Tuesday, October 23, 2012

23 October 1971 - Those Sheets Need Cleaning Now

On 23 October 1971, Bundesliga leaders Schalke visited defending champions Borussia Mönchengladbach and were crushed, 7-0.

Gladbach had won the league the previous two seasons, but started the day five points behind Schalke. Schalke's run to the top was driven by their strong defense, who had surrendered only three goals so far that season and had just completed their seventh straight clean sheet. But it did not take long for Gladbach to end that streak, as striker Jupp Heynkes scored after only four minutes (pictured).

It was the start of a long day for Schalke keeper Norbert Nigbur, who picked the ball out of his net another four times in the first half alone after goals from Günter Netzer (5'), Hartwig Bleidick (23'), another from Heynckes (29'), and one from Ulrik Le Fevre (36').

With the margin stretched to 5-0 at the break, the match was effectively over as a contest, but Gladbach were not done. In the 52nd minute, Le Fevre scored another by juggling the ball over two Schalke defenders before slamming the ball into the net with a right-footed volley. Netzer then completed the rout with a 64th-minute strike to extend the final margin to 7-0.

As impressive as the victory was, it fell short of the record at the time, set by Gladbach with an 11-0 win over Schalke in 1967 (they beat their own record in 1978 by beating Borussia Dortmund 12-0). Schalke went on to finish as runners-up to Bayern Munich in the league that season, while Gladbach finished in third.

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