Borussia left it late on matchday 7 in the Bundesliga, but a last-minute penalty ensured a 2-1 victory over previously unbeaten Hannover 96. Matthias Ginter’s opener was cancelled out almost immediately, before Thorgan Hazard converted late on to claim all three points.
There were 50,542 inside BORUSSIA-PARK on a rainy afternoon in Mönchengladbach, by the end of the game at least. Kick-off was delayed by ten minutes due to heavy traffic, which even had the visiting team behind schedule. Those who took time to find their seats didn’t miss much though. It was a slow start from both sides – a Borussia team determined to bounce back from last week’s heavy defeat to Dortmund but cautious not to go all out for redemption, and a Hannover outfit whose resolute defending had seen them remain unbeaten in their six previous Bundesliga fixtures with four clean sheets along the way. As a result, there was little goalmouth action in the first 45; a Lars Stindl effort deflected goalwards by Fabian Johnson came the closest to beating Philipp Tschauner.
The second half started better, and Gladbach forced the visiting keeper into some decent saves, before Matthias Ginter found a way past him. He latched on to the end of Michael Cuisance’s free-kick to break the deadlock in the 67th minute, but the goal breathed life into Hannover. They responded just four minutes later, as Martin Harnik headed home to get the scores back level. The Austrian could have bagged the winner for the away side, hitting the bar from a matter of yards with the goal at his mercy, and it was a chance he was made to rue. Substitute Vincenzo Grifo was scythed down in the box by Salif Sané in stoppage time and – after a lengthy VAR review – Thorgan Hazard stepped up to send Tschauner the wrong way and secure back-to-back home wins for the Foals going into the international break.
Head coach Dieter made two changes to the side that was beaten in Dortmund. Yann Sommer returned between the sticks after Tobias Sippel had deputised during his injury spell. Michaël Cuisance was also handed his first start for the Fohlenelf, preferred alongside Christoph Kramer to Denis Zakaria. Otherwise it was an unchanged back four of birthday boy Nico Elvedi, Matthias Ginter, Jannik Vestergaard and Oscar Wendt, the wide positions were once again taken up by Fabian Johnson and Thorgan Hazard, and captain Lars Stindl and Raffael led the line as usual. The second half saw Vincenzo Grifo come on for his competitive Borussia debut.
Hecking was without six players due to injury: Jonas Hofmann (muscle problems), Ibrahima Traoré (thigh tear), László Bénes(metatarsal fracture), Tobias Strobl (ACL tear), Mamadou Doucouré (fitness training) and Josip Drmic (strength training).