Christoph Kramer's stunning second-half strike was enough for Borussia Mönchengladbach to end their recent barren run with a 1-0 win against Hannover on Matchday 24.
Hannover 96 0-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Goals: 0-1 Kramer (72')
Aiming to end a sequence of four consecutive defeats without scoring, an unchanged Gladbach began the brighter. Lars Stindl almost came back to haunt his former club in the opening stages, but couldn't quite direct his shot from close range, while Thorgan Hazard also went close, flashing a powerful shot wide of Philipp Tschauner's right-hand post. Hannover grew into the game after withstanding the early pressure, though, and began to mount some promising attacks. Salif Sane and Ihlas Bebou threatened, but neither could hit the target and it remained all square at the interval.
The hosts burst out of the blocks at the start of the second period and should have been ahead, but Bebou somehow contrived to head over inside the six-yard box. It served as a wake-up call for Gladbach, who arose from their mid-game slumber with renewed attacking impetus, Jonas Hofmann rattling the bar before Kramer was foiled by Tschauner after an excellent run. The 2014 FIFA World Cup winner was not to be denied in the 72nd minute, however, controlling Stindl's pass with his first touch, before volleying sensationally from the edge of the box into the top corner with his next. It was a fine way for Gladbach to end a 432-minute goal drought, and an even finer way to secure three points as the Foals held firm in the closing stages.
Man of the match
Kramer single-handedly led Gladbach to three points. The midfielder covered every blade of grass, with his second goal of the season deserved reward for an all-action display that called to mind the performances that forced the 27-year-old into the World Cup reckoning four years ago.
- Kramer's goal was his first in the Bundesliga from outside the box, and only his second with his left foot.Gladbach defender Mandela Egbo made a Bundesliga debut from the bench in the second half.Sane will miss Hannover's trip to Eintracht Frankfurt next weekend through suspension.Hannover substitute Sebastian Maier made his first appearance of 2018.Gladbach named an unchanged starting line-up for the first time since Matchday 3.
Hannover: Tschauner (c) – Anton, Sane, Elez (Jonathas 80') – Korb, Schwegler (Sorg 59'), Fossum, Ostrzolek – Klaus (Maier 23'), Füllkrug, Bebou
Unused subs: Esser, Felipe, Bakalorz, Harnik
Absentees: Prib (knee ligament)
Coach: Andre Breitenreiter
Gladbach: Sommer – Oxford, Ginter, Vestergaard, Elvedi – Kramer, Zakaria (Egbo 80') – Hofmann, Hazard (Herrmann 84') - Stindl (c), Bobadilla (Grifo 90')
Unused subs: Sippel, Drmic, Herzog, Mayer
Absentees: Johnson (back), Wendt (thigh), Villalba (thigh), Traore (thigh), Strobl (knee), Doucoure (thigh), Raffael (calf)
Coach: Dieter Hecking
Watch: Oxford on his delight at being back at Gladbach after his second straight start