Mönchengladbach - Borussia Mönchengladbach moved a step closer to a place in next season's UEFA Champions League with a demonstrative 3-1 win at home to Borussia Dortmund.
Gladbach strike early
Well-taken goals from Oscar Wendt, Raffael and Havard Nordtveit wrapped up the points, with Ilkay Gündogan's 77th-minute strike nothing more than a consolation for the crestfallen visitors.
Dortmund were caught cold inside 30 seconds as Gladbach took an early lead. Raffael forced Roman Weidenfeller into action after exchanging slick passes with Patrick Herrmann, but the BVB goalkeeper could only parry the ball into the path of Wendt, who lashed home the fastest goal of the Lucien Favre era with aplomb.
Despite that setback, BVB were seeing plenty of possession, albeit for the most part in front of the Foals’ meticulously well-drilled back four. Henrikh Mkhitaryan did manage to get a shot away following a quickly-taken free kick on the left-hand side of the Gladbach box, although Swiss custodian Yann Sommer had the simple task of watching the ball drift wide.
Raffael makes it two
As the half progressed, Mönchengladbach continued to sit back and soak up the pressure, looking to catch the visitors out on the break. They managed to do exactly that in the 32nd minute when Max Kruse released the uncontainable Herrmann. The 24-year-old speedster left Neven Subotic in his wake on halfway, before squaring for Raffael to roll into the empty net from six yards.
Gladbach threatened a third early in the second half, with Weidenfeller racing off his line to thwart Herrmann. BVB responded in kind, arguably enjoying their best spell of the game, but Shinji Kagawa was unable to make the telling connection with a pair of devilish crosses from Marcel Schmelzer and Jakub Blaszczykowski.
It'd been 33 years since BVB last managed to overturn a two-goal deficit and win, and it looked like that run was only going to continue as the home side wrestled back the initiative. Wendt rifled wide from a tight angle, before Nordveit swiped home a third on his first start in six weeks after the Yellow-Blacks had failed to clear a Kruse corner.
A defensive lapse allowed Dortmund's Gündogan to reduce the arrears following a fine cut-back from 19-year-old substitute Jeremy Dudziak, but Gladbach ended the contest in the ascendancy, with Kruse a toe-end from converting Herrmann's low cross. The result means third-placed Borussia are now guaranteed to finish ahead of mid-table BVB in the standings for the first time since 1989.
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