Coach Thomas Letsch high-fived the bench, and he happily accepted congratulations from his bitterly disappointed colleague. With courage, offensive power and passion, VfL Bochum’s oldest Bundesliga squad defeated Borussia Mönchengladbach and scored valuable three points against relegation.

“Evenings like this, floodlights, a full house, Grönemeyer, that’s a special evening,” said Philipp Hofmann, who, five minutes after Christopher Antwi-Adjei’s early lead, scored Bochum’s second goal in the seventh minute to make the well-deserved 2-1 ( 2:0) against Borussia Mönchengladbach.

In front of the curve, the Bochumers let the fans celebrate extensively. They were there from the first minute and “disgusting in the duels,” stressed Antwi-Adjei, with a view to the game against disappointing guests, who were attuned to the Borussia duel against Dortmund on Friday by their supporters with abusive songs.

Bochum with the third home win in a row

In front of 25,900 spectators in the atmospheric Ruhrstadion, Bochum’s team managed their third home win in a row under Letsch – and their third win this season overall. “We have to get points away from home as soon as possible, otherwise it will be difficult to stay in the league,” emphasized Hofmann on the Sky broadcaster.

Borussia remains without a win away from home in this Bundesliga season. For Gladbach, it was only enough for a goal from Alassane Pléa (62nd). Under coach Daniel Farke they are stuck in the middle of the table with 19 points after 14 games. Bochum is penultimate with ten points, but has contact with the saving ranks.

The Bochum fans celebrated even before the game, but the reason goes back a long time: Participation in the UEFA Cup 25 years ago. The VfL supporters, who are usually not used to success this season, didn’t have to wait long for the first goal celebration. After a pass from Simon Zoller, Antwi-Adjei only had one left in front of him: Gladbach’s third goalkeeper, Jan Olschowsky.

The 20-year-old had to play because after regular keeper Yann Sommer, his replacement Tobias Sippel was injured. And his competitive professional debut could not have taken a worse course. Antwi-Adjei scored, it was not offside either, as the video control confirmed.

But that’s not all about the oldies from the pot: With an average of 31.3 years, VfL sent the oldest eleven in its Bundesliga history onto the pitch. Bochum pushed and scored the second goal just five minutes later in a highly dominant early phase. Gladbach’s central defender Nico Elvedi made a devastating back pass towards Olschowsky. He didn’t get the ball, but VfL professional Hofmann did, effortlessly pushing it in to make it 2-0. The fans could keep partying.

Gladbach cannot equalize

Bochum couldn’t keep up the pressure, and they didn’t have to. The guests from Gladbach were pretty harmless anyway. There was little sign of an upturn after the 3-1 win over VfB Stuttgart last Friday after four games without a win. The first chance: In stoppage time in the first half. Ramy  Bensebaini’s header clearly missed Bochum’s goal.

Bochum’s defender Ivan Ordets started the second period with his header against the post. The Gladbacher hardly allowed them to build up the game in an orderly and creative way, but made a big mistake deep in their own half when Jonas Hofmann put Kevin Stöger under pressure and he shot the ball at the Gladbacher. The rebound landed Marcus Thuram, who hung up Plea again.

And then, following a corner, Bensebaini rose and headed the ball into the goal. The Gladbachers who traveled with them cheered too early: offside after video evidence.