Gladbach win to go second, Mainz grab controversial draw

gladbach win to go second mainz grab controversial draw

Borussia Moenchengladbach rose back into second spot in the Bundesliga on Sunday after Raffael woke the hosts from their slumber to help seal a 3-0 win over Stuttgart.

The Brazilian forwarded netted his first goal of the campaign when he headed in fellow substitute Florian Neuhaus' cross on 69 minutes.

Neuhaus then calmly netted a second eight minutes later before France World Cup winner Benjamin Pavard prodded in an own goal, moments after team-mate Erik Thommy had been dismissed for a second booking.

Gladbach's seventh win from seven home league games this term sent them above Bayern Munich and they again trail Borussia Dortmund by seven points after the unbeaten leaders won 2-1 at derby rivals Schalke on Saturday.

"We have self confidence at home," Gladbach coach Dieter Hecking told Sky Sport.

"In the second half I took a bit of a gamble in the hope of upping the tempo. Impact off the bench is something we didn't have last season."

The Foals, perhaps still haunted by last weekend's insipid away defeat at RB Leipzig, initially put in a lacklustre performance against a largely toothless Stuttgart.

Striker Alassane Plea was adjudged just to be offside when he tapped in Michael Lang's effort but Lang berated him because the ball would probably have crossed the line anyway.

Ron-Robert Zieler then expertly tipped Tobias Strobl's powerful shot over the bar.

Struggling Mario Gomez wasted Stuttgart's clearest opportunity when he shot straight at Yann Sommer when clean through.

The game then suddenly came to life in the second half with Hecking's double substitution working wonders.

To make matters worse for Stuttgart, defender Pavard was injured when he stretched and inadvertently scored the own goal. They also slipped into the relegation play-off spot on goal difference.

In the early game, Mainz grabbed a late 1-1 draw at home to second-bottom Hanover after a highly debatable penalty award was upheld by the video assistant referee.

Daniel Brosinski converted the 86th minute spotkick after officials on and off the field decided Hanover's Matthias Ostrzolek had fouled Jean-Philippe Mateta despite replays suggesting minimal contact.

"I don't know if whoever is sat in Cologne (where video assistants are based) has ever played the game or been a referee because that is a clear mistake," Ostrzolek said, accusing Frenchman Mateta of diving.

"We are bitter that we've had two points stolen like that."

Tenth-placed Mainz, who earlier hit the post through Danny Latza, thought they had won it in stoppage time when Anthony Ujah headed in but this time the video assistant decided he was just offside.

Hanover's unmarked Hendrik Weydandt, 23 and playing in the fourth division just over half a year ago, had opened the scoring when he turned in Genki Haraguchi's cross after 12 minutes.

A win would have nudged Hanover out of the relegation spots but instead they left Mainz with just a point and a very late red card for Oliver Sorg.

Flares from the away end meant so much smoke covered the pitch that players had to go off for around five minutes early in the second half.

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