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Traoré-powered Mönchengladbach flatten Apollon

VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach 5-0 Apollon Limassol FC
Ibrahima Traoré had a hand in three goals as Ioan Andone's side came unstuck in Group A, despite some wondrous Bruno Vale saves.

Ibrahima Traoré after scoring Mönchengladbach's opener against Apollon
Ibrahima Traoré after scoring Mönchengladbach's opener against Apollon ©Getty Images

Ibrahima Traoré opens scoring after a defensive meltdown
Bruno Vale saves keep Apollon in the game
Four goals after the interval confirm the home side's dominance
German side leapfrog Apollon into second place in Group A
Next games: Apollon v Mönchengladbach (6 November)

Ibrahima Traoré ultimately upstaged Apollon Limassol FC goalkeeper Bruno Vale, scoring twice and having a hand in another VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach goal in a comfortable Group A success.

Bruno Vale watched his defence disintegrate ahead of Traoré's opener, and was blameless for Branimir Hrgota's second-half finish too, having made some world-class blocks to give Ioan Andone's men some hope of scavenging a point on their travels. However, he was well beaten for Traoré's second of the night, and Apollon were overrun late on.

A lackadaisical clearance on 11 minutes allowed Hrgota to steal in and send a teasing ball across the area which Traoré lashed into the net, but Bruno Vale did brilliantly to keep the score down before the break. His save from Max Kruse's header was extraordinary; his double-block to frustrate Hrgota and Thorgan Hazard bordered on the miraculous.

Had Hugo Lopez got a clearer sight of goal when a long ball over the top with just Yann Sommer to beat early in the second half, Apollon might have been on to something. As it was, Mönchengladbach finally put the game beyond them; Bruno Vale made a fine save to push Traoré's powerful shot off target but Hrgota – as much by luck as judgement –  bundled the ball into the net at the unguarded back post.

Hrgota's lay-off on the edge of the box then invited Traoré to steer a low shot beyond the Portuguese goalkeeper to make it 3-0. Further indignity followed as substitute Patrick Herrmann finished from a Hazard cross at the near post, before Hazard's angled shot found the net via a deflection off Angelis Angeli.

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