Borussia Mönchengladbach's Max Kruse (r.) netted a brace as the Foals cruised to a 3-0 win in Hannover 96
Borussia Mönchengladbach's Max Kruse (r.) netted a brace as the Foals cruised to a 3-0 win in Hannover 96

Gladbach and Mainz stay unbeaten, Wolves win in Freiburg

Cologne - Borussia Mönchengladbach and VfL Wolfsburg recorded their first away wins of the 2014/15 season, while 1. FSV Mainz 05 extended their unbeaten run with victory over FC Augsburg.

Hannover 96 0-3 Borussia Mönchengladbach rounds up Saturday's action...

Borussia Mönchengladbach remain unbeaten this season courtesy of a 3-0 success over an uninspired Hannover 96 side at the HDI Arena.

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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SC Freiburg 1-2 VfL Wolfsburg

VfL Wolfsburg extended SC Freiburg’s winless Bundesliga run with a 2-1 victory over the Black Forest club at the Schwarzwald-Stadion.

Former Freiburg man Daniel Caligiuri gave the visitors the lead after just eight minutes in Baden-Württemberg, converting Kevin De Bruyne’s inch-perfect cross at the far post for his first goal of the season. Luis Gustavo perhaps should have doubled the Wolves’ lead ten minutes before half-time, but the Brazil international could only sidefoot the ball wide of Roman Bürki’s goal.

Wolves hold on

The hosts improved after the restart and spurned two opportunities to level the score just before the hour mark. Young striker Maximilian Philipp fired over Diego Benaglio’s crossbar from deep inside the area, before Mike Frantz shot straight at the Switzerland international from an equally promising position.

De Bruyne then saw his low effort saved by Bürki at the other end as Dieter Hecking’s side looked to double their slender advantage, and their pressure told soon after as Caligiuri grabbed his and Wolfsburg’s second of the match to make it 2-0. Sebastian Kerk pulled a goal back for Christian Streich’s charges, but Freiburg failed to find an equaliser and remain deep in trouble near the foot of the Bundesliga table.

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1. FSV Mainz 2-1 FC Augsburg

1. FSV Mainz 05 held off a late FC Augsburg onslaught to record a 2-1 victory at the Coface Arena.

With new signing Jairo making his starting debut, Mainz began confidently, as befits a side yet to taste defeat this season. Jonas Hofmann tested Marwin Hitz in the Augsburg goal, while Shinji Okazaki’s movement up front left the visitors’ defence chasing shadows. It took 20 minutes for the dominant hosts to open the scoring, and it inevitably came from the inspired Hofmann. His third goal of the season was a thing of beauty, twisting and turning before beating Hitz at his near post.

The hosts doubled their lead just three minutes later, with Jairo taking advantage of some slack Augsburg defending to place his confident finish into the bottom corner. Augsburg, stung, looked to force a way back through Halil Altintop and Raul Bobadilla, yet the well-organised Mainz defence was foiling their best efforts. The closest they came was five minutes before the break, as Bobadilla’s free-kick drew a smart save from Loris Karius.

Too little, too late

Karius was called into action early in the second-half, as Augsburg, and particularly Bobadilla began peppering his goal with shots. One effort from Ragnar Klavan drew a superb save from the young custodian, while the entry of Abdul Rahman Baba at left-back gave Augsburg more pace and width.

Mainz were being forced ever deeper, and Okazaki cut an isolated figure, while Tobias Werner began to emerge as Augsburg’s best form of attack. He fired a free-kick just over after 70 minutes, before his stooping header from Baba’s cross finally beat Karius. Mainz’s defensive organisation, with Julian Baumgartlinger particularly influential in midfield, just about held off the visitors’ renewed verve, however, as Kasper Hjulmand’s side remain unbeaten.

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