Oscar Wendt broke the deadlock early, while Raffael's header handed the hosts a two-goal lead at the break. Mirko Boland reduced the arrears, but goals from Max Kruse and Raffael ensured the Foals took all three points in Friday's entertaining evening encounter.
Chances at both ends
Lucien Favre’s side have had an indifferent start to the Bundesliga campaign, but the Foals were always going to be favourites against Braunschweig, who had only picked up a point all season. Gladbach almost opened the scoring with just six minutes on the clock, as Christoph Kramer combined well with Patrick Herrmann down the right before laying the ball back to Raffael, only for the Brazilian to fire wide of the target.
The 28-year-old almost capitalised on a mistake by Marjan Petkovic four minutes later when he spilled Juan Arango’s cross, but the Braunschweig keeper did just enough to deny Raffael's effort on the rebound. At the other end Karim Bellarabi went closest for the visitors, whistling a shot past the post with Marc-André ter Stegen beaten following an impressive solo-run through the home defence.
Wendt puts Gladbach ahead
However, Gladbach duly took the lead half way through the first half. Wendt, in for the injured Foals’ captain Philipp Daems, collected Arango’s pass on the left, side-stepped the challenge of Benjamin Kessel, before firing an unstoppable shot into the far corner of Petkovic’s goal. Raffael thought he had doubled the hosts’ lead when he slotted home following Patrick Herrmann’s pass, yet was denied his second goal of the season by the linesman's flag.
He didn’t have to wait long to get his name on the score sheet, however. Max Kruse’s pinpoint cross from the left found the Brazilian, who headed home the Foals' first aerial effort of the current campaign. Gladbach’s 2-0 lead at the break was a fair reflection of their dominance against Braunschweig who, aside from Bellarabi’s chance, had created precious little during the opening half.
Boland gives Braunschweig hope
The visitors started the second period in more ambitious fashion though, and pulled a goal back just before the hour mark. Wendt gave the ball away in midfield, allowing Bellarabi to break away on the left and pick out Boland, who beat the Gladbach defence to the cross and fired past ter Stegen to halve the deficit.
The visitors hopes of picking up their first away points of the season were dealt a critical blow ten minutes later when Marco Caligiuri brought down Arango in the box. Kruse stepped up and sent Petkovic the wrong way to restore the hosts’ two-goal advantage, before Raffael bagged his brace just a minute later, poking home from close range after Petkovic had failed to hold on to Arango’s deflected shot. As a result the Foals maintained their unblemished home record, climbing to fourth in the league ahead of the remaining Matchday 6 encounters.
Line-ups and statistics