A Raffael brace earned Borussia Mönchengladbach a narrow victory over Stuttgart, whose wait for their first away points of the 2017/18 campaign goes on.
Gladbach 2-0 Stuttgart
Goals: 1-0 Raffael (57'), 2-0 Raffael (pen., 74')
The hosts, who held RB Leipzig to a 2-2 draw on Saturday, dominated possession in the early stages at the BORUSSIA-PARK, but struggled to find a way past the Swabians’ deep-lying and tenacious defence. Lars Stindl was first to test Ron-Robert Zieler with a stinging drive from the edge of the penalty area, but the former Leicester City custodian was equal to it. At the other end, Gladbach ‘keeper Tobias Sippel - standing in for the injured Yann Sommer - was relieved to see Orel Mangala’s fierce effort fly just wide of the upright in the 43rd minute.
Simon Terodde very nearly put the visitors in front within twenty seconds of the restart, but last season’s Bundesliga 2 top scorer dragged his shot just past the post. Terodde’s miss would prove costly as, just over ten minutes later, Nico Elvedi’s low cross into the box was tucked home on the volley by Raffael. The Brazilian scored his second of the evening from the penalty spot after Thorgan Hazard had been fouled by Dennis Aogo, sending Zieler the wrong way to seal an ultimately comfortably victory.
Man of the match
In a game of few clear-cut chances, it was Raffael who made the difference at the BORUSSIA-PARK. The Brazilian had yet to score in the Bundesliga this season prior to Tuesday’s clash, but proved once more why he is such an important player for the Foals with two superbly-taken goals.
- Raffael scored his first goals of the campaign at the BORUSSIA-PARK.The Brazilian's last brace came just over a year ago, in a 4-1 win over Werder Bremen on 17 September 2016.Jannik Vestergaard had more touches than any other player on the pitch (94).Stuttgart won 54 per cent of their challenges in the first half in Mönchengladbach.The visitors had three shots on target after half-time, but there was no way past stand-in 'keeper Sippel.
Watch: Thorgan Hazard hails Raffael
Gladbach: Sippel - Elvedi, Vestergaard, Ginter, Wendt - Kramer (Cuisance, 46'), Zakaria - Herrmann (Johnson, 70'), Hazard - Raffael (Bobadilla, 90'), Stindl (c)
Coach: Dieter Hecking
Stuttgart: Zieler - Pavard, Baumgartl, Kaminski - Beck, Mangala (Burnic, 78'), Ascacibar, Aogo (Ailton, 75') - Asano (Brekalo, 62'), Donis - Terodde (c)
Coach: Hannes Wolf