A pair of second half goals helped basement boys Hannover to an important home win as the club marked their 120th birthday this week. Defeat for Gladbach is yet another blow to their top four ambitions.
Hannover 2-0 Borussia Mönchengladbach
(Anton 49', Sobiech 60')
Hannover turned in a valiant performance to secure their second league win since November with a 2-0 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach, which closes the gap at the bottom to six points.
Coach Daniel Stendel, who replaced Thomas Schaaf 12 days ago, has collected four points from two games against teams competing for a place in next season's Champions League, following a 2-2 draw at Hertha Berlin last Friday. His first home match as coach - in the week that Hannover celebrated their 120th birthday - the Reds outpowered the Foals who are eight away games without a win.
Andre Schubert's men came off the back of a 1-0 loss at Ingolstadt last week and were missing Granit Xhaka through suspension. Hiroshi Kiyotake wasted a promising opportunity for Hannover after 19 minutes, blasting the loose ball over the crossbar.
As the game approached half time, Gladbach keeper Yann Sommer kept the scores blank with an important stop to prevent youngster Noah-Joel Sarenren-Bazee from scoring his first senior goal for the club. The 19-year-old made his Bundesliga debut in Berlin last week and was a constant nuisance for the Gladbach defense.
Fire burning under Stendel
Hannover needed four minutes after the restart to open the scoring when Sarenren-Bazee clipped the ball into the box for Waldemar Anton and the young defensive-midfielder fired a powerful shot past Sommer.
Anton, appearing in the Bundesliga for just the fourth time, is emblematic of Hannover's performances under Stendel. Fielding Hannover's youngest side since 1986, the Bundesliga's bottom-placed club were unsurprisingly effacious and enthusiastic. With four games left, the Reds will still need something special to avoid relegation.
Hannover piled on the pressure and Sommer denied Karaman in the 53rd minute. Just a few minutes later, the Hannover midfielder's shot spun off a Gladbach defender, striking the post, leaving center-forward Sobiech with the simplest of tasks to turn home the rebound from inside the six-yard box.
Defeat leaves Schubert's side nursing a horrible streak without a win away from home. Although Mönchengladbach are within touching distance of fourth place, their form doesn't bode well for the last four games against Hoffenheim, Bayern Munich, Leverkusen and Darmstadt.