FC Augsburg tasted defeat for the first time in 2018, as Borussia Mönchengladbach came away with a 2-0 victory. Matthias Ginter (10’) and Thorgan Hazard (90’) scored the goals for the hosts.
After dealing with an Achilles injury, Alfred Finnbogason made his return to the starting XI in the Borussia-Park. Sergio Cordova started on the bench as a result.
FCA started slowly in opening stages of the game, and let the home side take the initiative. Marwin Hitz stretched out to save a venomous shot from Mickael Cuisance and conceded a corner, although Thorgan Hazard took the resulting corner and found Matthias Ginter in the middle, who beat Rani Khedira to the ball and headed it past a helpless Hitz off the post. The early goal was a setback for Augsburg, but they responded by pushing forward more. A direct free kick from Michael Gregoritsch tested Yann Sommer from distance, but the Switzerland number 1 had no issues in the Gladbach goal (16’).
The more aggressive Augsburg play style did allow for opportunities on the counter attack, however. One such counter was taken forward by Thorgan Hazard, who expertly dribbled through two defenders, ultimately dragging his shot wide (23’). At the other end, Caiuby played in Alfred Finnbogason, but the Icelander’s low shot went narrowly wide as well (25’). Gouweleeuw was the next to come close – his header from a corner was denied by the quick reflexes of Yann Sommer (37’).
Gladbach had another golden chance on the thirty minute mark: First, Marwin Hitz pushed a header from Jannik Vestergaard out for a corner, before Gregoritsch came to the rescue to deny them again (34’). At the other end, Gouweleeuw missed the chance to equalise from a Philipp Max corner, as his free header went well over (37’). Shortly before the break, Raffael had the chance to double his side’s lead, but his shot narrowly missed the top corner (43’). FCA went into the dressing room down by a goal.
FCA push for the equaliser
The visitors pushed more and more for that elusive leveler as play resumed, but Gladbach remained extremely dangerous on the counter attack. As the half dragged on, Augsburg found themselves camped outside the Gladbach area and an equaliser seemed only a matter of time. Gladbach got back into their stride, however, and the game turned into a bit of a back and forth affair. In the 71st minuete, Ja-Cheol Koo had a brilliant chance from 13 metres out in a central position, but his shot went well over – a reflection of the type of day it was for FCA.
Manuel Baum went all out in the closing stages, as he brought on Sergio Córdova for Koo in the 75th minute. One minute later, yet another Gouweleeuw header went narrowly wide of its target. Augsburg had the upper hand as the game wound down, but it would be the foals who would ultimately get their second goal and put the game to bed. Thorgan Hazard smashed home off the back of a fine counter attack to double the lead (90’). Unfortunately, FCA have to head back home with no points in tow.