A Fabian Johnson-inspired Borussia Mönchengladbach overwhelmed Schalke to edge even closer to European qualification next season with a 4-2 win at BORUSSIA-PARK.
Gladbach 4-2 Schalke
The Foals raced out of the blocks with Raffael and Lars Stindl sending the Schalke defence dizzy and Fabian Johnson had a goal ruled out for offside before he broke the deadlock, meeting Patrick Herrmann's cross with a fine finish. A penalty provided Schalke with a route back into the game and Nabil Bentaleb converted it to bring the Royal Blues back on terms before the break.
Gladbach made the brighter start to the second half too and their reward came from Johnson's second of the match, the US attacking midfielder converting after a neat one-two with Stindl. Oscar Wendt tucked in Mahmoud Dahoud's pass to double Gladbach's lead just three minutes later before Raffael converted their fourth and Leon Goretzka headed in a late consolation for the guests.
Man of the Match
Johnson's brace ended a 14-game goalscoring drought, but was reminiscent of some of his best form from last season, when he inspired Gladbach's rise from the foot of the table to fourth – could the USMNT international have hit similar form at just the right time as Gladbach climb the standings again?
Gladbach's win lifts them above local rivals Bayer 04 Leverkusen into their highest position of the season, just three points now behind the current final qualifying berth for Europe next season.
- Johnson's brace was his second in the Bundesliga, his last coming in November 2015 against Hoffenheim.Bentaleb converted his first penalty of the season, and his first in the Bundesliga.In each of the ten games in which Wendt has scored for Gladbach, they have won.
Gladbach: Sommer - Jantschke, Christensen (82' Kolodziejczak), Vestergaard, Wendt – Kramer (46' Strobl), Dahoud – Herrmann (65' Hofmann), Johnson - Stindl (c), Raffael
Coach: Dieter Hecking
Schalke: Fährmann – Höwedes (c), Nastasic, Badstuber (85' Konoplyanka) - Stambouli - Schöpf, Kehrer - Goretzka, Bentaleb – Burgstaller (71' Di Santo), Caligiuri (72' Huntelaar)
Coach: Markus Weinzierl
Watch: Goalscorer Fabian Johnson on the win over Schalke and becoming a father for the first time recently: