And then there were seven: on the 28th Matchday, VfL Bochum are visiting SC Paderborn 07 in search of a third consecutive win. It won‘t be easy, with recent Bundesliga side Paderborn awaiting Thomas Reis‘ men. This is our LOOK AHEAD at that game:
On Thursday Morning, Paderborn announced that Steffen Baumgart, manager since April 2017, would step down from his role this summer. He will not be renewing his contract and will look for a new challenge. In Baumgart, Paderborn are losing a manager of real quality. Having completed his manager training with Thomas Reis in 2015, he has taken charge of 159 games for Paderborn and oversaw their famous double promotion from the 3. Liga to the Bundesliga. Since their relegation from the Bundesliga last year, this season hasn‘t quite gone to plan for Baumgart‘s men, which probably explains him not extending his contract.
There will be some key players missing on both sides for this game. Robert Zulj and Danny Blum are suspended for VfL Bochum. However, Paderborn are missing their central defender and captain Sebastian Schonlau after he also picked up his fifth yellow card of the season. His experienced partner at the back, Uwe Hünemeier, is also out injured. Marcel Correia should line up in one of their places, as he did in their recent 2-1 loss to Nürnberg. Baumgart said that Arsitote Nkaka and Sebastian Vasialidis, both normally midfielders, are candidates to fill the other berth in central defence. Paderborn are also without Chris Führich from the start, a key attacking force, who played for Bochum‘s youth teams. Baumgart said he would likely be coming off the bench after recovering from a muscular complaint.
VfL and SCP have faced off on 16 different occasions. Bochum have taken home three points in seven of those games, ahead of five Paderborn wins and four draws. The most recent game was Bochum‘s 3-0 home win in December. In seven second-half minutes, Bochum took the game away from Paderborn, with Zulj‘s four minute brace followed swiftly by a Simon Zoller goal. The last Bochum win at the Benteler Arena was in July 2015.
For the first time in a few years, Paderborn aren‘t going to be either promoted or relegated. Seven games from the end of the season, Paderborn sit in 11th, with 35 points. They’re nine points from the relegation zone and 15 from the top.
VfL Bochum 1848 missed a great chance to widen the gap at the top by losing 3-0 to SC Paderborn due to goals by Justvan, Michel and Antwi-Adjei on a day when everything seemed to be going against us.
After Hamburger SV’s home defeat on Friday, VfL Bochum 1848 had the chance to extend their lead to 7 points with a win at Paderborn. Danilo Soares returned from suspension to replace Herbert Bockhorn at left-back and Thomas Eisfeld had to stand in for the suspended Robert Zulj.
In what VfL head coach Thomas Reis would later dub „our worst half all season”, Paderborn were on the front foot from the off with Riemann having to rush off his line and head off the unmarked Michel just outside the penalty box after not even three minutes.
SCP operated with long balls to put our defence under pressure and came close after 11 minutes, when Srbeny broke through on the wing but saw his cross towards Michel intercepted by Manuel Riemann. Five minutes later, Riemann was beaten by a low effort from Justvan but the ball rebounded from the post and Michel fluffed his shot from a good position.
VfL seemed to have weathered the storm when Tesche put Holtmann through who beat a defender before letting fly but saw his promising shot blocked on 18 minutes. Five minutes later, Eisfeld hit a great volley from inside the box but his shot was just outside the post, then Zoller came close to head home from a cross but was denied by goalkeeper Zingerle.
This was VfL’s best spell within the first half with Holtmann being let down by his first touch in a great position after 29 minutes and Zingerle having to intervene after an Eisfeld free-kick, which eventually led to Zoller hitting the outside of the net. But it proved a false dawn when the hosts took the lead on 36 minutes from a shot by Justvan after Riemann blocking the first effort by Michel.
Paderborn had us on the ropes now and they made it count when Soares was caught in possession in midfield for the hosts to break away quickly and to put Michel clean through who slotted the ball home coolly. The first half ended in a deserve 2-0 lead to Paderborn and a mountain to climb for VfL Bochum.
The visitors returned with Ganvoula in place of Pantović with Zoller making space in the centre for Ganvoula by moving to the right wing, and they looked a different team now with chances falling to Losilla, Holtmann and Losilla again in the first 15 minutes.
In the 68 minute, it should have been 2-1 when a high ball found Losilla, who controlled it nicely but then had to watch Zoller rushing in to take the shot from a slightly less favourable angle and pulling it wide. Instead, Paderborn sealed their win with a goal by Antwi-Adjei from another counter-attack on 73 minutes.
Our team did not give up and kept going forward but you could not help feeling we could have played all afternoon without scoring now – it was just one of those days.
VfL Bochum 1848 will have to pick themselves up and focus on the all-important home match versus bogey team Hannover 96 next Sunday at 1:30 pm.
Thomas Reis (manager VfL Bochum 1848): Congratulations to Baumi and SC Paderborn. The defeat is deserved. But you can certainly argue about the result, taking the entire 90 minutes into account. We knew before that SC Paderborn would put pressure on us and try to play deep balls. We were actually prepared for this. In many situations, we were way too careless. We lifted our arms to complain instead of defending properly. They had a number of good chances to score even earlier but we were lucky enough to avert this. You could see that my team was a bit insecure and had issues to find into the game. Though, we had one or two chances to hit back before the 2-0. Then the game could have evolved in a different direction. We talked about a few things during the break and wanted to show a different face in the second half. We created very good chances and Zoller, Losilla and Holtmann could easily have scored. After the 3-0, the game was over. That was very annoying. The result is brutal. We have to analyse this. The first half was the worst I have seen this season.
Steffen Baumgart (manager SC Paderborn): Thanks for the congratulations. I’m very satisfied with the lads’ performance. It was our best performance this season, especially in the first half. The result was deserved. In the second half, VfL missed chances they have never missed so far this season. The lads showed a good reaction and I’m happy about that.
Maxim Leitsch (VfL Bochum 1848): It’s hard to say what went wrong today. We had a clear match plan and wanted to defend their long balls. We weren’t quite able to implement that, which is why Paderborn were able to create chances – and unfortunately were also able to convert three of them. We didn’t really get into the game – upfront as well as at the back. It felt like we lost every second ball to our opponents. We weren’t able to secure the balls in midfield. We had our chances in the second half and it’s almost crazy that we weren’t able to convert any of them. Anyway, we must not concede the three goals. We have to get over it quickly and concentrate on the six remaining matches.
Manuel Riemann (VfL Bochum 1848): I think today it was the most unnecessary defeat I’ve seen in a long time. In terms of the result, it was one or two goals too many today. Unfortunately, we missed to score the 2-1 despite clear chances. In return, Paderborn extended their lead. More than that, Toto had a big chance to score. We just didn’t have the necessary match luck today. But that’s part of a long season that lasts 34 match days. Even though we didn’t play very well, we could have earned one or three points today. We have to put the defeat behind us and move on.