Gladbach snap home losing streak, Kruse leads Wolfsburg over Frankfurt
By Peter Vice @ViceytheSS
Plenty of surprises on the German Bundesliga beat during a wild set of 15:30 kickoffs. In addition to Bochum's stunning victory over league leaders FC Bayern München, Gladbach, Fürth, and Wolfsburg also delivered unexpected victories.
|Jonas Hofmann.||Photo: Borussia Mönchengladbach|
The foals entered the fixture on the precipice of a most unwanted record. Four consecutive home defeats meant the team faced their first five-game-losing streak in front of their home supporters since the 2010/11 relegation campaign. Head-coach Adi Hütter opted to play a steady hand, rolling with the exact same XI and formation in place from last week's 1-1 draw away any Arminia Bielefeld. FCA trainer Marcus Weinzierl had to make one enforced change to the squad that beat Union Berlin 2-0 last week. Jan Moravek replaced COVID-afflicted Arne Maier in midfield.
The home side got off to a very good start, generating several early scoring chances thanks to some inspired play from German national team midfielder/fullback Jonas Hofmann. Augsburg got their first chance on target in the 12th, Andre Hahn testing BMG keeper Yann Sommer with a fine snapshot after some nice combo play. Less than a minute later, Hofmann brought the hosts roaring back with a dogged win of the ball and set-up of Florian Neuhaus. The former German national team actor hit the side-netting in the 13th.
Both teams kept up the intensive pace and there was great end-to-end action to behold over the next 15 minutes. Gladbach were nevertheless definitely the more polished side. Manu Kouadio Koné and Breel Embolo came very close. Eventually, Koné would score the opening goal precisely at the half-hour mark. Alassane Plea hit a low cross into the area after a gorgeous switch. The first time service off the Frenchman's ankle set up Koné perfectly for the easy finish.
The Fuggerstädter certainly put their work in whilst searching for an equalizer. Fullbacks Iago and Raphael Framberger ran some excellent counters before the first half was. Weinzierl's men nevertheless met in their match in the form of Gladbach keeper Yann Sommer, who was just as excellent as he was last week. All of Sommer's hard work was rewarded seconds after the restart. Hofmann doubled the advantage with a well deserved goal in the 46th. Very nice interplay between Koné and Ramy Bensebaini preceded the 2-0.
Some ten minutes later, Augsburg were able to pull one back. A rather accidental further-on from Ruben Vargas onto the onrushing Iago enabled the onrushing Brazilian to strike a ball into the far corner. The Bavarian Swabians were back in business just one goal down in the 55th. The contest, which had featured lots of elegant and crisp build-up play, degenerated a bit into the disjointed and wild once the scoreline tightened.
The hosts nevertheless restored their two-goal cushion in the 67th with a wonderful team goal. The excellent-on-the-day Plea ran a splendid attack. Neuhaus and Stefan Lainer made all the right moves before getting the ball to Bensebaini. The Algerian international headed home a Neuhaus cross to make it 3-1.
Stoppages and substitutions mostly impeded the flow thereafter. What chances did come were produced by the home side. Very much against the run of play, Augsburg were able to pull an ultimately meaningless goal back at 90+3. Alfred Finnbogason's tally served to make the encounter appear much closer than it was.
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga's 15:30 kickoffs, promoted side Bochum furnished an absolute footballing earthquake with their sensational 4-2 over Germany's record champions. Last placed SpVgg Greuther Fürth also surprised with a 2-1 win over Hertha BSC at home. Fürth's third win of the season puts them within nine points of the defeated Augsburg for the promotion/relegation playoff place.
Wolfsburg managed to prevail 2-0 over Eintracht Frankfurt at Deutsche Bank Park. The game-winning goal game off the newly-acquired Max Kruse's boot. The former FC Union Berlin attacker converted a penalty in the 28th after SGE defender Martin Hinteregger body-checked him Ice Hockey style just inside the area.
Bo Svenssson's FSV Mainz 05 played creatively and kept hosts SC Freiburg at bay over at the Europa Park Stadion. Breisgauer "Super Sub" Nils Petersen nevertheless ended up doing his thing; coming off the bench to equalize. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.