"The Imtech Arena is our castle"
A stunning strike from distance by Rafael van der Vaart was enough to give HSV a hard fought 1-0 home victory over Gladbach on matchday 22. Here some post-match reaction.
The 1-0 home win over Borussia Mönchengladbach was a hard fought affair, as the players and coaches agreed after the final whistle had been blown. The amazing goal from Rafael van der Vaart crowned a fighting and determined display by the Rothosen. Keeper Jaroslav Drobny crucially kept a clean sheet, deputising for injured first choice stopper René Adler. Slobodan Rajkovic, who started his first game since July 2012 was sublime alongside captain Heiko Westermann in front of the back four. Read here what "Boban" and others had to say after the game:
Slobodan Rajkovic: Of course the pressure on me was greater because I had not played for so long. And of course playing at home in front of our own fans added to it. It was a very special game for me. I would like to thank my team mates and the coaching staff for their tremendous support. I think we performed well today. We knew that all eyes would be upon us after we beat Dortmund away last weekend, which increased the pressure on the team. We had to show that we are a good team and we did so today. Now I am looking forward to our next game and am ready to give my all for the team again.
Thorsten Fink: We were aggressive in the tackle and had a good fighting spirit. Everyone saw that we wanted to win today. We were however unable to carry on the good work shown in Dortmund. We wanted to put Gladbach under pressure from the off because we knew that their stamina must have been affected by their game against Lazio Rome a couple of days previously. I take my hat off to them for the battling performance they produced here today. I think we cleverly maintained our lead and deserved to win. I am very happy with our six point tally from two games. But we still have a lot to learn and that is why we are taking things one game at a time.
Per Skjelbred: It was a tough game today. We played well in the first half and Gladbach were better after the break. We managed to put early pressure on them as we had planned to beforehand. Applying pressure is our way of playing, especially at home in front of our own fans. The Imtech Arena is our castle.
Marcell Jansen: It was a hugely important victory. You have to take points especially at home, otherwise with things being so tight in the Bundesliga table you can easily slip down a couple of places. We were focused today, which was crucial against Gladbach, who I think are one of the most tactically astute teams in the Bundesliga. We needed a dream goal like the one Rafa scored to see us through. Now we must remain focused. We don't need to speak of the possibility of playing in Europe. It would be silly to do so when things are so tight in the table. We simply have to make sure that we collect points from our next game.
Lucien Favre (Gladbach coach): We are right to be disappointed today. We tried to put them under early pressure, but several small mistakes led to possible big chances remaining small ones. Neither side had too many scoring chances here today. HSV won by way of a dream goal from Rafael van der Vaart. I would have been happy to take a point home with us. I don't think we deserved to lose the game.