Borussia Mönchengladbach have comfortably beaten bottom-of-the-table Eintracht Braunschweig 4-1, preserving their strangely symmetrical record. The Foals have three home wins and three away defeats so far this season.
Lucien Favre was forced to change his starting lineup for the first time in six Bundesliga games, replacing injured captain Filip Daems with left-back Oscar Wendt.
It was Wendt who opened the scoring against Braunschweig after 22 minutes. The Swede latched onto a Juan Arango pass wide on the left, cut inside against minimal resistance, and then placed a shot in the bottom corner. It was only surprising that the goal was so long in coming, with lively attacker Raffael in particular spurning some golden early chances.
Once the Brazilian Raffael made amends with a rare headed goal after around half an hour, memories of the two teams' last Bundesliga meeting - a 10-0 win for Gladbach in 1984 - were evoked.
Braunschweig held the deficit to two goals until half time, however, and even looked superior early in the second period.
A brief wobble
The relegation candidates' star player on the night, Bayer Leverkusen loanee Karim Bellarabi, set up a 58th-minute goal for Mirko Boland with some smart dribbling on the right and a low cross. Seconds later, with Gladbach suddenly in disarray, striker Domi Kumbela narrowly missed a free header from near the penalty spot.
The hosts eventually regained their composure, with a little help from referee Peter Gagelmann. Gagelmann awarded Juan Arango a penalty, to Braunschweig's collective dismay, with 20 minutes remaining. Summer signing Max Kruse stepped up in the absence of regular taker Daems, calmly wrongfooting Braunschweig goalie Marjan Petkovic.
Four minutes later, Petkovic was picking another one out of the net. The 34-year-old could only parry a deflected Max Kruse shot, and Raffael was hovering in front of goal to tap home his second of the night.
Gladbach are perfect at home and pointless away so far this season, while relegation favorites Braunschweig are still seeking their first Bundesliga win in almost three decades.
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