Bundesliga News

Germany: Bundesliga
FT
3 - 0
(2 - 0)
Gladbach
RB Leipzig
J. Hofmann (10), J. Hofmann (35), R. Bensebaini (53)

Farke and Matthäus praise Christoph Kramer's command performance: "Not since Rio!"

By Peter Vice   @ViceytheSS

There was plenty of praise to go around for Borussia Mönchengladbach after their through dismantling of RB Leipzig in Saturday evening's "Top Spiel". 

Naturally, a great deal of the focus remained on current German national team fullback/winger Jonas Hofmann following his brace. 

Interestingly enough, a command performance from a 2014 World Cup winner who hasn't featured for the national team in six years also attracted attention. 
Christoph Kramer
Christoph KramerSven Mandel CC-BY-SA 4.0
Jonas Hofmann could hardly hope to be in better form as he heads off to join Hansi Flick's Nationalmannschaft during the coming international break. The 30-year-old bagged a brace in Saturday night's 3-0 triumph over visiting RB Leipzig. Hofmann could have netted a few more and was pleased to acknowledge as much in his post-match interview.


"I could have scored four tonight had I been more focused in front of goal," the 14-times capped international joked afterwards.

There was more joking from BMG trainer Daniel Farke, who noted with great elation that he had asked a lot of former German national team midfielder Christoph Kramer, who did an amazing job pulling the strings in midfield for the foals on this particular evening.

Farke acknowledged that he would have liked to play Kramer a bit deeper, but didn't want to pull Julian Weigl from his postion helping out the defense as sweeper. Instead, the head-coach asked his player to function up top as an axially chained eight and sometimes ten around Manu Kouadio Koné.

Kramer actually worked as an emergency central defender in Gladbach's last league fixture against Freiburg. The move much higher up the pitch would require some significant adjustments.

"I asked him when he last played this position," Farke recounted afterwards, "Chris said, 'In the 2014 World Cup Final,' which I thought was a cool answer."


Kramer famously had to deputize for Sami Khedira on short notice in Germany's showdown with Argentina at the Maracana in the World Championship Final on July 13th, 2014.

He even more famously had to subbed off after 32 minutes, unable to cope with after effects of a concussion that (more famously still) left him asking match official Nicola Rizzoli if he was indeed playing in the World Cup Final.

Kramer not only remained on then pitch this time for the full 90 minutes, but seemed to cover almost every blade of grass on it. Kramer roved all about the Gladbach attack, connecting with nearly all of his passed. BMG attackers Marcus Thuram and Lars Stindl made excellent use of the extra space Kramer accorded them.

Analyzing the match afterwards for Sky's German outfit, German footballing legend Lothar Matthäus compared Kramer's performance to what Thomas Müller habitually accomplishes as a "space interpreter" for FC Bayern München. While that was no joke, Kramer found a way to get one of his trademark barbs in while reflecting on the evening.

"I want to make clear that I didn't interpret this assignment to men I should play all the way up front," the 31-year-old noted with a chuckle.


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