Monchengladbach put 4 past Schalke

31

Schalke suffered a significant setback ahead of their trip to Chelsea in the Champions League on Wednesday by going down to a 4-1 defeat at Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday. Jens Keller's men were beaten for the second time this season after being served a counter-attacking masterclass by their North-Rhine Westphalian rivals, who took a two-goal lead thanks to Andre Hahn's first goals for the club. Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting pulled a goal back from the penalty spot, but Max Kruse restored the hosts' two-goal advantage before Raffael added the fourth. The defeat will increase the pressure on Keller going into their Champions League opener against the Premier League leaders at Stamford Bridge. Gladbach have refined and mastered their counter-attacking football since Lucien Favre took the reins three years ago, and his side delivered another fine example of their strength on the break to down Schalke. Indeed, the Foals are rarely more dangerous than when they have the ball in their own half. Kevin-Prince Boateng was recriminating when he lost the ball on the edge of the Gladbach penalty area, and he had not even got back on his feet when the ball was in the back of the net at the other end of the field. Hahn was sent clear down the right and, after entering the penalty area, he unleashed a powerful shot which flashed past Ralf Fahrmann, taking a lick of paint off the right-hand post on its way in. It was the first goal for his new club for the former Augsburg forward, who added his second just after the break, only moments after Choupo-Moting had failed to round Yann Sommer in a one-on-one situation at the other end. Yet again, from nearly conceding, Gladbach scored. Kruse's cross from the right was headed in by Germany international Hahn, who can probably look forward to a recall to the national team next month. A mistake by Martin Stranzl, who handled inside his own area, gifted Schalke the chance to pull a goal back, and Choupo-Moting an opportunity to get his revenge on Sommer. He did just that, leaving the Swiss goalkeeper no chance with a perfectly-placed penalty into the bottom left-hand corner. Thoughts of a Royal Blue recovery were soon dashed, however, by an inspired inch-perfect pass from Raffael which sent Kruse through, and he celebrated his return to the side by sweeping his shot past Fahrmann into the far corner. More was still to come with substitute Patrick Herrmann crossing low from the right and Christian Clemens denying Branimir Hrgota, but setting up Raffael to drill the ball into the roof of the net. Raffael could have added a fifth too with his header saved instinctively by Fahrmann while, at the other end, Sommer made his contribution to the win with fine saves from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Julian Draxler before the final whistle put Schalke out of their misery.