FC Augsburg 2-2 Borussia Mönchengladbach: Stunning spell sees spoils shared

Both sets of fans couldn't be disappointed with their teams after the effort on show in southern Germany.

FC Augsburg 2-2 Borussia Mönchengladbach: Stunning spell sees spoils shared
Image credit: kicker - Getty Images
FC Augsburg
2 2
Borussia M'gladbach
FC Augsburg: (4-2-3-1) Hitz; Verhaegh, Gouweleeuw, Klavan, Max; Kohr, Moravek (Koo 46', Janker 78'); Bobadilla (Esswein 84'), Altintop, Caiuby; Finnbogason.
Borussia M'gladbach: (4-4-2) Sommer; Elvedi, Christensen, Nordtveit, Wendt; Traoré (Herrmann 67'), Dahoud (Hinteregger 64'), Xhaka, Johnson; Hazard (Brouwers 86'), Raffael.
SCORE: 0-1, Raffael 33'. 1-1, Finnbogason 50'. 2-1, Caiuby 53'. 2-2, Johnson 55'.
REFEREE: Knut Kircher (Rottenburg). Booked:

In what was a stunning game at the WWK Arena, FC Augsburg and Borussia Mönchengladbach could not be split - but it wasn't for a lack of trying.

It was a game full of chances from start to finish, but it was Raffael's goal that had Gladbach ahead at the break.

Augsburg then scored twice after the restart through Alfred Finnbogason and Caiuby, but Fabian Johnson leveled soon after.

Changes for both sides

It was changes aplenty for Markus Weinzierl coming into the game, as Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, Philipp Max, Jan Moravek, Raul Bobadilla and Alfred Finnbogason replaced Christoph Janker, Kostas Stafylidis, Ja-Cheol Koo, Tobias Werner, Alexander Esswein after the mid-week game against Liverpool.

André Schubert was forced into one alteration, as Ibrahima Traoré replaced the suspended Lars Stindl from last week's derby day win.

Slow start soon gives way to plenty of chances

Despite a rather drab and dreary beginning to proceedings, where Halil Altintop's header was the main effort of note, things soon livened up.

Oscar Wendt drove into the Augsburg box and managed to cut the ball back towards Thorgan Hazard before he ran out of play. However, the Belgian was magnificently denied twice from close range by Marwin Hitz.

Gladbach almost conceded a comical goal when the entire defence parted to allow Finnbogason through. But after rounding Yann Sommer, he took too long to shoot and Andreas Christensen cleared.

The Foals, who had a week's rest behind them, seemed much more sluggish than Augsburg. There was no pace to their play, other than the odd spurt. Ragnar Klavan had to be alert to thwart a low cross from Wendt, though the hosts were comfortable.

Not only comfortable, but playing well; a long-range effort from Bobadilla took a deflection off Granit Xhaka and rattled the post.

Raffael gives Gladbach the lead

Even though Augsburg, arguably, had the most threatening chance, it was Gladbach who took the lead. An increase in tempo around the area paid dividends, as Wendt exchanged a snappy pass with Traore. He then slipped a pass into the path of Raffael, who made no mistake in rifling the ball high past the helpless Hitz.

The hosts almost issued an immediate response, only for Dominik Kohr to curl his shot wide. Hazard had a further opportunity to add to the Foals' tally but couldn't find a finish to match a driving run from midfield. It was a tense affair, and one Augsburg were unfortunate to be behind in.

Raffael celebrates his powerful opener. | Image source: kicker
Raffael celebrates his powerful opener. | Image source: kicker

Unbelievable start to the second half

Any shackles were seemingly discarded at the break, as Finnbogason's header sparked a spell of three goals in five minutes. The Icelandic forward rose highest to meet Paul Verhaegh's pin-point cross, sending his header out of Sommer's reach and in at the far post.

Just three minutes later, and Augsburg had the lead for the first time. Koo, who had come on at half time, powered a volley towards goal but saw it blocked well by the Gladbach defence. It squirmed through to Caiuby, however, and he scuffed his shot into the bottom corner.

As if that wasn't enough, Gladbach leveled almost immediately. Nico Elvedi burst down the right and found the time to whip in an excellent delivery to Fabian Johnson in the centre, who struck a powerful, low first-time drive that found the far corner.

After an incredible spell of football, the game did calm down. Wendt and Finbogason had further chances to add to the score-line, however, but both attempts were off target. Substitutions were also having a minimal effect on the game, despite Schubert and Weinzierl's best intentions.

There would be one final, meaningful attempt on target for each side as Xhaka brought a fantastic save from Hitz; Finnbogason hit the post at the other end. All in all, a draw was the right result in what was a hard-fought game played in the right way from start to finish. Augsburg pulled a point further clear of relegation, with Gladbach moving into the Champions League spots thanks to the draw.