Breel Embolo scored one and made another as Borussia Mönchengladbach climbed to fourth in the Bundesliga standings thanks to a 2-1 victory over local rivals Cologne in a rearranged Matchday 21 fixture on Wednesday.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1 Cologne
Goals: 1-0 Embolo (32'), 2-0 Mere (o.g. 70'), 2-1 Uth (81')
The game had been due to be played in early February but was postponed due to Storm Ciara, and it was Cologne who had to weather an early onslaught at Borussia-Park here as the hosts dominated territory and possession, albeit without initially seriously testing Timo Horn. The first proper chance of the half actually fell to Cologne when Mark Uth rippled the roof of the net with a free-kick from 25 yards. Gladbach got the goal their pressure deserved just after the half-hour mark, though, after Tobias Strobl's excellent pass released Oscar Wendt down the left. His cross into the middle found Patrick Herrmann, who laid the ball off to Embolo to curl into the far corner and give the home team the lead at the break.
The hosts remained on top in the second half and went close to extending their advantage through Herrmann, who was denied by Horn. Gladbach scored a decisive second on 70 minutes, however, when Embolo scampered down the right wing and curled a teasing ball across the six-yard box that Cologne defender Jorge Mere could only turn into his own net. Uth ensured there was a nervy final few minutes when he reduced the deficit with a clinical strike from the edge of the box following a slip by Yann Sommer, but the Gladbach stopper made amends in stoppage time with a brilliant reaction save to keep out Uth's point-blank effort and earn the hosts three vital points.
- Embolo, making his first start since Matchday 18, scored his seventh goal of the season and first of 2020.
- The Swiss forward has scored five of his last six goals on home turf.
- Mere's unfortunate strike was the 69th own goal to go in Gladbach's favour in Bundesliga history - a league high.
- Uth has scored four times in his last six Bundesliga outings.
- Gladbach have won more games against Cologne (50) and scored more goals against the Billy Goats (177) than they have against any other club in their Bundesliga history.
Watch: Embolo: "An important win"
Gladbach: Sommer - Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Wendt - Strobl, Kramer - Herrmann (Hofmann 76'), Embolo (Stindl 82'), Thuram (Bensebaini 88') - Plea
Unused subs: Sippel, Jantschke, Johnson, Raffael, Traore
Out: Benes (ill), Neuhaus (suspended), Zakaria (thigh)
Coach: Marco Rose
Cologne: Horn - Ehizibue, Mere (Modeste 85'), Leistner, Schmitz - Skhiri, Hector (c) - Kainz (Drexler 66'), Uth, Jakobs (Thielmann 73') - Cordoba
Unused subs: Krahl, Katterbach, Voloder, Höger, Rexhbecaj, Terodde
Out: Bornauw (muscular), Czichos (neck), Kessler (calf), Verstraete (ankle)
Coach: Markus Gisdol
Watch: Ehizibue: "We did a really good job"