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Dynamo fightback leaves Gladbach trailing

VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-3 FC Dynamo Kyiv
The Ukrainian side recovered from an early setback to assume a commanding position in this tie ahead of next week's second leg in Kyiv.

Dynamo fightback leaves Gladbach trailing
Dynamo fightback leaves Gladbach trailing ©UEFA.com

An own goal by summer signing Luuk de Jong left VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach with a mountainous task to rescue their UEFA Champions League hopes in next week's decider.

Luck deserted the Dutchman as his outstretched attempted clearance turned Miguel Veloso's set piece into his own net with nine minutes remaining of what had been a closely-contested match. A first-half double had set the visitors on their way, captain Taras Mikhalik's deflected 28th-minute goal cancelling out Alexander Ring's early opener for the hosts before Andriy Yarmolenko capped a razor-sharp breakaway with a stylish finish. However it was De Jong's moment of misfortune that really hurt the home side's hopes of rescuing the tie.

This match was something of a litmus test for Mönchengladbach. Was last season's largely unexpected Bundesliga surge truly the long-awaited revival of the Fohlen, or just another false dawn at a club where the shadow of past greatness hangs heavily?

From the start, it was clear the raucous home crowd believe Lucien Favre's young side are the real thing and, with 13 minutes gone, his players took a step towards proving it. Juan Arango exposed the visitors' defence with a magnificent crossfield pass from the right. Ring, the recipient, cut inside his marker before striking low past Maxym Koval.

Already comfortably into their own domestic season, Dynamo seemed startled at the pace at which their opponents started the match. However Yuri Semin's men levelled when Mikhalik's long-range drive deflected to beat Marc-André ter Stegen and level matters.

Eight minutes later they were in front as Denys Garmash's pass sliced the Mönchengladbach defence open for Yarmolenko to skilfully cut in from the right and slide the ball into the hosts' net.

Dynamo sought to contain Favre's men during the tense opening phase of the second period. The pace slowed and, a speculative effort by Arango aside, the Kyiv club's strategy looked to be working as the clocked ticked down.

Then, nine minutes from time, Mönchengladbach's hopes were dealt a cruel blow. Veloso curled his delivery into the near post area and, stretching to clear, De Jong could only turn the ball past Ter Stegen. While the home side despaired, for Dynamo it signified a major step closer to the UEFA Champions League dream.