Timo Werner picked up his twelfth goal and fifth assist in 20 Bundesliga games as RB Leipzig got back to winning ways at Borussia Park on Sunday. Cologne stayed in seventh with a point against Schalke.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-2 RB Leipzig
(Forsberg 31', Werner 55' - Vestergaard 81')
RB Leipzig bounced back from their recent rut in productive fashion on Sunday afternoon, with a 2-1 win away to Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Ralph Hasenhüttl had seen his side's outstanding start to the season come to abrupt halt with defeats to Borussia Dortmund and then Hamburg in recent weeks, yet all three points against the Foals has them back on track and just five points off Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga table.
The opening 45 minutes served up two exciting, counter-attacking sides with huge appetites for goals yet it was Leipzig who opened the scoring just after the half hour mark. On the edge of the Gladbach box with time and space, Emil Forsberg offered another glimpse of the skill and natural talent that has seen him stand out even in such a gifted side, with a wonderful long-range finish in to the bottom right corner of Gladbach's goal.
Before the break Gladbach had an opportunity to equalize when Marvin Compper's clumsy tackle led to a spot-kick for Thorgan Hazard. The Belgian picked the wrong corner and saw his shot parried wide by Peter Gulacsi in goal.
As they have done several times this season, RB added further insult to misery soon after Hazard's misfortune. Just 10 minutes in to the second half, another counter saw Forsberg play Timo Werner through to score a simple one-on-one.
The home side huffed and puffed and even resorted to somewhat desperate tactics when Lars Stindl knocked home a cross with his hand on the hour mark. The strike was correctly ruled out. Borussia Park lit up with renewed hope 10 minutes from time when towering central defender Jannik Vestergaard headed home a corner. Despite some promising interplay between Fabian Johnson, Mahmoud Dahoud and Hazard, the comeback wasn't to be. Leipzig pick up all three points and turn up the heat a little on Bayern.
Cologne 1-1 Schalke
(Modeste 43', Schöpf 2')
Cologne have a habit of strangling the life out of games in front of their passionate fans at the RheinEnergie stadium and Sunday night's 1-1 draw with Schalke was, for the most part, no exception.
The Royal Blues, coached by astute tactician Markus Weinzierl, were clearly aware of Cologne's propensity towards frustrating opponents, so took the opportunity to strike before the home side had settled in to their usual routine. A lofted cross from industrious winger Daniel Caligiuri was latched on to by Alessando Schöpf, who comfortably finished the move to silence the home crowd within the opening two minutes.
Schalke almost doubled their lead before the break when Leon Goretzka tried his luck on the edge of the box with a shot that smacked off the left post, yet his audacious attempt was overshadowed by Anthony Modeste just 10 minutes later.
The Frenchman has, at times, single-handedly pulled Cologne away from some sticky situations this season and was once again on hand to do just that, when he picked up the ball outside the Schalke box and curled a shot in to the bottom right corner without a moment's hesitation. In a largely uneventful 45 minutes we somehow had two goals.
Unfortunately, the second half failed to provide much in the way of tension or quality until late on, when Schalke's in-form striker Guido Burgstaller's chipped finish bounced wide of the Cologne goal before Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting similarly missed from close range.
Max Meyer also forced a stunning save from Cologne's Thomas Kessler 10 minutes before time, but the best chance of the second half came from Dominique Heintz in added time, when a cross picked the Cologne defender out at the back post only for his touch to knock it over Schalke's crossbar.
In a game that seemed destined to finish as a stalemate, neither Cologne nor Schalke are likely be too upset with a point apiece.