A brace from Brazilian striker Raffael handed Gladbach a 3-1 win over Young Boys in the first leg of their Champions League playoff on Tuesday night.
- Young Boys 1 Gladbach 3
- Raffael opens scoring
- Sulejmani levels
- Hahn restores lead
- Raffael secures the win
After a brisk start Borrussia Monchengladbach took the lead in the 11th minute through Raffael with the Bundesliga side’s first shot on target.
After a dire first half, Young Boys were able to pull themselves level through Miralem Sulejmani in the 56th minute, but it only served to push the visitors into another gear.
Andre Hahn restored their lead 11 minutes later before Raffael completed his brace in the 69th minute to hand the German side a commanding 3-1 lead ahead of the second leg in a week’s time.
Gladbach showed their intent early on with some slick passing moves, but were prevented from creating any clear cut chances by a well-organised Young Boys defence.
However, the home side were undone by a crisp throughball from Thorgan Hazard to Raffael in the 11th minute and the Brazilian striker latched onto it before powering the visitors into a 1-0 lead.
The rest of the first half past almost without incident as both sides struggled to maintain possession for any significant period of time.
Much to the dismay of everyone at the stadium the second half began in much the same fashion, until Sulejmani gave the game exactly what it needed in the 56th minute.
The Serbian striker was played in by a deft touch from Yoric Ravet and finished easily from almost point-blank range to bring the home side back on level terms.
Gladbach were heavy favourites before the match and the equalising goal finally spurred them into action as they pushed for more away goals.
Oscar Wendt noticed an unmarked Hahn in the box in the 67th minute and fed him the ball expertly. The Young Boys defence closed him down almost instantly, but the midfielder showed his class by lifting the ball cheekily over the home sides goalkeeper to put his side back into the lead at 2-1.
Two minutes later, Gladbach secure an important win with Wendt again the provider, this time for Raffael, who’s shot took a wicked deflection to leave Mvogo helpless to stop it.
The Bundesliga outfit were obviously happy with a 3-1 lead and retreated to defend it, meaning there was little action in the final half hour of the match.
Ravet gave them a brief moment of concern in the second minute of added time after breaking though, but was denied by a brilliant block from Yann Sommer, earning a generous ovation from the home crowd.
The result puts Gladbach in a commanding position ahead of the second leg in Germany next week.