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Borussia Monchengladbach 2 Blues 2

Posted: Sat 21 Jul 2012
Author: Chris Coles
Nathan Redmond in action against Monchengladbach

Nathan Redmond in action against Monchengladbach

Image by: Roy Smiljanic

Clark's men hold top German side

An entertaining game in Bavaria ended 2-2 between Blues and Borussia Monchengladbach.
Lee Clark's men were twice in front courtesy of goals from Curtis Davies and Akwasi Asante, but were pegged back by the Bundesliga side. 
Several hundred Blues fans made the trip to The ESV Munich Sports Park and the flags that had been such a prominent part of the Europa League journey dotted the fence behind one goal. 
Jonathan Spector and Peter Lovenkrands were both absent for Blues as they continued their recovery from injuries sustained last campaign. 
The rest of the squad were fully fit and raring to get their first taste of competitive action, and manager Lee Clark played virtually two separate sides for each half with only Jack Deaman and Will Packwood completing the full ninety. 
Borussia Monchengladbach started the brighter, with Steven Caldwell twice called into action to smartly intercept dangerous crosses in and around Blues' penalty area. 
The first real chance of the game fell the way of Belgian striker Igor de Camargo. The Borussia player evaded the attentions of all those in blue to power a header towards the goal, but Colin Doyle was always confident of the ball sailing over.
However his game was soon to be over. With just 15 minutes played Doyle came racing off his line to collect a through ball, and collided painfully with Hrgota. There was immediate concern for the Irishman who writhed with pain, and the medical team were quick to come to the keeper's aid. Thankfully Doyle was able to walk off the pitch, but Blues took no chances as David Lucas came on to get his first opportunity in the new 12/13 goalkeeping jersey.
A period of sustained Borussia pressure followed, and new keeper Lucas was thrust straight into action making good saves from Arango and Hrgota.
Blues were struggling to get any sort of possession in the game, and the 25-minute mark passed with Borussia again on the attack. Only poor communication between Mlapa and Arango kept the score level. 
Like the Bavarian rain, Blues attacks were intermittent. However not long after 25 minutes Lee Clark's men should have taken the lead. Redmond's quick feet were too beguiling for Zimmermann, but his telling cross to the back post was scuffed wide by Rooney from just five yards out. 
The Irishman didn't have too long to dwell on his chance, as seconds later he rounded keeper ter Stegen, but fired wide form an always-narrowing angle.
With 35 gone Blues produced their best moment of the match. A triangular sequence of passing involving Zigic, Elliott and Rooney culminated in the Irish striker heading inches wide. 
Blues were looking more and more threatening with each passing minute and looked dangerous on the counter-attack. A rampaging Carr found himself with time to cross on the angle of the area, but good defending this time prevented Rooney getting a header on goal. 
As the half drew to a close it was Borussia who finished the stronger, and should have scored when de Camargo tamely headed straight at Lucas from six yards out. It was to be the last action of an even first period. 
The second-half Blues side included new signings Darren Ambrose and Hayden Mullins and it wasn't long before they were making their presence felt.
The two combined expertly on the edge of the area, but unfortunately Ambrose's low cross evaded both King and Asante in the penalty area. 
Blues continued on the front foot with Chris Burke lurking at the back post, eager to latch onto anything the Borussia defenders might miss.
It wasn't long after Blues got their reward for an impressive second half start. Curtis Davies started and finished the move that included Burke and Ambrose combining neatly in the midfield area. Ambrose then delivered a pinpoint cross towards the penalty spot that always had the goalkeeper struggling, and Davies showed good determination and technique in the air to nod home.
As the game crept over the hour mark Blues were showing confidence in possession, and a watching Lee Clark was clearly delighted with some of the passages of play his side were putting together.
Hayden Mullins was the next to come close, but his fizzing shot from the edge of the area was always heading over the crossbar. 
Blue were lucky to survive on the 63 minute mark however. A ball from the left hand side found its way to an unmarked de Camargo, who meekly shot straight at Lucas from seven yards out. 
Borussia suddenly had their tails up and only a superb sliding block from Packwood prevented Arango from equalising. The Venezuelan's shot was hit with enough power to certainly make it tricky for Lucas, so the young defender's block was imperative. 
Marlon King was to get his first really sniff of the goal with 73 minutes played. The striker skilfully controlled and spun in one fluid movement; it was enough to get Blues' top scorer from last term a fraction of space to deliver a stinging shot goal wards, but straight at the keeper.
Borussia got themselves an equalising goal on 75 minutes. It came from an unlikely source, as right-back Zimmermann was allowed too much room in the penalty area to slot home. 
The celebrations from the partisan German crowd were short-lived though, as minutes later Blues were back in front. A Burke corner was met by a Murphy volley that zipped across the box; a shot that was going wide had Akwasi Asante not been in the right place to slot home from five yards out. 
The match was to get a dramatic ending, with Borussia drawing level right at the death. It was cruel on Blues and especially goalkeeper David Lucas, as Marx's deflected shot whistled past the keeper who had no chance.
Overall a worthwhile exercise for Lee Clark's men, and the manager would have been pleased with the work complete during the pre-season tour. 
Blues (1st half): Colin Doyle (David Lucas15 ); Stephen Carr, Jack Deaman, Steven Caldwell, Mitch Hancox; Wade Elliott, Will Packwood, Morgaro Gomis, Nathan Redmond; Adam Rooney, Nikola Zigic 
Blues (2nd half): David Lucas; Will Packwood, Pablo Ibanez, Curtis Davies, David Murphy; Chris Burke, Jack Deaman, Hayden Mullins, Darren Ambrose; Marlon King, Akwasi Asante
Borussia Monchengladbach: Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Matthias Zimmermann, Martin Stranzl, Roel Brouwers, Filip Daems; Tolga Cigerci, Havard Nordtveit, Juan Arango, Branimar Hrgota; Peniel Mlapa (Lukas Rupp 62), Igor de Camargo