The Bundesliga kicked off the weekend with the highly important clash between bottom club Hannover 96 and Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Hannover and Gladbach normally provide goals and although it took some time this game delivered two in favour of the host’s as they secured an excellent victory in their fight agianst the drop, meanwhile the defeat is a huge blow for Gladbach.
The game didn’t waste any time in providing fans with the first chance, Mahmoud Dahoud excellently turned his marker before playing the ball out to the left for the free Oscar Wendt to cross. The Swedish fullback fired in a promising low cross which almost found Raffael, however Hiroki Sakai managed to clear the danger.
Host’s Hannover were able to carve open a move of their own moments later, Waldemar Anton played a lovely ball through to Noah-Joel Sarenren-Bazee and the young winger was agonisingly denied by the post, fortunately for Gladbach had it gone in it would’ve been ruled out for offside.
Die Roten were on top in the early stages as they looked more threatening, despite that early chance Gladbach struggled to get going in an attacking sense. After twenty minutes they received a wake up call as the ball was played through to Hiroshi Kiyotake by Artur Sobiech and from a slight angle the Japanese midfielder blazed his shot miles over as he wasted a golden chance.
It took the visitors almost thirty minutes to force Robert Zieler into action, Die Fohen charged forward and Raffael played an excellent reverse through ball to Fabian Johnson and despite losing his footing the American forced Zieler into making a good save.
The game was paused for a few minutes after Sobiech and Håvard Nordtveit clashed heads as they challenged for a header, luckily both were able to continue after some treatment.
As the game edged towards the break Hannover produced another golden opportunity, a cross from the left bounced all the way through to Sarenren-Bazee who controlled and much to his disappointment Yann Sommer stayed big to make a terrific save. The chance was gone and the youngster was able to have another bite at the cherry, however Sommer denied him once more .
It was a massive second half for both teams as plenty was at stake and it was Hannover that made the first move. Sarenren-Bazee flew down the right side to then cut the ball back into space and surprisingly it was Anton that arrived to hammer the ball past Sommer for his first professional goal.
Sommer was in action yet again soon after, Hannover switched the play and the ball across picked out Kenan Karaman, the Turkish youngster unleashed a wonderful volley towards goal and Sommer had to be at his best to save low to his right.
On the hour mark the home side doubled their lead to leave Gladbach fans stunned and send the Hannover fans into delirium. Sakai linked up with Karaman and the Turk who threatened minutes earlier tried his luck once more, this time Sommer was beaten as he could only watch as the effort deflected towards the bottom corner. Agonisingly for the home side the effort struck the post, however Sobiech was sharp to the rebound and the Polish striker fired in from close range having been kept onside by Wendt.
Hannover was comfortably in control of the game, however Gladbach came close to setting up a nervy end to it. Ibrahima Traoré whipped in a brilliant free kick from the left and Raffael flicked the ball on with his head and the effort looped inches wide of the post.
Gladbach should’ve grabbed a goal back just before injury time, yet again the danger for Hannover came from a Traoré freekick, this time for the right. Patrick Herrmann broke away from his marker and despite how much space he had he could only head wide from a few yards out.
That proved to be the last chance of the game as Hannover held strong at the back and deservedly picked up a vital victory. Gladbach miss out on the chance to put pressure on Champions League rivals Bayer Leverkusen, while Hannover still remain bottom the three points was a welcomed surprise as they now find themselves on twenty-one points. Things still look bleak for the Bundesliga’s bottom club, however this could just spark a phenomenal survival charge.
Hannover face Ingolstadt next and the trip to Bavaria won’t be an easy one following their seven match unbeaten run at home. For Gladbach they need to find their spark again, after two straight losses for the first time since January they will host Hoffenheim next weekend in a bid to continue their fight for Champions League football.