Limassol - Borussia Mönchengladbach moved top of UEFA Europa League Group A with a hard-fought 2-0 win over FC Apollon Limassol FC in Cyprus.

After a goalless first half, Raffael put Gladbach in front after 55 minutes with a glancing header from Thorgan Hazard’s cross. Brazilian striker Thuram could have restored parity late on, but Patrick Herrmann added a second in stoppage time to extend the Foals’ unbeaten run to 18 matches - a new club record.

Wasteful Limassol


The Cypriots were more than a match for Gladbach in the opening 45 minutes at the GSP Stadium, but failed to trouble Yann Sommer frequently enough to merit a first-half lead. Brazilian striker Thuram missed the target by inches following a powerful run, before Camel Meriem curled an effort wide five minutes before the interval. The Foals, meanwhile, struggled to make much headway towards the Limassol goal, with only Branimir Hrgota testing keeper Bruno Vale before the break.

Whatever Favre said to his players at half-time appeared to do the trick, though, as Raffael headed Hazard’s pinpoint cross into the far corner to give Gladbach the lead ten minutes into the second half. Thuram wasted another good chance for Limassol in the closing stages, heading over the crossbar from a central position, but Herrmann made it 2-0 deep into added time to send the Foals above Villarreal CF, who lost 3-2 at FC Zürich in Group A’s other encounter.

Line-ups:

Limassol: Vale - Mulder (Papoulis 67’), Merkis, Charalambous, Wheeler - Meriem, Hamdani, Robert - Thuram, Abraham (Stylianou 59’ (Hugo Lopez 65’)), Rosa

Gladbach: Sommer - Johnson, Stranzl, Jantschke, Wendt - Kramer, Nordtveidt - Traore (Hahn 80’), Hazard (Brouwers 90’) - Raffael - Hrgota (Herrmann 73’)

Goals: 0-1 Raffael (55’), 0-2 Herrmann (90’)