It’s important to look at Gladbach’s win over Bayern with objectivity. First of all Borussia Park has always been a difficult place for Bayern to visit. Even Pep’s Bayern lost there a couple of times and it’s clear that the Foals raise themselves to another level when they host the perennial champions.
However, it’s been a long time since Gladbach welcomed Bayern as equals, at least according to the table. I think this clearly weighed on the league leaders once the game got underway because the occasion got to them. For the first 60 minutes Bayern were getting a flashback of last weekend, where they dominated Leverkusen, created chance after chance but failed to score.
It was almost like Bayern needed to score for Gladbach to feel like their natural place in the pecking order was restored. Now more comfortable as passionate underdogs, the home side finally dug in, fuelled by Marco Rose throwing caution to the wind and bringing Breel Embolo on. They duly equalized, in some part down to Bayern’s lackadaisical set piece defending, but one sensed the tide had turned.
In truth, despite being roared on by a passionate crowd, I can’t recall Gladbach doing anything particularly incisive other than Marcus Thuram giving Bayern’s defence a bloody nose with his runs and trickery. A draw seemed likely, and I don’t think the hosts would have been too disappointed.
Then came the penalty in stoppage time, again thanks to that man Thuram. Considering what was at stake, left back Remy Bensebaini showed incredible composure to wait and pick his corner exactly to give the leaders a memorable win.
The result means Gladbach stay on top of the Bundesliga for the 8th consecutive week. Despite this remarkable run, it’s too early to say the Foals are contenders, let alone favourites. That being said, the nature of this win, when they were nowhere near their best for a long time and still managed to beat the champions while coming from behind, speaks volumes for their confidence. If they can maintain this momentum till the winter break and keep a position in the top two, then come January, we really can say that Marco Rose’s men are genuine title contenders in Germany.
As most of you know in the midst of last season, I launched a dream project that I have wanted to do for so long – my own football podcast! Launching in the middle of the season ensured that I had the liberty to try many different things with the podcast while enabling me to learn a lot about the processes of a podcast. I still have a lot to learn and by no means is the podcast perfect. However, with the launch of the new European season only a matter of days away, I am excited to resume the podcast. There is only one benchmark that I am going to use this season – consistency of releasing episodes. I want 2017/18 to be remembered not only for being a great football season, but also a campaign where the Football Podcast with Wasim Parkar provided great analysis and perspective that is genuinely unique and insightful.
With that being said, I have released a short tease of an episode for all of you, outlining my goals and vision for the podcast this season.
The Bundesliga resumed on Friday with a crucial game in the race for Champions League qualification as fifth placed Hertha Berlin welcomed fourth placed Hoffenheim and Julian Nagelsmann’s men left capital with a crucial 3-1 win. The hosts had the better of the game in the opening quarter but after Andrej Kramarić’s penalty cancelled Peter Pekarík’s opener, the visitors gradually gained control and could have won by a bigger margin. Niklas Süle’s superb strike after Hertha Berlin went down to 10 men and a second for Kramarić late on, gave Hoffenheim a well-deserved three points.