Borussia Mönchengladbach maintained their bid for a top-four finish with a 3-1 victory in an entertaining clash against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
Coming into this game, Hoffenheim had amassed an impressive 20 points in their ten matches under new coach Julian Nagelsmann, but were up against it from the off at fortress BORUSSIA-PARK. The Foals had won eight of the previous nine at home and did not need long to hit their stride here, as a flowing move ended with Jeremy Toljan putting into his own net with just seven minutes played.
The visitors were struggling to find any rhythm and on the stroke of half-time they fell two goals behind when the outstanding Mahmoud Dahoud finished from close range after an Oliver Baumann parry. Andrej Kramaric reduced the arrears when he converted Kevin Volland’s pass after a mistake by Nico Elvedi, but a similar error by Tobias Strobl allowed Dahoud to release Hahn, with the Germany international rolling in a cool finish to restore the Foals’ two-goal lead.
Yann Sommer then made crucial interventions to deny Volland and Niklas Süle, but Gladbach could just have easily added a fourth through Raffael, Traore and substitute Jonas Hofmann in an engrossing end to proceedings.
Man of the match
At the heart of all of Gladbach’s good work, Dahoud mixed crisp and incisive passing with steely determination in the tackle, crowning another memorable performance with a goal and an assist.
After another defeat for Hertha Berlin on Saturday, this result takes Andre Schubert’s men to 48 points, one behind the capital club, and reinforces Borussia’s belief that they can finish in the top four. Hoffenheim remain in trouble with just a three-point cushion over the relegation play-off place, but with games against FC Ingolstadt 04 and bottom club Hannover 96 to come, they will be confident of securing safety before the final weekend.
- Borussia have scored seven times in the opening 15 minutes of matches in 2015/16, second only to Hoffenheim.
- Both these sides have now scored three own goals this season.
- Dahoud has scored five goals in his debut Bundesliga campaign, only one fewer than team-mate Granit Xhaka has managed in almost four years at the club.
Gladbach: Sommer - Elvedi, Christensen, Nordtveit, Wendt – Traore (Johnson 81’), Dahoud, Xhaka (c), Hazard (Herrmann 84’) – Hahn, Raffael (Hofmann 88’)
Coach: Andre Schubert
Hoffenheim: Baumann – Schär, Süle, Strobl – Amiri (Ochs 76’), Toljan, Polanski (c) (Schwegler 62’), Rudy, Volland – Uth (Vargas 67’), Kramaric
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann