Borussia Mönchengladbach took the spoils from a crucial encounter in the battle to avoid the drop. The victory moves Gladbach seven points clear of the relegation playoff spot, while Hertha BSC finish the day in the bottom two.
|Matthias Ginter.||Photo: Borussia Mönchengladbach|
Gladbach’s early pressure was causing panic in the Hertha defence, and that desperation came to the fore halfway through the first period, when Marc-Oliver Kempf hacked down Marcus Thuram in the box. Originally waved away, the referee changed his mind and pointed to the spot following consultation with VAR. Alassane Pléa kept his cool to thump the ball down the middle of Lotka’s goal.
Adi Hütter’s side continued to dominate the remainder of the first half, with Thuram at the forefront of the endless Gladbach attacks. The only saving grace for the visitors was that despite a woeful first half - where they had just one shot - the deficit at the interval was just one.
Looking to take inspiration from Stuttgart’s comeback victory against Gladbach last weekend, Hertha started the second half with more intent. Kempf went close for the visitors, rising high to meet Marvin Plattenhardt’s corner-kick, but the dependable Yann Sommer reacted well to push the ball over the crossbar.
However, the second-worst defence in the Bundesliga continued to offer Gladbach chances. Lotka pulled off an outstanding save to deny Joe Scally, but from the resulting corner, the hosts doubled their lead, with Matthias Ginter empathically heading home to register his first goal of the season.
With Tayfun Korkut's side running out of ideas, Ishak Belfodil tried his luck from range, forcing Sommer into a smart save before Jurgen Ekkelenkamp's deflected strike rattled the crossbar.
As it transpired, Hertha were unable to find a way back into the contest, as they fell to a fifth consecutive defeat, while Gladbach are now unbeaten in their previous three home matches.