A Gladbach outfit shorn of FIFA World Cup winner Christoph Kramer began on the back foot. The speed and energy promised by Hannover 96 coach Tayfun Korkut pinned the visitors back and resulted in a good early chance for Jimmy Briand. Their promising start lasted but 15 minutes, when Max Kruse’s opener changed the complexion of the game. His fourth strike of the season was laid on by Alvaro Dominguez, whose pinpoint cross was met by the German international’s twisting header.
Hannover regrouped and forced chances through Joselu and Hiroshi Kiyotake, although none of their opportunities caused Gladbach keeper Yann Sommer an undue amount of trouble. Indeed, the Foals began to take control, enjoying more possession and always looking a threat on the counter, where Kruse and Hahn were linking up easily.
Xhaka and Kruse complete the win
Four minutes into the second period, Gladbach had the second goal their dominance deserved. Granit Xhaka’s powerful, swerving free-kick from 25 yards left Ron-Robert Zieler with no chance in the Hannover goal, and ended any hope of a Hannover comeback. Gladbach’s dominance led to Dominguez hitting the post with a header before the hour mark, while Raffael and Patrick Herrmann joined in the counter-attacking at will.
Hannover were distinctly lacking in ideas, and it took them until the 67th minute to have their first chance of the half, but Joselu’s effort failed to trouble Sommer. Hahn and Herrmann both came close in the latter stages, before Kruse’s second goal of the game in the 90th minute finished off the listless hosts and made it eight games without defeat this season for Lucien Favre’s men.
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