Hanover - Mame Diouf and Artjoms Rudnevs ensured Tayfun Korkut's winning start to life as Hannover 96 coach continued with a 3-1 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Sizing each other up
Rudnevs made it two goals in two games for the Lower Saxony club to give them the lead, before Diouf doubled their advantage. Peniel Mlapa pulled one back for the visitors, but another Diouf strike wrapped up Korkut's second win in as many games in charge.
The game started at a frenetic pace, which both sides were able to maintain throughout an encounter which swung from end to end. First it was Gladbach on top, building up an impressive portion of possession, although Hannover were the model of organisation and retained a threat on the break, particularly via the effervescent Leonardo Bittencourt.
A neatly-weighted ball over the top from Granit Xhaka was just inches too far in front of Juan Arango as the first opening of the game almost arrived for the Foals, while at the other end, Bittencourt, scorer of a brace last weekend, looped a header over the crossbar after finding room around the back. Patrick Herrmann then created space for a 25-yard effort, which Ron Robert Zieler turned round for a corner to ensure things remained goalless.
Two in two for Rudnevs
As the first half drew to its conclusion, Hannover once again looked to hit their opponents on the counter-attack, with Bittencourt curling a shot wide after a neat turn took him away from Oscar Wendt. Senegalese striker Diouf then saw a goal ruled out after Szabolcs Huszti had been penalised for a push in the box.
The opening half, while entertaining, had been somewhat attritional, but the spaces opened up for both sides after the interval, and Huszti made up for his aberrance by assisting Rudnevs his second goal in as many games. The former Hamburger SV forward planted a committed header into the corner of ter Stegen's goal, with the Gladbach custodian only able to help the ball on its way in.
Now forced to chase the game, the Foals had to respond and they did so with Raffael dribbling his way through and around Zieler but sending his shot into the side netting. Finding the balance between searching for an equaliser and avoiding a second goal was the test for Lucien Favre's men, and they failed to pass it as Diouf doubled the home side's advantage, heading past ter Stegen from another Huszti assist after another well-constructed breakaway.
Hannover's celebrations were temporarily cut short when Gladbach substitutes Amin Younes and Mlapa combined, with the latter heading the former's cross past Zieler to set up a tense finale, but Diouf, who had missed a great opportunity at 2-1, was not to be denied. A drilled effort into the corner completed the third brace of his Bundesliga career and his 23rd career goal at home in a Hannover shirt, securing all three points for Korkut's men.
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