Munich - There were draws for Borussia Mönchengladbach and Hannover 96 on Matchday 16 of the Bundesliga, while FC Augsburg broke a club record courtesy of a convincing win over bottom-of-the-table Eintracht Braunschweig.
1. FSV Mainz 05 0-0 Borussia Mönchengladbach
bundesliga.com rounds up the Saturday afternoon action.
Borussia Mönchengladbach extended their unbeaten run to seven, despite being held to a goalless draw at 1. FSV Mainz 05. Boosted by their recent string of consecutive wins, Lucien Favre's men began brightly, enjoying the larger share of possession. Raffael could have given the five-time Bundesliga champions the lead after ten minutes, his shot swerving just wide from the edge of the box, before Juan Arango saw his long-range effort denied by Loris Karius.
Clear-cut goalscoring opportunities remained at a premium at either end until the interval, however, though Mainz's forward Shinji Okazaki almost caught Mönchengladbach cold when the Japan international had only custudian Marc-Andre ter Stegen to beat.
Kruse comes closest
Borussia kept themselves predominantly in the driving seat against a stubborn Mainz side and almost saw their efforts come to an avail shortly after the break when 21-year-old Julian Korb fired just past the left post from a tight angle.
The visitors should have broken the deadlock 15 minutes from time after beating the 05ers in transition to carve out the best chance of the encounter, yet Max Kruse endeavoured to squander Patrick Herrmann's pinpoint pass. Both players failed to breach Mainz's stronghold with time winding down, as Gladbach passed up the chance to move into the top three.
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Hannover 96 3-3 1. FC Nürnberg
The visitors, who went into the game still searching for their first Bundesliga victory of the season, started brightly at the HDI Arena and took the lead when Adam Hlousek’s long-range strike took a wicked deflection off Hiroki Sakai, wrong-footing Ron-Robert Zieler in the Hannover goal and sending the ball into the bottom corner.
Josip Drmic promptly doubled Nürnberg’s advantage eight minutes later with a composed finish after rounding Zieler. However, there was no sign of the visitors resting on their laurels as Sweden international Per Nilsson made it 3-0 five minutes before half-time with a powerful header from Marvin Plattenhardt's corner, a scoreline which reflected der Club’s dominance in a one-sided first 45 minutes.
Diouf to the rescue
The hosts improved after the restart and Raphael Schäfer was forced to make a smart save at the feet of Szabolcs Huszti five minutes into the second half. The veteran Nürnberg keeper was powerless to prevent Hannover pulling a goal back on the hour-mark though, when Huszti’s low cross was tapped home from close range by substitute Leonardo Bittencourt.
Another Huszti delivery was headed against the crossbar by Marcelo, before Mame Diouf further reduced the deficit with four minutes remaining courtesy of a close-range finish. Two minutes into stoppage time, the Senegal international broke Nürnberg hearts when he poked home from inside the penalty area after Schäfer had saved his initial header. Gertjan Verbeek’s team remain in trouble in 17th, but Hannover will be delighted with a point following an outstanding comeback.
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FC Augsburg 4-1 Eintracht Braunschweig
The in-form hosts, who had kept three consecutive clean sheets in the Bundesliga prior to Matchday 16, took the lead halfway through the first period when Tobias Werner was brought down by Normann Theuerkauf in the penalty area. Skipper Paul Verhaegh made no mistake from the spot, firing the resulting penalty into the top right-hand corner of Daniel Davari’s goal.
Andre Hahn then took advantage of some hesitant Braunschweig defending to beat Davari, doubling Augsburg’s lead before things got even worse for the struggling visitors when, just four minutes later, Werner set up Hahn to double his personal tally for the afternoon, handing the hosts a deserved 3-0 lead going into half-time.
Altintop seals victory
Braunschweig hadn’t created much in the opening period, but Torsten Lieberknecht’s side managed to pull a goal back just two minutes after the restart. Orhan Ademi laid the ball off to Torsten Oehrl, who fired a sweetly-struck volley into the roof of the Augsburg net. Theuerkauf almost pulled another goal back for the visitors moments later, but the left-back’s powerful effort flew inches over the crossbar.
As a result, Halil Altintop was able to put the result beyond doubt with 15 minutes remaining. The former FC Schalke 04 and Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder made his way into the penalty area, before lifting an exquisite lob over the onrushing Davari for his fifth league goal of the campaign. The result leaves Eintracht Braunschweig rooted to the foot of the table, while Augsburg climb into seventh on the back of scoring four goals for the first-time ever in the Bundesliga.
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