Marcus Thuram netted his first Bundesliga goal in almost four months on Saturday, but Borussia Mönchengladbach had to settle for a draw against Union Berlin after Nico Schlotterbeck's late equaliser.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-1 Union Berlin
Goals: 1-0 Thuram (56'), 1-1 Schlotterbeck (80')
The 10,000 fans at Borussia-Park will have been happy to see their team's top scorers from last season, Thuram and Alassane Plea, back in the Gladbach starting line-up for the first time since early June, especially following last week's 3-0 loss at the Signal Iduna Park. After a quiet start, Plea almost put the Foals ahead following a superb mazy dribble, ghosting past two defenders but failing to get the better of Union keeper Andreas Luthe. The visitors grew into the game and had their best opportunity on the half-hour, with Dutch winger Sheraldo Becker – who had already gone close – rattling the crossbar after a slick team move. Plea remained the hosts' biggest goal threat, testing Luthe again from a Jonas Hofmann corner, but the contest remained finely poised at 0-0 heading into the break.
The Foals came flying out of the traps in the second half, and shortly after centre-back Matthias Ginter tried his luck from the edge of the area, Thuram put them in front. The Frenchman outmuscled Christopher Trimmel to head in another Hofmann corner from close range, with the ball taking a slight deflection off the Union captain on its way in. The game rather petered out thereafter, with Gladbach coach Marco Rose withdrawing Thuram and switching to a back three, bolstering his defence with the introduction of Oscar Wendt. The hosts looked to be comfortably closing on three points when Schlotterbeck threw a spanner in the works, connecting with a Marcus Ingvartsen corner and looping a brilliant header over Lars Stindl and into the back of the net. Both sides pushed for a winner in the closing stages, with Ramy Bensebaini almost scoring at both ends, but they ultimately had to be content with a share of the spoils.
- Thuram scored his first goal since Gladbach's home meeting with Union on Matchday 29 of last season, when he netted a brace in a 4-1 win.
- The Frenchman and his compatriot Plea were the Foals' top scorers in the Bundesliga last season with 10 goals apiece.
- Schlotterbeck scored his first Bundesliga goal in his 18th top-flight outing.
- Borussia and Switzerland No.1 Yann Sommer made his 200th Bundesliga appearance in the game. Only five other non-German goalkeepers have reached the milestone.
- Union's Christian Gentner, who is currently out with a calf injury, has made more Bundesliga appearances (409) than any other active player, just ahead of Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer (406).
- Union are Max Kruse's sixth Bundesliga club, after Werder Bremen, St. Pauli, Freiburg, Gladbach and Wolfsburg. The 14-time Germany international netted 23 goals in 66 Bundesliga appearances for Gladbach across the 2013/14 and 2014/15 campaigns.
Watch: Thuram: "I hope we can win next week"
Gladbach: Sommer - Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini - Kramer, Neuhaus (Herrmann 85') - Thuram (Wendt 70'), Stindl (c), Hofmann - Plea (Wolf 75')
Unused subs: Sippel, Lang, Traore, Jantschke, Reitz
Out: Benes (ankle), Embolo (match fitness), Lazaro (calf), Poulsen (shoulder), Zakaria (match fitness)
Coach: Marco Rose
Union: Luthe - Friedrich, Knoche, Schlotterbeck - Trimmel (c) (Ryerson 73'), Prömel (Griesbeck 88'), Andrich, Lenz - Becker (Ingvartsen 57'), Bülter (Teuchert 74') - Awoniyi (Kruse 57')
Unused subs: Moser, Mees, Hübner, Gießelmann
Out: Endo (thigh), Gentner (calf), Ujah (knee)
Coach: Urs Fischer