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Hazard atones for penalty miss in Gladbach win

Berlin (AFP) – Thorgan Hazard missed a penalty but netted the decisive goal as Borussia Moenchengladbach battled to a 2-0 win over struggling Nuremberg to maintain their perfect home record and keep the heat on Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund. 

The win puts second-placed Gladbach six points off the top spot while Dortmund, who have a game in hand, face Fortuna Duesseldorf later on Tuesday. 

Having picked up just two points on the road this season, Nuremberg headed to Borussia Park as rank outsiders against a Gladbach side who have now won all eight of their home games.

The underdogs almost sprang a surprise on five minutes when Alexander Fuchs hit the bar and goalkeeper Yann Sommer denied Adam Zrelak on the rebound.

Gladbach soon took control of the game but wasted two superb chances before half-time. On 39 minutes, Hazard’s cross picked out Denis Zakaria a few metres in front of goal, only for the Swiss to fire his header straight at Tim Leibold on the line.

Hazard himself was left blushing moments later, after Gladbach were awarded a penalty for a foul on Florian Neuhaus. The Belgian attempted to chip his spot-kick down the middle, and watched on aghast as it floated over the bar. 

His redemption came immediately after the break, as Gladbach counter-attacked and Hazard slotted in Ibrahima Traore’s low cross at the far post.

Four minutes from time, the home side broke away again and Alassane Plea secured the three points with a coolly taken finish.

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