Hamburg - Rafael van der Vaart’s stunning first half strike was enough to give Hamburger SV a narrow 1-0 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach.

The visitors went into the game having conceded six goals in their last two games, but began the match solidly with the closest Hamburg coming to a goal Dennis Aogo's half-volley which flashed wide. It was clear a moment of magic would be required to break the deadlock and it duly arrived from van der Vaart, who collected the ball 30 yards from goal before rifling an unstoppable swerving shot into the top corner for his second goal of the season.

Rearguard action

The home side began the second period on the front foot and of all people it was Arango that prevented Gladbach from falling further behind, helping to divert Slobodan Rajkovic’s close range header wide of the target. The best hope for Lucien Favre’s men in attack seemed to come from Herrmann, and the 21-year-old almost fashioned an equaliser for his side but his teasing cross was glanced wide by Mike Hanke.

Gladbach’s exertions in Europe on Thursday night began to show as the minutes accumulated, but Hamburg were unable to capitalise. With Borussia sensing an equaliser, captain Filip Daems struck a powerful drive which missed the target by inches, before a barrage of set pieces into the Hamburg box were successfully cleared to seal consecutive league wins for the first time this season for Thorsten Fink’s men.

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