Borussia Monchengladbach 1-3 Bayer Leverkusen
Kai Havertz put on another five star show at Borussia Park today as Bayer Leverkusen beat Monchengladbach to leapfrog their hosts into third place in the league table.
Bundesliga: Monchengladbach vs Bayer was a chance for both teams to take control of a top-four position, and a double strike from captain fantastic Havertz gave Bayer a crucial three points.
Highlights of the game
Havertz was in scintillating form last week as Leverkusen blew Werder Bremen away and it took him just seven minutes to carve a hole in the Monchengladbach defence. The visitors had taken the first pot shot at goal from Kerem Demirbay which Yann Sommer saved comfortably. But there was little the Borussia keeper could do when die Werkself broke at pace and Karim Bellarabi fed Havertz, and he, in turn, slammed the ball home.
Monchengladbach head coach Marco Rose has produced a dynamic attacking unit this season and he had to call on his striker resource as early as the 12th minute when Breel Embolo limped off to be replaced by Lars Stindl in a like for like switch. But it was Leverkusen who continued to have the upper hand. When Stefan Lainer conceded a corner, Charles Aranguiz leapt to head the ball into the path of Sven Bender who fired just over the bar.
Sonner was in action again to save an angled shot from Bellarabi, and when Havertz fed the winger again, this time Sommer stretched to save low in the corner. Bayer keeper Lukas Hradecky made a save from a long-range Florian Neuhaus effort, but Bayer were inches away from doubling their lead on the stroke of half time when Havertz let fly from a tight angle and his shot crashed away off the crossbar.
Leverkusen’s man of the moment had a shot blocked early in the second half and that seemed to wake up the hosts. Centre back Ramy Bensebaini fired in a warning shot from distance, and a minute later he rose to meet a cross from Jonas Hofmann but his header was blocked. But die Fohlen were level, on 50 minutes, when Marcus Thuram found himself in space in the penalty area and fired home the leveller and his eight of the season.
Thuram almost made it 2-1 a minute later but Hradecky saved…and then as Monchengladbach tried to take a firm hold on the game their grip was loosened again. Bellerabi skipped into the hosts’ penalty area and fell under a challenge from Nico Elvedi. The referee pointed to the spot but there was an agonising wait as VAR took a look before the decision was upheld and Havertz stepped up to stroke home his tenth league goal of the season.
With half an hour to play Monchengladbach went on the attack. Bensebaini headed over another Hofmann cross and Thuram combined well with Neuhaus but Hradecky saved. Stindl had a shot blocked after good work from Allasane Plea but Bayer still posed a threat at the other end, Edmond Tapsoba passed to Moussa Diaby and he shot low to Sommer’s left and the Swiss keeper saved well.
When Demirbay fouled Neuhaus in the danger area Monchengladbach had a good chance to equalise but Laszlo Benes fired his free-kick narrowly over the bar.
And it was game over on 81 minutes when Demirbay crossed for Bender to plant his header low into the corner.
The pre-match Monchengladbach vs Bayer betting odds had Leverkusen at 2.63 to win, and they were good value for the victory.
Marco Rose had work to do at half time after watching his team bossed in the first half by a Leverkusen side inspired by Havertz, enjoying 60 per cent possession and having four shots on target to die Fohlen’s two. The hosts fought back in the second half, finishing with seven shots on target to Bayer’s eight, but Havertz’s second goal took their wind away.
Die Werkself are now ten games unbeaten, while Monchengladbach have suffered just their second defeat in 12 home games.
Top side FC Bayern are at home to Frankfurt later today and fifth place Red Bull Leipzig are away at Mainz tomorrow. Both sides will have been tracking the Monchengladbach vs Leverkusen updates with interest, and Red Bull in particular will see the chance to progress tomorrow.
Bayern are being chased by Borussia Dortmund who won away at Wolfsburg today, and the league leaders visit Dortmund in midweek.
So we’ll be back in action here at SBOBET, when on Tuesday night Die Fohlen have a chance to get their challenge back on track away to Werder Bremen, while Bayer Leverkusen have another top of the table clash at home to Wolfsburg.
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