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Sports

Leverkusen move into second spot with win at Gladbach

A brace of goals for Gonzalo Castro saw Bayer Leverkusen defeat Borussia Mönchengladbach Sunday. The victory pushes them into second place ahead of Hanover.

Gonzalo Castro slots past the Gladbach keeper

Castro netted a double for Leverkusen

Bayer Leverkusen have jumped to second in the German Bundesliga after beating bottom-of-the-table Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-1 in Sunday's early fixture.

Goals for Leverkusen came through left back Michal Kadlec, who opened the scoring in the 37th minute, and Gonzalo Castro who netted a brace with goals in both halves. Defender Martin Stranzl scored Gladbach's lone goal in the 65th minute.

Leverkusen's first goal came through a superbly taken free kick from Kadlec, who curled the ball nicely past Gladbach keeper Christofer Heimeroth. Castro doubled the lead with a close-range header just before halftime.

The second half saw the introduction of former Germany captain Michael Ballack for Leverkusen in what was his first league match since suffering a shin injury in September.

In the 65th minute, Stranzl pulled one back for the home side after he unleashed an unstoppable shot from the right to beat Leverkusen keeper Rene Adler.

By that point, Gladbach had already hit the bar twice and had not yet given up hope of a comeback. However Castro put the result beyond doubt in the 73rd minute with a neat chip at the end of a quick break to lock up all three points.

The win pushes Leverkusen back into second spot on 36 points, leapfrogging Hanover in the process. However the side remains 11 points adrift of runaway leaders Borussia Dortmund. Gladbach, meanwhile, remain mired at the foot of the table on 13 points.

Even-steven in Sinsheim

Marvin Compper scores the opener for Hoffenheim

Compper scored the opener for Hoffenheim

Sunday's late game saw hosts Hoffenheim battle out a 2-2 draw with St. Pauli, with the latter still poised uncomfortably on the edge of the relegation zone.

The game got off to a slow start, and it wasn't until the 29th minute that central defender Marvin Compper grabbed the first goal for Hoffenheim with a tap-in off a Sebastian Rudy free kick.

The score line stayed at 1-0 going into the break, but St. Pauli came out firing in the second half, with a 51st-minute equalizer to midfielder Max Kruse.

With nine minutes left on the clock, St. Pauli frontman Gerald Asamoah looked to have sealed a memorable fight back for the visitors with a goal to bring the score to 2-1; however, Hoffenheim left-mid David Alaba had something else in mind when he pulled the scores level once again with a goal in the final minute of play.

The result leaves St. Pauli in 16th place on 19 points, three ahead of Stuttgart, while Hoffenheim move up to eighth on 26 points ahead of Eintracht Frankfurt on goal difference.

Author: Darren Mara (AFP, Reuters)
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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