Without a win since beating SV Werder Bremen 3-1 in Matchday 14, Hamburg started nervously, and Gladbach nearly capitalised on an early slip by Emir Spahic, but after roaring forward Raffael was unable to take advantage of Mahmoud Dahoud’s through-ball having drifted offside. At the other end Josip Drmic came close to opening the scoring against his former club, but he saw his effort punched away by Yann Sommer, and the Foals duly broke the deadlock on the counter with the very next attack. HSV failed to clear a long ball forward and when Thorgan Hazard whipped the ball into the area, Fabian Johnson was on hand to tap home his fifth goal of the season. HSV got back on level terms when Gideon Jung’s volley deflected in off Martin Hinteregger and Bruno Labbadia’s side pulled ahead with half-time approaching thanks to an Artoms Rudnevs strike which belied the fact it was only his second goal of the season.
Hamburg’s 3-0 win in September was Lucien Favre’s final home game in charge of Gladbach, as well as the Red Shorts’ biggest win this term, and the hosts tried to heap the misery on their guests in the second half, with Drmic flashing an effort over the bar ten minutes after the restart. Drmic had a gilt-edged chance to score his first HSV goal when he got free in the Gladbach box soon after, but Gotoku Sakai’s cross was cut out at the last by Andreas Christensen. Granit Xhaka grew in influence as the game wore on and Hazard nearly took full advantage of an incisive through-ball from the Swiss, but he shot wide on the turn. Hamburg substitute Ivo Ilicevic made André Schubert’s side pay for that profligacy late on, scoring a close-range header. Raffael reduced the arrears with the final chance of the game, but Hamburg held on to close out their first win of the year 3-2.
Man of the match
Having festered in the reserves for much of this campaign, Rudnevs’ pace and power wrought havoc in the visiting defence. The Latvian’s presence created space for Josip Drmic drifting in from the wing, and the former Hannover 96 man got his own name on the scoresheet with a sweetly-struck goal. Rudnevs was met with a richly-deserved standing ovation when he left the field for the more defensive-minded Dennis Diekmeier late in the game.
Gladbach need to find cover for Granit Xhaka if they are to stay in contention for a Champions League place. The Foals have averaged over two points per game with the Swiss captain in their side, compared to less than one without him, this season. However, with the midfielder lacking match practice HSV’s five-man midfield were able to pick off their opponents and provide a plentiful supply of chances for Drmic and Rudnevs.
- Bruno Labbadia has now won his last four games against Gladbach as a Bundesliga coach.
- Hamburg have won for the first time in seven games. Before today, the Red Shorts had taken only two points since mid-November.
- Hamburg won the first meeting between these two sides on Matchday 4. This is is the first time they have done the double over the Foals since the 1995/96 season.
- Hamburg beat Gladbach for the first time at the Volksparkstadion since February 2013.
- Gladbach can take some consolation from the fact that they have now scored 42 goals, which is their highest total at this stage of a season since 1994/95.
Hamburg: Adler (c) - G. Sakai, Cleber, Spahic, Ostrzolek - Jung, Holtby - N. Müller (Ilicevic 66’), Hunt, Drmic - Rudnevs (Diekmeier, 78’)
Gladbach: Sommer - Nordtveit, A. Christensen, Hinteregger (Hrgota 89’), Wendt - G. Xhaka (c), Dahoud (I.Traore, 57’) - Hazard (Hofmann 82’), F. Johnson - Stindl, Raffael