Gladbach keep title charge going
Borussia Monchengladbach kept up their unexpected title challenge with a 2-1 victory at Kaiserslautern.
Two goals in five first-half minutes from Patrick Hermann and Juan Arango put Gladbach in the driving seat, but a stunning strike from Leon Jessen gave Lucien Favre's side something to worry about in the second half. But the visitors held on for the win, keeping them just three points adrift of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table.
Monchengladbach coach Favre was deprived of the injured Mike Hanke, but Marco Reus was passed fit to start after spending much of the week on the treatment table. Igor de Camargo took Hanke's place and he set up the opening goal in the ninth minute.
His perfect pass bisected the Kaiserslautern defence and set up Hermann to send in a shot low to the right of Kevin Trapp and give Gladbach a flying start. Just two minutes later, Pierre de Wit hit the crossbar with a curling direct free-kick which had Marc-Andre ter Stegen beaten.
Arango doubles advantage
Reus was the provider of the second Gladbach goal in the 14th minute with a perfect pass past three Kaiserslautern defenders which was met by Arango, who shot into the far corner with the outside of his left boot. The home side did not lose belief, though, and a succession of dangerous free-kicks gave Gladbach goalkeeper Ter Stegen some work to do.
And Gladbach had to make a change when Roman Neustadter was carried off the field with a suspected dislocated shoulder. The home side reduced the arrears in the 63rd minute, with Jessen sending an unstoppable shot into the top right corner from 25 yards out.
Gladbach were shaken and not only were they unable to get their efficient counter-attacking play functioning, they had enough of a challenge keeping their hosts out of danger.
Substitute Dorge Kouemaha went close to bringing the home side level and the Betzenberg faithful responded. But even with the fans behind them, they were unable to find a way back into the game as their run of matches without a win was extended to 12.