Thorgan Hazard had a hand in both goals as Borussia Mönchengladbach moved above Bayern Munich into second place with a 2-0 win over ten-man Schalke.
Schalke 0-2 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Goal: 0-1 Kramer (85'), 0-2 Neuhaus (90+1')
Red card: Nübel (59')
Hazard returned to the Gladbach side after missing the Matchday 19 win over Augsburg, and made his presence felt within minutes of kick-off at the Veltins Arena. The Belgium international skipped clear of the home defence and slipped a clever ball across the box for Oscar Wendt, whose first-time strike was charged down by Daniel Caligiuri. It marked the beginning of a frenetic 10-minute spell in which Caligiuri, Gladbach captain Lars Stindl and Schalke forward Mark Uth all passed up presentable openings to break the deadlock, before young Schalke goalkeeper Alexander Nübel stuck out a boot to deny Denis Zakaria at point-blank range.
Despite ending the first half the stronger, with Caligiuri drawing premature celebrations with a wicked free-kick into the side-netting, Schalke almost shot themselves in the foot at the start of the second. Nübel’s errant clearance fell straight to Zakaria, but the Gladbach midfielder could not find a way past the back-tracking Schalke stopper from range. However, Nübel would not be so lucky in the 59th minute when he was shown a straight red card for a foul on Hazard. Yevhen Konoplyanka made way as Ralf Fährmann entered the fray in the Schalke goal. He had plenty to do, but was powerless to prevent substitute Christoph Kramer thundering in with the aid of a deflection following a fine piece of play from Hazard. Another Gladbach substitute, Florian Neuhaus, added a second in injury time, with Hazard again the catalyst.
- Twenty-two points after 20 matches is Schalke’s worst points haul in 20 years.
- Hazard registered his seventh and eighth Bundesliga assists of the season.
- Schalke debutant Rabbi Matondo is the fourth Welshman to play in the Bundesliga.
- Gladbach are unbeaten in their last seven competitive meetings with Schalke (W3, D4).
- Kramer has scored three of his last four Bundesliga goals with his left foot.
- Nine Gladbach goals have been scored by substitutes this season. Only leaders Borussia Dortmund have scored more substitute goals (14).
Schalke: Nübel – Sane, McKennie, Nastasic - Caligiuri (c), Rudy (Matondo 75'), Bentaleb, Serdar, Oczipka - Uth, Konoplyanka (Fährmann 61')
Unused subs: Mendyl, Mascarell, Kutucu, Bruma, Wright
Out: Burgstaller (Achilles), Di Santo (knee), Embolo (foot), Schöpf (knee), Skrzybski (thigh), Stambouli (broken cheek bone), Harit (hamstring)
Coach: Domenico Tedesco
Gladbach: Sommer – Lang, Ginter, Elvedi, Wendt – Zakaria (Neuhaus 77'), Strobl (Kramer 68'), Hofmann (Herrmann 83') – Stindl (c), Plea, Hazard
Unused subs: Sippel, Johnson, Jantschke, Cuisance
Out: Bennetts (thigh), Doucoure (thigh), Raffael (collarbone)
Coach: Dieter Hecking
Watch: Hazard: "Deserved to win"