bundesliga

Borussia Mönchengladbach stay top after absorbing win over Werder Bremen

Patrick Herrmann scored a brace and Yann Sommer saved a penalty as Borussia Mönchengladbach restored their four-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga with an entertaining 3-1 victory over Werder Bremen.

Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-1 Werder Bremen
Goals: 1-0 Bensebaini (20'), 2-0 Herrmann (22'), 3-0 Herrmann (59'), 3-1 Bittencourt (90+4')
Red card: Bensebaini (87')

Bremen hadn't kept a clean sheet all season, and they very nearly fell behind in the opening minute when Gladbach top scorer Marcus Thuram shinned wide from close range. Laszlo Benes sent a rising drive over, before setting up the opening goal with a trademark free-kick. Ramy Bensebaini made no mistake with his header and had scarcely finished celebrating when Gladbach extended their lead. Thuram beat advancing Werder goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka to Matthias Ginter's searching long pass into the box, allowing Herrmann to sweep in the loose ball for 2-0. Yuya Osako thought he'd halved the deficit, but the Japan international's emphatic effort was ruled out for a foul against Milot Raschica in the build-up following a VAR review. Bensebaini went close to adding his second, but Gladbach had Sommer to thank for keeping their lead intact after the Swiss stopper pulled off a pair of brilliant saves from Raschica and Maximilian Eggestein.

There was no let-up as Sommer foiled Rashica soon after the restart. Bremen were given a lifeline when Bensebaini was adjudged to have upended Theodor Gebre Selassie, following a lengthy VAR review. Davy Klaassen stepped up to take the ensuing penalty, only to be thwarted by the impregnable Sommer. It proved a decisive moment in the game. Pavlenka stood tall to keep out Thuram, but not even Bremen's entire roster of goalkeepers would have stopped Gladbach's next attempt as Herrmann capped a driving run with an emphatic finish to give the Foals a rosy three-goal cushion heading into the final half-hour. Pavlenka kept out Alassane Plea and substitute Lars Stindl to prevent further misery for Bremen, for whom Bensebaini's 87th-minute sending off for a second bookable offence came far too late to affect the outcome, despite Leonardo Bittencourt's injury-time strike. Gladbach stay top going into the November international break, while Werder sit just two points above the bottom three.

Match stats

  • Gladbach have won all eight games this season in which they have taken the lead.
  • Benes free-kicks have resulted in a league-high for goals, while Gladbach have netted five from set-pieces this term.
  • Hermmann has already scored four Bundesliga goals this season. He managed three across 24 games in 2018/19.
  • Hermann netted his seventh Bundesliga brace, and second of the current campaign.
  • Sommer has saved two of the 25 penalties he has faced in the Bundesliga.
  • Werder have not won since beating Union Berlin on Matchday 4.

Line-ups

Gladbach: Sommer (c) – Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini – Benes (Neuhaus 58'), Kramer, Zakaria – Herrmann – Thuram, Plea (Stindl 81')
Unused subs: Grün, Strobl, Raffael, Beyer, Traore, Wendt, Hofmann
Out: Embolo (thigh), Jantschke (thigh), Sippel (knee), Bennetts (thigh), Johnson (groin), Raffael (groin)
Coach: Marco Rose

Bremen: Pavlenka – Gebre Selassie, Veljkovic, Langkamp, Friedl (Sargent 81') – M. Eggestein, Sahin (Goller 73') - Klaassen (c), Bittencourt, Raschica – Osako
Unused subs: Lang, Pizarro, J. Eggestein, Kapino, Groß, Bargfrede
Out: Augustinsson (knee), Bartels (match fitness), Füllkrug (torn ACL), Möhwald (knee), Moisander (calf), Toprak (injured in warm-up)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt

Watch: Sommer: "Really positive that we're top"