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Stindl’s brace comes too late: Leverkusen celebrate Wirtz’s comeback and winning streak

Stindl’s brace comes too late
Leverkusen celebrate Wirtz comeback and winning streak

Florian Wirtz is back in the Bundesliga. Almost a year after his cruciate ligament rupture, he is on the pitch for the first time. His Leverkusen celebrate and at the same time spoil the debut of Gladbach’s new keeper Jonas Omlin. Lars Stindl can no longer change that.

Bayer Leverkusen thoroughly spoiled the Bundesliga debut for Borussia Mönchengladbach’s new regular keeper Jonas Omlin in the west duel and shot their way out of the relegation zone at the start of the new year’s competitive game. The effective pacemakers of coach Xavi Alonso managed the 3: 2 (2: 0) in Gladbach the fourth Bundesliga win in a row and the sixth success in a row against Borussia.

The victory was crowned by the comeback of top talent Florian Wirtz, who in the last 20 minutes played for the first time in the Bundesliga since tearing his cruciate ligament ten months ago. Florian Neuhaus also made a comeback for Gladbach after his cruciate ligament injury last September.

Conceivably bad start for Omlin

But Lars Stindl (82nd minute / 90th + 3) did not get more than the connecting goals. Bayer goals from Mitchel Bakker (21st), Amine Adli (43rd) and Nadiem Amiri (67th) made for the worst possible start to the Gladbach era after goalkeeper Yann Sommer (34) left.

Borussia’s long-time number one, who has matured into one of the best goalkeepers in Europe on the Lower Rhine and in the Swiss national team, left Gladbach last week after eight and a half years for a good eight million with the goal of FC Bayern Munich. For the transfer fee, Borussia Sommers lured compatriot Omlin (29) from HSC Montpellier to Borussia Park. The debut of the Swiss number three was extremely unfortunate. The first good attack by the Bayer team, who could hardly get out of their own defense in the first 20 minutes, led to a deficit.

The surprising lead of the guests was favored by a double mistake by Gladbach’s coveted left-back Ramy Bensebaini. The Algerian initially frittered away the ball while going forward and was then unable to stop opponent Jeremie Frimpong when running back. Adam Hlozek put his preparatory work on the post before Bakker dusted off.

Until then, Gladbach dominated the game and had significantly more possession. However, without top striker Marcus Thuram, who was absent due to knee problems, coach Daniel Farke’s team were far too harmless in attack.

Suddenly Bayer still has trouble

Leverkusen had a lot more speed in the transition game. Again and again the quick attackers of the guests rushed away from the Gladbachers after losing the ball. Summer successor Omlin made a brilliant save against Frimpong after almost half an hour in such a scene, but was powerless just before the half-time whistle against Adli when he scored his first goal of the season. Nico Elvedi had previously lost the sprint duel against the French.

After a good ten minutes in the second half, in which Gladbach got off to a better start again, Farke reacted: In Stindl, Hannes Wolf and Joe Scally, three new players came on at the same time. The attacking game remained too cumbersome.

The situation was different for Leverkusen, who were given more and more space to counterattack and switched without frills: just a few minutes after coming on as a substitute, Amiri increased Bayer’s first shot on goal in the second half to make it 0:3. Omlin didn’t stand a chance. The guests survived Borussia’s rearing up in the final phase with a little effort.

With the win, the Werkself are now in ninth place with 21 points from 16 games and are just one point behind Borussia. Leverkusen will continue against VfL Bochum on Wednesday, while Gladbach will play at FC Augsburg at the same time.

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