The 1-1 draw between Borussia Monchengladbach and FSV Mainz 05 on Sunday had a winner: Jan Sommer. It’s hard to imagine the Gladbackers could have settled into such a difficult season without the Swiss goalkeeper, who has reached Europe’s top division. “We have to thank Jan Sommer, who kept us in the game with his extravagant displays,” Gladbach coach Adi Hutter admitted after the show, but in the end he was somewhat lucky in the Bundesliga.
Like an eight-clawed octopus, Sommer seemed to suck the ball into the final stages of the match, grab the point and ensure Gladbach remained undefeated for the third game in a row. “We would have won this match without Jan Sommer”Mainz coach Bo Svensson said. Despite Rheinhessen’s incredibly poor first half, it was not arrogant, but meticulous.
Only Gladbach played in the first half, but he scored only through Brill Empolo (33th minute). After the change, Mainz brought in Jonathan Burckardt and took control. A match with completely different halves, only after the break Mainz had more and better chances than Borussia in the first half. But it was not possible to get more than compensated for Karim Onisio (73) – because of the summer.
That also earned the opponent’s respect. “A super summer prevented that day,” Mainz sports director Martin Schmidt said of his Swiss compatriot. With unbelievable reflexes, the 33-year-old parried shots and headers from Mainz, sometimes from close range. “I’m glad he succeeded,” Sommer said very modestly. In recent months, the goalkeeper has not only been the most consistent player in Borussia’s squad and thus has been a bargaining chip for his struggling side, but has also been the focus of international attention.
At last year’s European Championships, Sommer was the penalty shootout champion against France in the round of 16 when he blocked off world superstar Kylian Mbappe. In the quarter-final against Spain, Sommer was the best player. His performances with the Swiss national team remained on top, just as in the German Bundesliga. No goalkeeper in the German Elite League has more balls than Sommer.
Without their goalkeeper, Borussia’s fears and concerns may have been greater this season than they already are. “Now we have three games with seven points and only one goal, which is a good record,” Sommer said of his team’s situation, which is no longer in danger of relegation. Many thanks to him.