Bayern Munich in two weeks.

Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 Borussia Mönchengladbach

There was pressure on Leverkusen with Bayern reducing their lead atop the Bundesliga to one point after their 3-2 win at Augsburg earlier on Saturday, and with Jonathan Tah suspended and Exequiel Palacios injured, Xabi Alonso had some juggling to do. Nadiem Amiri, who replaced Palacios in midfield, had the first chance of the game, his powerful shot not dipping in time to trouble Moritz Nicolas. Jonas Hofmann and Florian Wirtz then had an attempt each on the Gladbach goal before the Foals returned fire, with Matěj Kovář - who had surprisingly replaced Lukáš Hrádecký in the Bayer goal - saving well from Luca Netz. Netz was then unlucky that a Franck Honorat cross didn't fall for him as the visitors enjoyed a good spell. Álex Grimaldo nearly had the final say of the half with a curling effort from outside the box, but it stayed wide and the deadlock was intact at the break. 

Leverkusen had a gilt-edged chance 10 minutes after the restart when they burst forward on the counter, but Jeremie Frimpong pulled a left-footed shot wide after Wirtz had played him in. The Dutch nominal right-back was kicking himself again moments later when he mis-hit Grimaldo's cutback, and Grimaldo then fired over himself with the goal at his mercy. Yet another Frimpong chance was taken off his toe by Florian Neuhaus as Gladbach held on. Former Bayer boss Gerardo Seoane rang the changes late on, with Christoph Kramer, Shio Fukuda and Nathan Ngoumou following recent cancer survivor Stefan Lainer into the fray, but Leverkusen continued to dominate. Patrik Schick glanced a header wide before Nathan Tella fluffed his lines late on and it ended 0-0.

Match stats

  • Leverkusen's 49 points after 19 games is the third-most in Bundesliga history. Only Bayern managed more under Pep Guardiola in 2013/14 and 2015/16 - Alonso played in the latter campaign.
  • Schick made his 100th Bundesliga appearance, but couldn't find what would have been his 50th goal.
  • Frustrated today, Bayer's 15 wins so far is still more than they managed in all of last season.
  • Seoane returned for the first time since losing his job at the BayArena in early October 2022. His Borussia side lost the reverse fixture 3-0.
  • Gladbach have only won one of their last six Bundesliga games - a 3-1 win over VfB Stuttgart two weeks ago.
  • Despite their poor run, USMNT striker Jordan has scored in his previous two games to take his season haul to four - already matching his numbers for Union Berlin last year.

Watch: Alonso: "There are still so many games to play"


Leverkusen: Kovář - Stanišić, Andrich (c), Hincapié - Frimpong, Xhaka, Amiri (Tella 68'), Grimaldo - Hofmann (Hložek 84'), Wirtz - Schick
Unused subs: Hrádecký, Fosu-Mensah, Münz, Mbamba, Puerta, Izekor, Onyeka
Out: Adli (international duty), Arthur (thigh), Boniface (groin), Kossounou (international duty), Palacios (thigh), Tah (suspended), Tapsoba (international duty)
Coach: Xabi Alonso

Gladbach: Nicolas - Scally, Friedrich, Elvedi - Honorat (Lainer 70'), Neuhaus (Fukuda 79'), Weigl (c), Koné (Kramer 79'), Netz - Jordan (Ngoumou 79'), Hack (Reitz 62')
Unused subs: Olschowsky, Chiarodia, Jantschke, Ranos
Out: Čvančara (ankle), Itakura (international duty), Omlin (shoulder), Pléa (ankle), Ullrich (shoulder), Wöber (ill)
Coach: Gerardo Seoane