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Gladbach hit back twice against Villarreal

Villarreal CF 2-2 VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach
Granit Xhaka hit a fine free-kick as the visitors twice came from behind to earn a draw that keeps both sides in contention.

Raffael celebrates his equaliser
Raffael celebrates his equaliser ©AFP/Getty Images

Gladbach (9 points), Villarreal (8) and Zürich (7) can all qualify on matchday six
Granit Xhaka fires a free-kick in off the crossbar to make it 2-2
Villarreal's run of nine UEFA Europa League home wins ends
Next games: Mönchengladbach v Zürich, Apollon v Villarreal (11 December) 

Villarreal CF and VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach will have to wait until matchday six to seal their places in the UEFA Europa League knockout stage following an absorbing Group A draw in Spain.

The home team were superior in the first half and might have had more than Luciano Vietto's 26th-minute strike to show for it. The second period was more end to end, with three goals in 13 minutes from Raffael, Denis Cheryshev and Granit Xhaka ultimately deciding the spoils would be shared.

Both sides started with a high tempo and there were chances for each, with Villarreal almost taking the lead when Raffael cleared Bruno Soriano's header off the line. The breakthrough soon came, though, as Vietto picked the ball up from Jaume Costa before speeding past two defenders and subtly finishing past the onrushing Yann Sommer.

Early in the second half Sergio Asenjo denied Mönchengladbach's Branimir Hrgota but there was nothing he could do to stop Raffael's long-range effort a few minutes later. The game opened up. When Julian Korb's failed clearance fell to Cheryshev, the midfielder made it 2-1 to Villarreal after good work on the right.

The hosts' joy was short-lived. A brilliant Xhaka free-kick restored parity and in the closing moments substitute Patrick Herrmann so nearly grabbed a winner for the visitors as he hit the post. It is all to play for on matchday six.