Injury-stricken Gladbach face season crumbling before their eyes | Andy Brassell

Gladbach could have hauled themselves back into the Champions League race with a win against Leverkusen. Instead they fell to a defeat that effectively ends their season

The evening began with a show of respect from the visiting Borussia Mönchengladbach fans. It ended with anything but. As their players emerged onto the BayArena pitch to face Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, Gladbach’s 4,000 travelling fans held aloft black pieces of plastic, creating a tifo in memory of well-known fan Waltraud “Walli” Hamraths, who recentlydied at the age of 83.

In the circumstances, Gladbach’s players shouldn’t have been surprised at what happened at the end. They were, again, hugely disappointing in a match in which they had the opportunity to haul themselves back into the incredibly open Champions League race against a direct rival. Remembering Walli, perhaps, stirred memories of the club’s 1970s glory days, in which he was famous for wildly celebrating.

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