Fenerbahçe SK registered a maiden victory on German soil by defeating VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach 4-2 in a gripping Group C contest.
After the hosts took an 18th-minute lead through Luuk de Jong, a sublime Cristian free-kick and equally eye-catching Raul Meireles drive gave the visitors a half-time advantage. Dirk Kuyt added a third 19 minutes from time, and although Igor De Camargo pulled one back just three minutes later to leave Aykut Kocaman's men nervous, Cristian's late strike clinched a first win in five trips to Germany.
Fenerbahçe's fears would have been calmed early on had Marc-André ter Stegen not acrobatically turned away Moussa Sow's curling effort. Instead, the hosts seized the initiative as De Jong rose highest at the back post to head in Håvard Nordtveit's deep cross.
While the hosts were coldly efficient, Fenerbahçe seemed intent on matching the colour lent to the occasion by their boisterous, prodigious support. Cristian's free-kick eventually provided it, the Brazilian brilliantly arcing the ball beyond the defensive wall and Ter Stegen.
The German international goalkeeper was equally powerless to prevent Meireles' low drive zipping past him five minutes from the interval. There was potent venom in the Portuguese international's strike, yet the crowd of bodies through which the ball flew meant Ter Stegen had little time to react.
Juan Arango might have levelled when put clean through but for Volkan Demirel correctly reading his body language. The Turkey goalkeeper then required the help of Gökhan Gönül after being beaten by a cleverly crafted De Camargo effort, though the full-back only just recovered his footing to clear off the line ahead of the lunging De Jong.
Kuyt appeared to give Fenerbahçe sufficient breathing space when he side-footed in Caner Erkin's cross, but De Camargo quickly put the game back in the balance with a copycat strike. Cristian, finally, decisively, tipped it the visitors' way.
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