1-0, Zakaria 5‘. 2-0, Moisander 33‘ (OG). 2-1, Delaney 59‘. 2-2, Jóhannsson 78‘.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-2 Werder Bremen: Second half comeback denies Foals all three points

Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-2 Werder Bremen: Second half comeback denies Foals all three points

Thomas Delaney and Aron Jóhannsson earn their side a draw to pull them ever-so-slightly further away from the bottom three.

James Rees

Werder Bremen recovered from 2-0 down to hold Borussia Mönchengladbach on a snowy Bundesliga Friday evening.

Denis Zakaria had put the hosts ahead in the fifth minute, before his cross was turned into his own net by Niklas Moisander.

Thomas Delaney brought Bremen back into the game after the break, before Aron Jóhannsson came off the bench to score the equaliser.

Zakaria leads Gladbach through the snow

After four defeats in a row, Gladbach returned to form with a 1-0 win at Hannover 96, and unsurprisingly Dieter Hecking decided to stick with the same eleven for this game. Bremen won the Nordderby against Hamburger SV by the same scoreline last weekend, but they made three changes – Theodor Gebre Selassie, Zlatko Junuzovic and Florian Kainz were replaced by Robert Bauer, Marco Friedl (making a first Bremen appearance on loan from Bayern Munich) and Ishak Belfodil, with Florian Kohfeldt switching to three at the back.

With snow falling in the far west of Germany, the Foals took the lead with the first meaningful attack of the game. Zakaria would have plenty of influence in the first half, and his ball into the middle was played right back to him by Delaney, from a tight angle on the left he was able to strike the ball past Jiri Pavlenka.

Bremen responded well to going behind. Ludwig Augustinsson had a shot blocked by Jannik Vestergaard, who was then beaten by Belfodil. His cross could have led to an own goal from Matthais Ginter, however Yann Sommer put the ball wide. Meanwhile a cross from Delaney, looking for Maximilian Eggestein, drifted wide when it might have been better to shoot.

Despite that, the hosts would then double their advantage. Captain Lars Stindl found Zakaria, who crossed the ball in. Moisander at the near post though didn’t seem too know exactly where it was, and it went off his foot and in.

Both sides had chances before the break. Philipp Bargfrede put the ball over after a mistake at the back by Stindl, whilst Raúl Bobadilla, still without a goal since his return to Gladbach from FC Augsburg, struck over instead of teeing up his captain, before having a shot, more unintentional than the own goal, saved by Pavlenka after a poor ball across from Bauer.

Delaney goal helps to trigger comeback

Both defences failed to come out for the second half as more opportunities came the way of both attacks. Delaney put a shot wide before Jóhannsson, on at half-time, had a header saved by Sommer. At the other end, Nico Elvedi headed wide, before Jonas Hofmann had an effort at the post blocked by the arm of Eggestein. VAR was consulted over the possibility of a penalty, but it wasn’t given.

If it had been given, Bremen could have been 3-0 down, but instead they soon found themselves right back in the game. Delaney probably couldn’t believe his luck as he was allowed to run into acres of space in the box to head home a corner from Max Kruse, however Reece Oxford, the man who was meant to be marking him, had been blocked off by Milos Veljkovic.

Nonetheless Bremen had the opportunity now to draw level, with Jóhannsson twice being denied the equaliser by Sommer, the first low down and the second the slightest of touches to send the ball over. Bobadilla used his strength well though for the Foals, with his best effort being put wide by Pavlenka, although he may have been offside in any case.

Bremen’s shift back to a four-man defence at the break had helped in their endeavours, and with just over ten minutes left in the game they deservingly drew level. Kruse again helped to create the goal from out wide, this time from open play. One substitute in Jérôme Gondorf held up the ball for another, and this time Jóhannsson was not to be denied by Sommer.

The game remained open in the latter stages, with Bremen perhaps looking the more likely to go on and win the game, but in the end both sides had to settle for a point. The Foals miss out on the chance to put pressure on the top six, but Bremen are now three points clear of the bottom three ahead of the rest of the weekend action.