bundesliga.com rounds up the action from a cracking Saturday afternoon...
Hannover 96 1-3 Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Bayer 04 Leverkusen kept up their assault on the UEFA Champions League spots after dispatching Hannover 96 3-1 in the HDI Arena.
All the game's goals fell in a second half dominated by the visitors, who found the net through Stefan Kießling, Heung-Min Son and Karim Bellarabi, with Ceyhan Gülselam's a mere consolation for the hosts.
Leverkusen train their sights
Despite a fortnight’s break, Leverkusen began the match intent on finding the net after failing to do so in their last outing. Hakan Calhanoglu fired in a pair of long-range efforts early, while Kießling could only find the side-netting after being teed up by Bellarabi in the tenth minute. Hosts Hannover, themselves in excellent form, hit back with efforts of their own from Lars Stindl and Joselu. Indeed, their dominance of the ball led to the best chance ten minutes before the break after a mix-up between Bernd Leno and Roberto Hilbert, where the latter was required to clear off the line.
Leverkusen began the second period with a bang, however, scoring twice within 13 minutes of the restart. Kießling netted the first from close-range after Gonzalo Castro's low cross, before Son doubled the lead with a fantastic finish from just inside the box. Hannover hit back on the hour mark through Gülselam, who headed in Hiroshi Kiyotake's free-kick. However, when Bellarabi broke free in the 73rd-minute and coolly slotted home past Ron-Robert Zieler, the points were on their way to Leverkusen after a dominant second-half display.
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Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-3 Eintracht Frankfurt
Eintracht Frankfurt staged a memorable second-half comeback to beat Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-1 at the Borussia Park.
After Havard Nordtveit had given the hosts an early lead, second-half goals from Marc Stendera, Alexander Meier and Takashi Inui secured three points for Thomas Schaaf's men, who inflicted a second consecutive defeat on the Foals.
From hero to zero
Despite a first loss of the season on Matchday 11, Borussia Mönchengladbach bossed the opening exchanges, with Nordtveit’s deflected left-footed strike giving them a deserved sixth-minute lead. They held the upper hand, with efforts from Max Kruse and Granit Xhaka going close, but the visitors battled back as the half wore on. Haris Seferovic enjoyed the best of the Eagles’ chances, but as a whole, they were limited by Gladbach’s pressing game which should have brought a goal for Andre Hahn before the break.
Hahn also spurned the first chance of the second period, after which the game turned completely on its head. Stendera notched his first Bundesliga goal to equalise for Frankfurt in the 54th-minute with a brilliant low strike from the edge of the box. Three minutes later, Schaaf’s men were ahead when Meier tapped home from close-range. Despite Gladbach’s best efforts to hit back, goalkeeper Yann Sommer gave the ball away cheaply in the 73rd-minute and Inui made no mistake to make it 3-1. By the time Xhaka received his marching orders in injury time, Gladbach’s unbeaten home record had been ended and Frankfurt picked up their first win in five games.
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1. FSV Mainz 05 2-2 SC Freiburg
1. FSV Mainz 05 scored a late equaliser as they drew 2-2 with an impressive SC Freiburg side at the Coface Arena.
The sides went in level at the break after Junior Diaz's strike was cancelled out by Jonathan Schmid, and although Admir Mehmedi gave the visitors a second-half lead, Stefan Bell equalised late to rescue a point.
An end-to-end affair
Mainz, coming into Matchday 12 after three games without a win, began the first-half in confident mood. Jairo and Shinji Okazaki both saw their long-range strikes sail wide, but Diaz crowned their dominance with a cute finish from a Johannes Geis free-kick and the Costa Rican star should have doubled the lead moments later, steering his header off target. Freiburg, however, hit back on the half-hour mark when Schmid coolly nodded home Mehmedi’s excellent cross to send the sides in level at the break.
Christian Streich's troops began the second half the stronger with chances from Schmid and Felix Klaus, but it was Mehmedi who put the visitors ahead, nodding home his side's second of the game in the 58th minute. The guests enjoyed a period of control after the goal, but as the game drew to a close, Mainz turned up the pressure. Okazaki and Ja-Cheol Koo spurned chances, but when the former's dinked effort was cleared off the line in the 88th minute, Bell tapped home to spare Kasper Hjulamnd's side's blushes.
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