Juan Arango and Oscar Wendt netted in the first half for the Foals, while Frankfurt's Stefan Aigner briefly had the sides level. The second period was one-way traffic, however, as Patrick Herrmann scored once and set up Raffael for the other to set up the hosts' fifth home win in succession.
Borussia's youngest starting eleven of the season came out of the blocks full of expected verve and confidence. Despite Tranquillo Barnetta’s best creative efforts for Eintracht, the hosts were totally on top in the opening exchanges, with Arango firing over from distance after only four minutes. If any fans were fearing that the Venezuelan might be having an off day, he answered them in spectacular fashion, curling a free-kick over the wall and into the corner with aplomb after twelve minutes.
The lead was to last just a few moments, as misplaced pass from Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the Gladbach goal allowed Alexander Meier to waltz his way into the box, and although Vaclav Kadlec was brought down by the keeper, Aigner was there to tap home. Undeterred, Gladbach bounced back, and led by Max Kruse and Raffael in their attacking efforts, were in the lead again with 18 minutes on the clock, as Wendt hammered home a left-foot finish from Raffael’s cute ball.
Raffael and Kruse were linking up with ease, with Kruse’s first touch a joy to behold, while Frankfurt’s high-risk game in search of the equaliser was leaving them wide open defensively. Arango’s legs let him down in a foot race with Carlos Zambrano in the 38th minute, but as half-time approached Armin Veh’s men were beginning to threaten. Kadlec’s improvised header drew a fantastic clawing save from ter Stegen in the 42nd minute.
After a pulsating first period induced by the wet surface, things became more sedate at the beginning of the second-half. Arango and Herrmann were causing Frankfurt problems, the former blazing a customary long-range strike over after 56 minutes. Granit Xhaka then shaved the outside post three minutes later from 25 yards as the Foals began to bare their teeth.
Herrmann shoulders the responsibility
Herrmann, anonymous in the first-half, then took it upon himself to underline Gladbach’s early second-half superiority. The winger’s second goal of the season came after a lovely dinked assist from Kruse, and his emphatic finish provided Kruse’s vision the end result it deserved. Herrmann, not content with one goal, produced a turn of pace in the 66th minute to take him to the byline, from where he cut back into the box. Raffael made no mistake with his cool finish from six yards, and gave Gladbach an unassailable 4-1 lead.
Frankfurt offered more resistance in the closing stages than throughout the rest of the second period. Kadlec was denied by Tony Jantschke’s superb saving tackle on the penalty spot, but it Lucien Favre's men retained a threat until the end. Herrmann volleyed Kruse’s cross over, while the latter then missed a chance to pick up the goal his performance deserved with a minute remaining. As it was, Lucien Favre's men took three points and four goals, while Frankfurt suffered a comedown from their European high.
Line-ups and statistics
Raffael is Gladbach's half of a Brazilian Bundesliga brotherhood. Find out more on the official Bundesliga YouTube channel: