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Mönchengladbach hit back at Marseille's expense

VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-0 Olympique de Marseille
A goal in each half by Filip Daems and Peniel Mlapa gave the hosts a first win to take them level with their opponents on four Group C points.

Peniel Mlapa (second left) celebrates scoring Mönchengladbach's second goal
Peniel Mlapa (second left) celebrates scoring Mönchengladbach's second goal ©AFP/Getty Images

VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach moved back into contention in Group C thanks to their first victory of this season's UEFA Europa League at the expense of Olympique de Marseille.

Filip Daems' penalty gave the Bundesliga outfit a first-half advantage before Peniel Mlapa's ferocious finish midway through the second period ensured that Lucien Favre's side drew level with their French opponents on four points in the standings.

It took a good half an hour for the game to come to life, with Charles Kaboré's handball allowing Daems the chance to open the scoring from the spot. The Gladbach captain made no mistake in drilling down the middle, but it was a goal that had come against the run of play.

Indeed, Marseille had been the likelier scorers in a lukewarm opening. Marc-André ter Stegen stood firm to turn Loïc Rémy's left-footed volley around the post yet looked beaten when the France striker rose free to meet a corner. Fortunately for the Foals, the header sailed wide.

As a result it was the home crowd, already roused by a pair of curling shots from Juan Arango, who went cheering into the interval thanks to Daems' conversion. Having scored first only to go on and lose at home in both this season's UEFA Champions League play-offs and their first group match, however, victory was anything but a foregone conclusion.

The introduction of Mlapa for the injured Luuk de Jong soon quelled fears of another collapse, though. The German Under-21 international had been on the field a matter of moments when he rifled beyond Steve Mandanda to double Gladbach's lead in the 67th minute.

The towering frontman ought to have had another soon afterwards, but fired over from point-blank range. It proved inconsequential as the hosts held on for the points ahead of their trip to France in a fortnight.

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