Mawin Hitz played a crucial role between the sticks for Augsburg as Borussia Monchengladbach came from behind, having been ahead, to steal a 2-2 draw in the Bundesliga on Sunday.
As confusing a description as that is, Raffael’s driven first half opener was cancelled out within five minutes of the half time restart, with Augsburg proceeding to take the lead a further four minutes after that. Alfred Fingobason put the hosts on level footing before Caiuby’s effort saw them leapfrog the visitors into the advantage and give the home fans hope of an unlikely three points.
Just four minutes later though, Fabian Johnson rifled home from inside the box for his sixth goal of the season and both sides traded chances right up unitl the end, Fingobason coming closest as he lashed a drive against Yann Sommer’s upright in the dying minutes. Both Sommer and Hitz were instrumental in keeping out the other side, with Hitz arguably putting in a man of the match performance between the sticks.
Hazard makes a case up front
In the absence of Lars Stindl through suspension and with Josip Drmic already out on loan in his first season, Thorgan Hazard was trusted to play alongside Raffael up front for this clash. The young Belgian did not score, but his cameo showed promise that he may be able to hold down the position in the future. A number of strong runs on the ball as well as causing trouble in behind the defence made a case for Hazard to potentially be used off the bench as a forward from now.
However there is one area that Hazard needs to work on, and it happens to be the most important skill for a forward: finishing. Hazard was sent through one-on-one with Hitz and arguably should have scored, however poked a poor effort at the Augsburg stopper. Clearly already developed as a winger, Hazard would make himself a greater asset by improving his eye for goal.
Road form a worry for Schubert
While this game may represent a saved point to Andre Schubert, it can also be argued as a lost two points with Die Fohlen having taken the lead in the first half. Gladbach are now winless in their last five road trips, and have only won three times away from home all season. With six of their remaining 11 league clashes coming away from Borussia Park to close the season, including a trip to the Allianz Arena inside their last three, away form is clearly something that Schubert needs to address.
Those three away wins have come against Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Hertha, only the latter of whom can be regarded as a properly strong opponent this season. Whether this poor run is a mentality issue or even something deeper, Schubert must find out before the season gets too deep into its second half.
Marwin Hitz all his straps
Widely regarded as one of the Bundesliga’s best keepers, Augsburg’s custodian Hitz showed why once more in this clash, making a number of saves to keep his side in the game.
Hitz made at least one point-blank save at the feet of Hazard in the first half to keep the home side in the contest, while he saved half of Gladbach’s total shots for the game, stopping five goal bound efforts from the visitors. With Ausgburg still dangerously close to the bottom of the table, these sorts of performances from Hitz are becoming more and more valuable as the season wears on, and the Swiss International will be a big part of their remaining in the Bundesliga if the season pans out as such.