Florian Neuhaus came off the bench to turn in a game-changing display and help Borussia Mönchengladbach maintain their perfect home record this term in a 3-0 win over VfB Stuttgart on Sunday.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-0 VfB Stuttgart
Goals: 1-0 Raffael (69'), 2-0 Neuhaus (77'), 3-0 Pavard (o.g. 84')
Red card: Thommy (83')
Gladbach began with the confidence of a side that had won six times in as many home games prior to kick-off and were soon on top against Stuttgart. Nevertheless, despite having the majority of possession and a club record 12 shots in the first 45 minutes, they were unable to break the deadlock, although Alassane Plea did have a close-range tap-in ruled out for offside. The visiting team even had the best chance of the first half when Mario Gomez was played through one-on-one with Yann Sommer, but the Gladbach goalkeeper made an excellent save.
The match followed a similar pattern after the break, but with the Foals struggling to break down their compact guests, head coach Dieter Hecking made a game-changing double substitution, brining on Neuhaus and Raffael to invigorate the attack. The duo needed just eight minutes to make the difference, with the latter heading in Neuhaus' floated cross at the back post. Neuhaus added his own name to the scoresheet shortly afterwards with a composed finish inside the box from Thorgan Hazard's cut-back. The match was essentially over by that point, but it went from bad to worse for Stuttgart late on, as Erik Thommy was sent off for a second bookable offence before Benjamin Pavard turned Lars Stindl's cross into his own net to seal a thoroughly deserved win for the hosts.
- Gladbach's Traore was in the Gladbach starting line-up in the Bundesliga for the first time in over a year (since 20 August 2017) following a lengthy period out with injury. Raffael's goal was his first in the Bundesliga this season. Gladbach have scored at least twice in their last 12 home matches. Neuhaus moved level with Eintracht Frankfurt's Sebastien Haller as the top assist provider this term with seven. Neuhaus' goal was his first ever in Germany's top flight. Gladbach have now won their last four competitive games at home to Stuttgart without conceding a goal.
Gladbach: Sommer – Lang, Elvedi, Jantschke, Wendt – Strobl, Zakaria (Neuhaus 61'), Traore (Johnson 80') – Hazard, Stindl (c), Plea (Raffael 61')
Unused subs: Sippel, Herrmann, Beyer, Cuisance
Out: Doucoure (thigh), Ginter (facial injury), Hofmann (hip)
Coach: Dieter Hecking
Stuttgart: Zieler – Baumgartl, Pavard, Kempf – Beck (Thommy 46'), Gentner (c), Aogo (Castro 26'), Insua – Donis (Dajaku 75'), Gonzalez – Gomez
Unused subs: Grahl, Akolo, Aidonis, Sarpei
Out: Ascacibar (suspended), Özcan (ankle), Sosa (pelvis)
Coach: Markus Weinzierl
Watch: Neuhaus pleased with first Bundesliga goal!