Champions League beckons as Gladbach down Leverkusen

Borussia Mönchengladbach took a major step towards competing in next season’s UEFA Champions League with a 2-1 home win over Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Matchday 33.

Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1 Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Goals: 0-1 Aranguiz (20’), 1-1 Hahn (43’), 2-1 Hahn (79’)

With only one change to the side that drew in Munich last week, Gladbach began confidently. Oscar Wendt hit the post within 35 seconds, while Ibrahima Traore also spurned a good opportunity in the tenth minute. After weathering the early storm, however, Leverkusen began to take control, and shortly after Robbie Kruse had hit the bar, Charles Aranguiz scored with the visitors’ first real chance of the game. The Foals struggled after going behind and were sloppy in possession, although found an equaliser against the run of play when Andre Hahn poked home following a goalmouth scramble in the 43rd minute.

Buoyed by the equaliser, Gladbach burst out of the blocks in the second period. Lars Stindl and Raffael saw plenty of the ball and as such Bernd Leno was forced into two fine stops within ten minutes of the restart. The hosts’ keenness to get forward left them open at the back, however, and both Hakan Calhanoglu and Stefan Kießling drew fine saves from Yann Sommer at the other end. Undeterred, Gladbach continued to push and their persistence drew a deserved reward when Hahn powered his second goal of the game past Leno with ten minutes remaining.