Patrick Herrmann (l.) was at his energetic best for Mönchengladbach, but he couldn't prevent Maza (r.) and VfB Stuttgart leaving Borussia Park with a narrow 2-1 win
Patrick Herrmann (l.) was at his energetic best for Mönchengladbach, but he couldn't prevent Maza (r.) and VfB Stuttgart leaving Borussia Park with a narrow 2-1 win

Goals galore on Super Saturday

VfB Stuttgart and SC Freiburg both picked up away-day wins against UEFA Europa League participants Borussia Mönchengladbach and Hannover 96 respectively, while Eintracht Frankfurt hit Augsburg for four and Hamburg downed Mainz on a goal-strewn Saturday afernoon.

Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-2 VfB Stuttgart

Gladbach were in high spirits following their impressive win at Greuther Fürth last week, and it was they that struck first blood early on. There seemed little danger when a bouncing ball dropped to Martin Stranzl 30 yards out, but there was nothing the VfB backline could do to stop the veteran defender's crashing half-volley nestling in the bottom corner.

To Stuttgart’s credit, their response could hardly have been swifter. Cristian Molinaro found space to deliver a deep cross and Martin Harnik leapt well to force in a header, restoring parity in a remarkable opening spell. Both sides were contributing to a fast-paced encounter, and Mike Hanke went close for Gladbach, before Ibrahima Traore flashed a free-kick just over for VfB.

Brouwers unlucky

In the second period, the match had become somewhat flat in comparison with that explosive start, and other than a Christian Gentner header, which deflected against the post, neither side created much. It seemed that something out-of-the-ordinary was going to be required to trouble the scores again and it arrived on 72 minutes, as Molinaro’s hopeful cross was acrobatically put into his own net by the unfortunate Roel Brouwers.

Gladbach threw on Peniel Mlapa and Igor de Camargo to add some presence up front, but that left them vulnerable to the counter-attack and Gotoku Sakai went close to making it 3-1 from a tight angle. The Foals laid siege to the Stuttgart goal in the final few minutes, but neither Juan Arango's agonisingly deflected shot nor a Martin Stranzl header could stop them falling to their second home loss of the campaign.

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Eintracht Frankfurt 4-2 FC Augsburg

Frankfurt tasted defeat last time out against FC Bayern Munich, but it was clear that that result had been put to the back of their minds as they opened the scoring with just seven minutes gone. Pirmin Schwegler's powerful strike cannoned off the post only to strike the leg of Augsburg's Sascha Mölders before rolling over the line.

The Eagles continued to dominate, and after Alexander Meier had gone close, Stefan Aigner made it 2-0, rounding the keeper before sliding in a neat finish. Karim Matmour might have even added a third for the dominant home side, but Augsburg were given a lifeline when Ja-Cheol Koo drilled in a fine effort to halve the deficit on the stroke of half-time.

Meier stays cool

The goal might have given the away side belief for the second period, but that was dampened down again within minutes of the restart. Sebastian Rode started off a move that released Aigner down the right and his cutback was expertly steered home by the evergreen Meier for his eighth goal of the season.

There was life in Markus Weinzierl's team yet though, and they forced their way back into the game again when Mölders netted at the right end, tapping home from Daniel Baier's delivery. However Eintracht always looked dangerous and they effectively put the result to bed when a penalty was given against Matthias Ostrolczek, allowing Meier to dispatch for 4-2, completing a comfortable win for the Eagles.

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Hannover 96 1-2 SC Freiburg

Hannover's momentum from a 4-2 comeback win in Stuttgart last weekend lasted just 10 minutes at the AWD Arena, which was when Freiburg took the lead. Daniel Caligiuri dribbled past Lars Stindl and Hiroki Sakai before the ball rolled through to Jonathan Schmid, who had an open goal to aim at to put Freiburg in front after only 12 minutes. Hannover were stunned and risked falling further behind until their first attack of the game resulted in an equaliser.

Stindl's shot struck the outstretched arm of Caligiuri and a penalty was awarded, as Abdellaoue beat Oliver Baumann from the spot to restore parity with his third goal in his last two games. While it brought Hannover back into the match in terms of the scoreline, there was only really one side in charge and that was Christian Streich's visitors, who missed the chance to go in at the break ahead when Julian Schuster blazed a shot over the crossbar with only Ron-Robert Zieler to beat.

Freiburg flourish

It was a similar story in the second half with Caligiuri popping up in front of Zieler in the 50th minute, but the Hannover custodian made two sensational stops to keep his side on level terms. Parity lasted only six more minutes, though, before Jan Rosenthal deservedly gave Freiburg the advantage. The forward showed strength to hold off Karim Haggui and spread play for Max Kruse, who returned the favour having dribbled his way into the penalty area, picking Rosenthal out for a simple tap-in at the far post.

Inevitably, Mirko Slomka sent everybody forward as Hannover looked to avoid their second home defeat of the season.That in turn invited Freiburg forward to land the killer blow, although Schmid and Caligiuri both failed to deliver it. At the other end, Mame Diouf headed wide with the Reds best chance to salvage a share of the spoils.

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Hamburger SV 1-0 Mainz 05

Mainz had stolen a march on Hamburg in recent weeks, edging three points clear of their hosts, and they showed early on exactly why they are pushing for a place in Europe next season. The visitors' newfound understanding was evident as they pegged HSV back and went close to opening the scoring through Marcel Risse in the sixth minute. The hosts were struggling to find an answer early on, with Marcel Jansen's long-range effort the best they could muster in the opening 20 minutes.

Rafael van der Vaart is usually the man for the bright ideas, but he was finding the room to put any of his plans into practice with Bo Svensson was following him around like a shadow and the Dutch playmaker's frustrations got the better of him in the 24th minute when he received a yellow card for an unnecessary foul on Marco Caligiuri.

Son breaks deadlock

The second half started in a similar vein with clear openings few and far between. Both teams appeared to be waiting for their opponents to make a mistake before Heung-Min Son took matters into his own hands, putting the home team in front by tucking away Beister's volleyed cross in the 63rd minute. Mainz now had to invest a little more into the game, which they appeared willing and able to do as Eugen Polanski's shot tested Rene Adler.

Despite their efforts though, FSV were unable to come up with an equaliser as Hamburg closed up shop and prevented them from finding a way through. Home coach Thorsten Fink lined his men up on the edge of their own penalty area and there was to be no way through for the visitors as he Red Shorts saw the result home.

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