Mönchengladbach - Borussia Mönchengladbach edged up the table with their second win of the season, inflicting Werder Bremen’s second-straight defeat with a 4-1 scoreline at the Borussia Park.
Gladbach’s forward quartet of Juan Arango, Raffael, Max Kruse and Patrick Herrmann all got their names on the scoresheet with Havard Nordtveit’s own goal the only blot on an otherwise clean copybook for the flamboyant Foals.
Gladbach coach Lucien Favre named an unchanged side for the fourth game in a row - the first time the Foals had galloped onto the field four times in the same formation since the start of the season 12 years ago. His Bremen counterpart Robin Dutt left Mehmet Ekici on the bench for the first time in the current campaign, but there was a recall for Clemens Fritz.
Gladbach began with more attacking intent, but despite keeping Bremen penned in their own half, failed to prevent the visitors from having the first shot of the game. Aaron Hunt spotted Marc-Andre ter Stegen off his line and attempted to lob him from the halfway line, sending the ball wide of the goal.
With 57 percent of possession within the first 15 minutes, it was clear who was on top, though, as the hosts increased their endeavours to transform that into a more telling statistic. Alvaro Dominguez headed over and Arango tried to carve a way through Bremen's back line, albeit without success.
Eljero Elia’s afternoon ended after less than half an hour when he failed to shrug off a knock he picked up earlier in the game, with Franco Di Santo entered the fray. The Argentine nearly had the opening goal delivered on a plate when Sebastian Prödl made a nuisance of himself in a populated penalty area, but when the ball squirmed loose Di Santo’s shot was blocked behind for a corner.
At the other end, Arango made no mistake, collecting Granit Xhaka’s lofted pass over the top before poking his left-footed effort through the legs of Sebastian Mielitz to give Gladbach the lead - all 19 of the Venezuelan's Bundesliga goals have come with his most prized possession.
From a similar position in an almost identical move, Raffael had the chance to make it two early in the second half, but Mielitz stretched himself well to keep the Gladbach forward’s shot out. From high to low, Mielitz then spilled Tony Jantschke’s shot out to Raffael, who tucked the ball in to extend the hosts' lead.
The Foals had built up a head of steam and seemed set to give their goal difference a boost in addition to taking the points, but a touch of misfortune put the latter in jeopardy. A free-kick from the Bremen right took a deflection and Nordtveit had little time to react as he headed the ball past his own goalkeeper to give Bremen hope.
Kruse then settled the home side’s nerves, adding the finishing touch to a fine team move to make it three after Raffael skipped into the area before playing in Herrmann to tee-up his team mate. With time widning down Herrmann rounded Mielitz to grab a goal of his own, completing a convincing rout for Gladbach.
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