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Monday, April 10, 2006 

Hamburg 2 - 0 Borussia Mönchengladbach

HSV beat Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday evening (09.04.06) in front of 57,000 in the AOL Arena. Rafael van der Vaart put HSV ahead from the penalty spot on 34 minutes, after Barbarez had been fouled by the Gladbach keeper Keller. Two minutes into injury time, late substitute Naohiro Takahara scored his first goal of the season to give his coach Thomas Doll all three points on his 40th birthday. The victory moved HSV past bitter rivals Werder Bremen into second place, four points behind Bayern.

Return of the cannibal
The superb HSV 2-0 away win at Schalke in round 28 came at a price. Dutch defensive midfielder Nigel de Jong picked up a fifth yellow card, which made him miss Sunday’s clash at home to Gladbach. The Dutch international was replaced by his compatriot Khalid Boulahrouz, who made his first team return after suspension. Thomas Doll picked Ailton as a third striker at the expense of Trochowski. The Gladbach coach Horst Köppel’s side beat Dortmund last time out. Köppel replaced the suspended former Schalke player Oude Kamphuis with his luckless Brazilian striker Kahe.

Benny Lauth fires early warning shot
HSV needed maximum points in order to overtake local rivals Werder Bremen and move to within four points of the table-toppers Bayern, who lost 0-3 away to Werder on Saturday. It took a while for the home side to find their rhythm, but HSV had the first real chance of the game on 9 minutes, as Ailton fed van der Vaart, who in turn crossed from the left to the far post where Benny Lauth met the ball with a superb volley, only to be thwarted by a superb reflex save by Keller, instinctively punching the ball to safety. HSV took control from that moment onwards.

Unlucky Ailton
HSV combined well, constantly putting the visitors onto the back foot, always looking for a gap in the Gladbach defence. On 15 minutes, van der Vaart found one and played a sweet through ball to the advancing Ailton, who rushed into the left side of the Gladbach area from where he unleashed an identical shot to the one he scored with against Schalke last time out. This time though, luck was not on the Brazilian’s side, because the striker saw his low shot bounce back into play from the bottom of a post. Keller gratefully grabbed the ball to avert the danger.

Defensive mix up
On 19 minutes the visitors finally broke the vice-like grip on them being held by HSV, as they broke forward and Nando Rafael was unable to capitalise on a mix up in defence between keeper Kirschstein and Reinhardt. Six minutes later, the former Hertha striker who joined Gladbach hours before the winter transfer window closed, stole in on the blind side of both Atouba and Reinhardt at the far post. Luckily for HSV Kirschstein saved well with his feet to deny the German under-21 player.

Van der Vaart opens the scoring
During the period where the visiting side began to match HSV in all departments, the home side took the lead by way of a van der Vaart penalty which the Dutch master coolly slotted home sending Keller the wrong way, after the Gladbach goalie had slightly touched Barbarez in the area as the Bosnian was closing in on goal (34.) HSV went into the half time break with a slender one goal lead.

Much-improved visitors
The second half began in a sluggish way with misplaced passes taking over. Hardly any chances were created by HSV during the first fifteen minutes after the break. That heartened Gladbach, who were looking for what would have been only their second victory away from home in 32 (!) matches. HSV allowed Gladbach to get a grip on the game and all of a sudden they looked to be the better side. Gladbach were at their most dangerous at set pieces, and neither Neuville (63.) or Kahe (64.).

Taka scores his first of the season!
The final 15 minutes were very scrappy, almost void of goalmouth action. Benny Lauth picked up a fifth yellow card which will force him to miss HSV’s round 30 trip to Duisburg next Saturday. The game dragged on and Doll replaced the luckless Ailton with Takahara. The Japanese striker got a few touches of the ball and mostly gave it away, which got the home crowd onto his case. Fellow second half substitute Trochowski (who replaced van der Vaart) saw a gap two minutes into injury time and superbly played the ball into the path of the Sushi-Bomber, who lobbed the ball over the advancing Keller and into the bottom right hand corner of the net for his first goal of the season. Needless to say it was game over and HSV moved back into second place, snapping at the heels of Bayern again!

HSV: Kirschstein - Mahdavikia, Reinhardt, Boulahrouz, Atouba - Demel, Jarolim - van der Vaart (70. Trochowski) - Ailton (81. Takahara), Barbarez, Lauth (90. Karl)

Borussia Mönchengladbach: Keller - Fukal, Strasser, Ze Antonio, Daems (70. Sonck) - Polanski (86. Thijs), Broich (62. El Fakiri), Jansen - Rafael, Neuville - Kahe

Goals: 1-0 van der Vaart (34.Pen), 2-0 Takahara (90.+2.)

Source: HSV.de


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Bayern Munchen 29 66
2. Hamburg 29 62
3. Bremen 29 59
4. Schalke 29 53
5. Hertha 29 43


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