bundesliga

Marcus Thuram helps fire Borussia Mönchengladbach three points clear with win at Bayer Leverkusen

A Marcus Thuram inspired Borussia Mönchengladbach moved into a three-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga on Saturday courtesy of a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen.

Bayer Leverkusen 1-2 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Goals: 0-1 Wendt (18'), 1-1 Volland (25'), 1-2 Thuram (42')
Red card: Bailey (90'+6)

Gladbach took the lead inside 20 minutes in Leverkusen as Thuram skipped past Wendell out on the Foals’ right and squared the ball for Oscar Wendt to tap into an empty net. Die Werkself were soon back on level terms, however, as Lucas Alario’s sublime through ball set Kevin Volland clear for the Leverkusen captain to round Yann Sommer in cool fashion before placing into the unguarded goal. The visitors restored their advantage shortly before the break, Patrick Herrmann this time doing the work down the right and crossing for Thuram in a near carbon copy of Gladbach’s opener. Leverkusen should have been level for a second time but Alario missed a glorious chance on the stroke of half-time as Peter Bosz’s men trailed at the interval.

Both sides set out their stalls in much the same manner at the start of the second half, the game played at a rapid pace as each team constantly pressed while looking to move the ball forward as quickly as possible once possession was regained. Leverkusen had a great chance on the hour mark but Karim Bellarabi could only fire straight at Sommer when through on goal. Leverkusen continued to create opportunities throughout the half but couldn't find the equaliser and their afternoon was made even more sour by the late sending-off of substitute Leon Bailey. The result means Marco Rose's men move three points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga, leaving little doubt of their title credentials with seven games of the Hinrunde remaining.

Match stats

  • Thuram has five goals and four assists over the last six matchdays, which is more than any other player in that time.
  • Mönchengladbach have spent four consecutive weeks at the top for the first time since they won the league in 1976/77.
  • The Foals have won a league-best seven matches this season, all of which came when they opened the scoring.
  • Leverkusen have now gone four Bundesliga games without a win, their worst run under Bosz.
  • Leverkusen have more home wins over Gladbach (20) than against any other club in the Bundesliga but haven't beaten Borussia at the BayArena since their 2-0 victory in March 2018.
  • Die Werkself have had three own goals scored in their favour this season. The rest of the league combined have benefited from just five.

Watch: Thuram: "Anyone can beat anyone, but we're good"

Line-ups

Leverkusen: Hradecky – Weiser, S. Bender, Tah, Wendell (Bailey 69') – Baumgartlinger (Aranguiz 46'), Demirbay (Amiri 73') – Bellarabi, Havertz, Alario – Volland (c)
Unused subs: Özcan, Retsos, Dragovic, Paulinho, Pohjanpalo, Diaby
Out: L. Bender (thigh), Sinkgraven (thigh)
Coach: Peter Bosz

Gladbach: Sommer (c) – Elvedi (Zakaria 69'), Jantschke, Ginter - Lainer, Hofmann (Benes 80'), Kramer, Wendt – Neuhaus – Herrmann, Thuram (Stindl 65')
Unused subs: Grün, Strobl, Beyer, Traore, Poulsen, Makridis
Out: Bennetts (thigh), Bensebaini (thigh), Embolo (thigh), Johnson (groin), Sippel (knee), Plea (thigh), Raffael (match fitness)
Coach: Marco Rose

Watch: Wendt: "I should score every game"