As Ron-Robert Zieler arrived at the VfB Clubzentrum on Monday for regenerative training, he had double reason to be in good mood. On the one hand, the VfB keeper was celebrating his 29th birthday, and was duly received with an extremely warm welcome from his team mates, coaches and support-staff. Above all though, the goalkeeper and his colleagues went into the hour-long session in high-spirits, thanks to the outcome of the previous day’s match. The Cannstatt Boys overcame the challenge of their opponents from the Niederrhein region with a 1-0 win, thanks to an early goal from Daniel Ginczek and a subsequently strong and compact defensive display – thus earning three vitally important points in the race for top-flight survival. "We stood very well against Gladbach and allowed very little through. That was the key to our success. In spite of the amount of pressure generated by Gladbach, I always felt safe with our defence in front of me," stated Ron-Robert Zieler, continuing: "Although Gladbach are going through something of a difficult phase right now, they are still technically a very good team. You can’t keep a team like that completely at bay over ninety minutes – but you do have to hold your own the way we did."
Christian Gentner in second place in the league’s leg-work statistics
A very important point in the defensive success was the mileage covered by the entire team. Exemplary for that are Christian Gentner, Santiago Ascacibar and Daniel Ginczek. On matchday 22, and considering all players involved in all games over the course of the weekend in the top-flight, the VfB trio made it into the Top 10 for miles covered – an exceptional tally! During the home game against Mönchengladbach, Christian Gentner covered a total of 12,78 kilometres. The only player to top that last weekend was Bremen’s Maximilian Eggestein (12,98 kilometres). Santiago Ascacibar (12,38 kilometres) took ninth place in the statistics, whilst Daniel Ginczek (12,37 kilometres) was tenth. The remainder of the VfB players involved on Sunday followed close behind in the leg-work stakes. As enjoyable as the defensive performance and ultimate result against Gladbach was, most importantly for the Cannstatt Boys, it was a very important step along the road to Bundesliga survival.