Bayer into second after Gladbach win
Bayer Leverkusen moved up to second in the Bundesliga thanks to a 3-1 win over Borussia Monchengladbach today.
Two goals from Gonzalo Castro and one from Michal Kadlec earned Jupp Heynckes' side all three points as they beat the Foals at the third attempt having lost in the league and the cup to Michael Frontzeck's side already this season.
Martin Stranzl gave the home side some hope with his first goal for the club in the 65th minute, eight minutes before Castro sealed the win. Michael Ballack also made his return for Leverkusen, coming on as a second-half substitute.
Leverkusen took the lead in the 37th minute with Kadlec sending a direct free-kick past the wall and beyond the reach of Christofer Heimeroth into the top right-hand corner. Castro then doubled the visitors' advantage on the stroke of half-time, heading in Arturo Vidal's cross from close range at the far post.
The second half was interrupted twice for injuries as first Sidney Sam had to leave the field, enabling Ballack to come on for his first appearance since last September in the 56th minute, and Ivan de Camargo had to leave the pitch prematurely two minutes later to be replaced by Karim Matmour.
Stranzl reduced the arrears with his first goal for the Foals in the 65th minute, placing his shot across the face of goal and just inside the far post. But Castro restored Leverkusen's two-goal advantage in the 73rd minute, finishing off a quick counter attack by lobbing Heimeroth.
Matmour headed the ball onto the top of the crossbar as the hosts tried to find a way back into the game, but they had to accept a defeat which leaves them rooted to the foot of the Bundesliga.
"If you have been out for so long, you burn to play again," said Ballack. "I was lucky because I came on when we were 2-0 up, so there was room to go forward. We didn't begin well, but we turned it around. Top place is gone for us and everyone else, Dortmund are too far ahead."