With only one change to the side that drew in Munich last week, Gladbach began confidently. Oscar Wendt hit the post within 35 seconds, while Ibrahima Traore also spurned a good opportunity in the tenth minute. After weathering the early storm, however, Leverkusen began to take control, and shortly after Robbie Kruse had hit the bar, Charles Aranguiz scored with the visitors’ first real chance of the game. The Foals struggled after going behind and were sloppy in possession, although found an equaliser against the run of play when Andre Hahn poked home following a goalmouth scramble in the 43rd minute.
Buoyed by the equaliser, Gladbach burst out of the blocks in the second period. Lars Stindl and Raffael saw plenty of the ball and as such Bernd Leno was forced into two fine stops within ten minutes of the restart. The hosts’ keenness to get forward left them open at the back, however, and both Hakan Calhanoglu and Stefan Kießling drew fine saves from Yann Sommer at the other end. Undeterred, Gladbach continued to push and their persistence drew a deserved reward when Hahn powered his second goal of the game past Leno with ten minutes remaining.
Man of the match
Hahn was superb for Gladbach. A constant outlet when his side were in possession, the attacking midfielder’s brace has gone a long way to securing his side’s place at Europe’s top table next term.
This win – allied to their superior goal difference over Hertha Berlin – means Gladbach sit in a near-unassailable position to reach next season’s Champions League. For a side that lost the first five games of the season, that in itself is quite an achievement.
- Aranguiz’s goal was his first in the Bundesliga.
- Hahn has scored four goals in the last three games.
- Leverkusen skipper Lars Bender covered the most ground of any player.
Gladbach: Sommer – Elvedi, Christensen, Nordtveit, Wendt – Xhaka (c), Dahoud (Hazard, 77’) – Traore (Herrmann, 80’), Hahn – Raffael (Stranzl, 87’), Stindl
Leverkusen: Leno – Bender (c), Ramalho, Toprak (Frey, 83’), Henrichs – Aranguiz, Kramer (Jedvaj, 46’) – Calhanoglu (Mehmedi, 81’), Kruse – Kießling, Chicharito
Daniel Thacker reporting from the BORUSSIA-PARK