Mönchengladbach - Borussia Mönchengladbach are still without a win in 2014 after throwing away a two-goal advantage to draw 2-2 at home to 1899 Hoffenheim.
Bright start for Gladbach
The afternoon began well for the hosts, who raced in front thanks to goals from Patrick Herrmann and Tony Jantschke. However, second-half strikes from Roberto Firmino and Sejad Salihovic ensured the points were shared come the final whistle.
Despite having failed to win any of their previous six Bundesliga fixtures, Gladbach started brightly and immediately went on the attack, evidently eager to test a Hoffenheim backline that had already conceded 44 times prior to kick-off. It didn't take long for the hosts to break through either, as Herrmann superbly lobbed the ball into the empty net from 30 yards after goalkeeper Koen Casteels made a hash of his clearance.
Gladbach sought to press home their advantage and continued to pour forward. Their next goal was not long in coming, with Jantschke heading in from close range after the guests struggled to clear a corner. However, it is no coincidence that Hoffenheim, in spite of their frailties at the back, are the league's third-highest scorers - behind just FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund - and they posed a constant threat going forward, with Kevin Volland lively down the right flank and Salihovic menacing with set pieces.
End to end
A wonderfully free-flowing counterattack almost resulted in Gladbach's third, when one-touch interplay between Raffael and Max Kruse released Herrmann through on goal. The nimble winger's shot beat Casteels once more but Niklas Süle slid in just in time to hook the ball off the line. It was the last chance of the half, allowing the hosts to go into the break satisfied with their afternoon's work so far.
That was soon to change after the restart as Hoffenheim emerged determined to make amends. The guests concentrated their efforts down the right wing, where Volland and right-back Fabian Johnson were doubling up on Gladbach's Filip Daems, and their pace created several openings. Firmino was the beneficiary in the 56th minute when he beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen to the ball at the near post to prod home.
Sensing blood, the visitors continued to commit men forward in search of an equaliser. And while Gladbach managed to keep their guests at arm's length, the Foals' attacking formation meant they were never just going to run the clock down and defend their lead. The result was an open, end-to-end encounter played at breakneck speed.
Hoffenheim's persistence paid off in the closing stages as Martin Stranzl felled Johnson in the box after allowing the USA international to nip in front of him while chasing a seemingly lost cause. Dead-ball specialist Salihovic made no mistake from the ensuing penalty, salvaging an unlikely point for Makus Gisdol's side and forcing Gladbach to wait at least another week in their quest for victory.
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