Mönchengladbach - Borussia Mönchengladbach extended their unbeaten run to 17 games in all competitions this season with a deserved 3-1 win over TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
Herrmann and Hahn show
The home side led 2-1 at the end of a breath-taking first half, in which Andre Hahn and Patrick Herrmann had found the net either side of an Anthony Modeste strike. The five-time Bundesliga champions then made sure of the points when Herrmann tapped in his third of the season.
Borussia’s draw with FC Bayern München last week had fans mentioning the current crop in the same breath as the fabled Foals of the 1970s, and in a compelling opening period, Lucien Favre’s more than succeeded in emulating their esteemed predecessors. In their first real attack, Gladbach’s one-touch football clicked into gear to release Herrmann, who breezed past Andreas Beck and laid the ball on a plate for Hahn to calmly volley in.
Hoffenheim responded well to the setback, however. Kevin Volland had been ruled out with injury shortly before kick-off, but the visitors still had Roberto Firmino to pull the midfield strings, and after two offside calls went against them, Modeste made the most of a ricochet in the box after good work from Firmino to lash home an equaliser.
Foals back in control
The home faithful were unfazed by only the fifth goal Borussia had conceded this season, and were indeed singing again just two minutes later when Hahn returned the favour for Herrmann to slide home a near-post finish. Markus Gisdol’s charges would have been grateful to hear the half-time whistle, but the Hoffenheim coach’s plan was thrown out the window within two minutes of the restart, as Herrmann slotted the ball in for 3-1 after a goalkeeping parry by Oliver Baumann.
Hoffenheim had gone into the game with their own unbeaten record of nine games to protect, but at two goals behind and without the inspiration of Volland, Gisdol’s young side looked short on ideas as they attempted to find a route back into the game, with Gladbach custodian Yann Sommer utterly untroubled in the second 45 minutes.
Foals back in control
It was in fact Borussia that looked the more likely to score, but after Raffael smashed an effort off the crossbar with the goal gaping, their hunger to attack also seemed to dissipate somewhat.
That mattered little to the home fans, however, and neither will Favre be too concerned after a more relaxed second-half display, with a UEFA Europa League tie against Apollon Limassol FC and a league game with the other Borussia - Dortmund - up next for the unbeatables.
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