Saturday, April 21, 2018

Borussia Monchengladbach 4 Sevilla 2: Stindl double sends Liga side out

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 25 Nov 2015


Lars Stindl’s brace inspired Borussia Monchengladbach to a 4-2 home win as Sevilla were dumped out of the Champions League.

The hosts looked a different proposition to the side beaten 3-0 in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, and took the lead midway through a high-tempo first half when Stindl latched on to Granit Xhaka’s teasing ball behind the defence to apply a cool finish.

A Fabian Johnson curled effort and Raffael’s late strike put Gladbach 3-0 up after Kevin Gameiro and Yevhen Konoplyanka had spurned good chances for Sevilla, who qualified for this season’s Champions League by virtue of retaining the Europa League title. 

Vitolo clipped home late on, before Stindl’s instant 25-yard strike restored Gladbach’s three-goal lead, only for Sevilla to reduce the arrears again with Ever Banega’s stoppage-time penalty. 

A fourth straight Champions League defeat leaves Sevilla bottom of Group D, although Manchester City’s defeat to Juventus rendered the result at Borussia-Park meaningless in the race for last-16 qualification.

Sevilla will now have to beat group leaders Juventus in their last game and hope rejuvenated Gladbach slip up at City if they are to earn the consolation of a place back in the Europa League.

Gladbach, entering this game on the back of a nine-match unbeaten run in all competitions, took just three minutes to test visiting goalkeeper Sergio Rico, who was equal to Raffael’s 25-yard drive.

Rico was tested twice more during a confident opening 10 minutes for the hosts, producing a fine reaction save to deny Ibrahima Traore before keeping out Johnson.

Gameiro forced goalkeeper Yann Sommer into a smart near-post save at the other end, and the striker thought he had given his side the lead after Gladbach’s Traore had limped off, only for Vitolo to be penalised for failing to keep the ball in play during the build-up.

The Frenchman was on hand again after 20 minutes to tee up Konoplyanka, whose low effort from eight yards was parried away by Sommer.  

Sevilla continued to grow into the game, but found themselves behind nine minutes later when a brilliant run into the area allowed Stindl to meet Xhaka’s cross and slot home.

Coke, one of six changes for the visitors, should have restored parity four minutes before half-time, slaloming into the box before firing well wide.  

Having already provided an assist on his return to the Gladbach side, Xhaka was nearly celebrating a goal of his own nine minutes after the break, with Rico producing yet another great save to palm away the Swiss international’s vicious strike on the edge of the box.

Gameiro and Konoplyanka continued to test the hosts, with the former latching on to the Ukrainian’s chip over the defence on 67 minutes before blazing wide.

The visitors were made to pay for their profligacy a minute later, when some fine build-up play allowed Johnson to pick his spot inside the area and curl into the top corner.

Raffael slotted home to add a third 13 minutes from time, before Vitolo got on the end of Fernando Llorente’s flick, but Stindl was on hand almost straight from the kick-off to fire home a tremendous drive from the edge of the area.

Banega converted a late penalty in the dying minutes after Xhaka had fouled Grzegorz Krychowiak, but Gladbach held on during an otherwise satisfying night for Andre Schubert’s men.


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