Rouwen Hennings bagged a brace as Fortuna Düsseldorf stunned Rhine derby rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach with a 3-1 win to put 20 points between themselves and the relegation places.
Düsseldorf 3-1 Gladbach
Goals: 1-0 Hennings (6’), 2-0 Stöger (12’), 3-0 Hennings (17’), 3-1 Zakaria (83')
Promoted Düsseldorf had lost the reverse fixture 3-0 in November, and they were clearly out for revenge at their Merkur Spiel-Arena, with Hennings scoring a pair of goals either side of a Kevin Stöger tap-in before the first 20 minutes were up. Benito Raman was tasked with drifting into the channels, and the Belgian had a hand in all three goals after getting in behind Gladbach’s attacking full-backs, Oscar Wendt and Fabian Johnson. Hennings latched onto a Raman pass to steer the ball past Yann Sommer for 1-0; Raman then broke down the right before cutting back for Stöger’s simple finish, and then got free down the left, putting another wicked ball in that Hennings did well to claim as his own before firing his fifth goal of the season. At the other end, Florian Neuhaus came close to equalising against the team whom he spent last season on loan with, but Michael Rensing tipped his effort over and the sides went in for the break with the score at 3-0.
Dieter Hecking sent Denis Zakaria on for the second half in place of Neuhaus in an attempt to shore up his midfield, but the Foals struggled to create any chances of note with a half-time dressing down likely still ringing in their ears. Tobias Strobl tried to find Lars Stindl with a raking ball forward but there was too much on the delivery for the Gladbach captain to do anything with it. Hecking’s opposite number sent Dawid Kownacki on for the final 20 minutes, the Pole replacing Hennings who went off to a standing ovation, but Gladbach ended the match with nearly 70 per cent of possession and deservedly pulled one back when Zakaria got the break of the ball in the box following a corner. Gladbach thought they had further reduced the arrears when Stindl fired home, but the flag went up for offside and Düsseldorf held on to seal a famous 3-1 win.
- Düsseldorf scored with their first three shots on target
- Hennings scored his first double in the Bundesliga. His last brace for Fortuna came against Karlsruher in the second tier in March 2017.
- Stöger’s goal was his first for Düsseldorf since joining from Bochum last summer.
- Düsseldorf have never taken a 3-0 lead so quickly in the Bundesliga. Gladbach have never fallen behind by three inside 20 minutes.
- Florian Neuhaus spent last season on loan at Fortuna Düsseldorf, helping Die Flingeraner to promotion with six goals and an assist from midfield.
Düsseldorf: Rensing – Zimmermann, Ayhan (Hoffmann 52'), Kaminski, Gießelmann – Raman, Stöger, Bodzek (Bormuth 60'), Fink (c), Suttner – Hennings (Kownacki 71')
Unused subs: Theißen, Barkok, Karaman, Usami
Out: Contento (cruciate ligament), Drobny (hand), Lukebakio (suspended), Morales (groin), Sobottka (cold), Zimmer (ankle)
Coach: Friedhelm Funkel
Gladbach: Sommer – Johnson (Raffael 69'), Ginter, Elvedi, Wendt – Hofmann, Strobl, Neuhaus (Zakaria 46') – Hazard (Herrmann 41’), Stindl (c), Plea
Unused subs: Sippel, Lang, Kramer, Jantschke
Out: Beyer (ankle), Doucoure (thigh), Traore (groin)
Coach: Dieter Hecking