Leverkusen - Borussia Mönchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen denied Bayer 04 Leverkusen the derby spoils as the two Rhine rivals played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at the BayArena on Matchday 4.
The German international was in commanding form between the Gladbach sticks, pulling off a handful of superb saves either side of a missed penalty from Andre Schürrle, after first-half goals from Patrick Herrmann and Michal Kadlec.
Following the Rhine rivals' Europa League exertions in midweek, it was no surprise to see both coaches ring the changes for the derby clash. The fresh legs struck the right chord for the visitors when, just three minutes in, Juan Arango sprayed a stunning ball over the top for Herrmann to expertly control and fire past the advancing Bernd Leno with aplomb.
Die Werkself didn't allow their heads to drop, though, taking just nine minutes to draw level as Stefan Reinhartz squeezed a cute ball into the path of Kadlec, who nestled an unstoppable effort into the top corner for 1-1. The goal swung the pendulum firmly in the home side's favour, with Karim Bellrabi pulling the strings and the Foals chasing shadows.
All over the shop
The pace with which Leverkusen were shifting the ball was proving a real headache for the visitors, who had Filip Daems' double goal-line intervention to thank for not falling behind in the 26th minute. Another set-piece delivery triggered panic in the Mönchengladbach area moments later but, off balance, Phillipp Wollschied's effort lacked the power to seriously trouble ter Stegen.
Mönchengladbach's back four failed to heed the numerous Leverkusen warnings as Stefan Kießling raced away to warm the palms of ter Stegen, before Schürrle fluffed an even better chance, leaving an unbelieavably flat defensive line for dead and dinking wide of the far post with just the keeper to beat.
The ter Stegen show
Recognising just how fine a line his side were treading, Lucien Favre responded by throwing on Igor de Camargo and Mike Hanke, but it was ter Stegen who once again had to be at his best with a string of fine second-half saves.The Mönchengladbach stopper's goal led a charmed existence, none more so than when Roel Brouwers was penalised for handball and Schürrle struck the resulting spot kick against the right-hand post.
Mönchengladbach must have thought it was going to be their day and began to come out of their shell in the last 15 minutes as Hanke directed a couple of headers narrowly over, but normal service was resumed soon after with ter Stegen once more to the fore, forcing the profligate Leverkusen to settle for just a point.
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