Borussia Mönchengladbach put in a fearless display at home to European heavyweights FC Barcelona on Wednesday evening, but ultimately their efforts were not enough as the Foals slipped to a 2-1 defeat in their UEFA Champions League Group C encounter.
Goals: 1-0 Hazard (34'), 1-1 Turan (65'), 1-2 Pique (74')
Buoyed by their positive start to the Bundesliga season, Gladbach began confidently and refused to be cowed by their illustrious visitors. Although Barcelona had a couple of promising openings for superstars Neymar and Luis Suarez, it was the Foals who drew first blood. After robbing Sergio Busquets of possession high up the pitch, Mahmoud Dahoud and Raffael launched a swift break, with the former eventually finding Thorgan Hazard at the back post for an easy tap-in.
Barcelona increased the tempo after the break as they sought to force an equaliser, but Gladbach maintained their composure and looked comfortable on the ball, even if they lost some of their attacking thrust when Raffael was forced off with an injury. The Spaniards did eventually pull level when substitute Arda Turan lashed home from Neymar's through ball, before Gerard Pique put them ahead from close range following a corner. Drained by their efforts, the Foals ran out of steam somewhat towards the end and were unable to level, but deserve great credit for a bold performance.