Sommer's relief at Mönchengladbach win

Yann Sommer voiced Borussia Mönchengladbach's relief after a first group win eliminated Sevilla and a disappointed Vitolo but kept the Bundesliga team in the UEFA Europa League hunt.

Yann Sommer enjoys the win
Yann Sommer enjoys the win ©Getty Images

Listening to the cheer that greeted Borussia Mönchengladbach's defeat of Sevilla at Borussia-Park, you could be forgiven for forgetting that the Foals' hopes of reaching the UEFA Champions League knockout phase ended over three weeks ago.

André Schubert's side went into Wednesday's game in the knowledge that they could no longer finish in the top two in Group D. But a clinical attacking display earned an impressive 4-2 win which lifts the group stage debutants above Sevilla into third and boosts their hopes of a place in the UEFA Europa League in the new year.

"We thoroughly deserved the win," Mönchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer said. "We've gone very close to registering our first Champions League win in the past, but we've always fallen just short. This time was different, though: we were on the ball from the start, we were organised and managed to score at the right moments."

Indeed, it seemed like whenever the visitors threatened to establish a foothold in the contest, Gladbach would hit them with a sucker-punch. Lars Stindl's opener came during Sevilla's best spell of the first half, while in the second half Fabian Johnson struck moments after Yehven Konoplyanka and Kevin Gameiro had spurned gilt-edged opportunities at the other end.

Further goals from Raffael and Stindl, either side of Vitolo's deft chip over Sommer, ended any lingering hopes Unai Emery's Sevilla had of mounting a late comeback, though Argentinian midfielder Éver Banega did score a further consolation from the penalty spot after Grzegorz Krychowiak had been brought down in the box.

Highlights of the 4-2 win
Highlights of the 4-2 win

The win moves Gladbach two points above Sevilla in the Group D standings, though they could still require victory at first-place chasing Manchester City on 8 December, so Borussia captain Granit Xhaka knows they cannot afford to take their foot off the pedal just yet.

"It's fantastic that we managed to get the better of such strong opponents, but we're still in a precarious position," said the 23-year-old Swiss international. "We need to make sure we get a result in Manchester. We'll do everything we can to confirm our place in the Europa League."

As for Sevilla, they need to beat Juventus at home and hope Gladbach drop points in Manchester to reclaim third place. Winger Vitolo, a key member of the squad that retained their UEFA Europa League crown last season, is desperate to make up for Wednesday's UEFA Champions League exit by defeating the Bianconeri on 8 December.

"Of course we're very disappointed that we can no longer qualify for the knockout rounds," he said. "But we've still got a chance of qualifying for the Europa League if we win against Juventus. Everyone knows that that competition has a special meaning for us. We would obviously love to be involved again."