Thorgan Hazard came to Borussia Mönchengladbach's rescue, leaping from the bench with the Foals trailing 1-0 at half-time to bag a brace in a 2-1 win over Hertha Berlin which gets his side back in the hunt for European football next season.
Goals: 1-0 Kalou (40'), 1-1 Hazard (75'), 2-1 Hazard (79' pen.)
Salomon Kalou led Hertha out as captain for the first time, but it was his two fellow forwards Vladimir Darida and Davie Selke who combined for the first chance of the game, which the latter fired just inches wide. Lars Stindl went equally close with Gladbach's first opportunity on the half-hour mark before a Darida volley tested Yann Sommer's alertness. Sommer could only stand and watch in the 40th minute, however, when Jannik Vestergaard's attempt to clear turned into an assist for Kalou to plunder his 11th goal of the season and give the guests a half-time lead.
Sommer denied Kalou a second early in the second half and this sparked the hosts into life, with Patrick Herrmann thinking he had brought them level only for Video Assist to intervene and rule the goal out due to a Lars Stindl offside. Kalou squandered a gilt-edged chance to double Hertha's lead before Dieter Hecking called for the cavalry, sending Josip Drmic on for Mickael Cuisance. The Swiss forward soon made a contribution, flicking a cross on for Hazard to volley through Rune Jarstein's legs. Five minutes later, the Belgian secured victory for Gladbach after Video Assist this time helped the hosts earn a penalty, with Hazard sending Jarstein the wrong way from the spot.
- Hazard sat on the bench for the first time this season, having started Gladbach's previous 28 games,
- His goals today took him to nine for the season, with an additional four assists.
- Kalou wore Hertha's captain's armband for the first time, with Ibisevic on the bench.
- Kalou scored with his first shot of the game; he now has a goal every four shots on average this season.
- The Ivory Coast forward has accounted for a third of Hertha's 33 goals so far this season.
- Raffael made 110 Bundesliga appearances for Hertha, registering 23 goals and 28 assists.
- Hertha boast the meanest Bundesliga defence away from home in 2018, conceding three goals in seven outings.
- Pal Dardai has failed to win in six meetings with sides coached by Dieter Hecking (D1, L5).
Gladbach: Sommer – Elvedi, Ginter, Vestergaard, Wendt – Herrmann (Hofmann 81'), Kramer, Cuisance (Drmic 69'), Zakaria (Hazard 46') – Stindl (c), Raffael
Unused subs: Sippel, Traore, Benes, Jantschke
Absentees: Doucoure (thigh), Oxford (thigh), Villalba (thigh), Bobadilla (thigh)
Coach: Dieter Hecking
Hertha: Jarstein – Weiser, Stark, Rekik, Plattenhardt – Maier (Ibisevic 85'), Lustenberger, Darida (Duda 80') – Lazaro, Selke, Kalou (c) (Esswein 81')
Unused subs: Kraft, Pekarik, Skjelbred, Torunarigha
Absentees: Leckie (neck)
Coach: Pal Dardai