Arnold’s late winner denies ‘punchbag’ Moenchengladbach top spot

BERLIN (AFP) – Borussia Moenchengladbach coach Marco Rose compared his side to a punchbag after they failed to return to the top of the Bundesliga last Sunday as Max Arnold’s thundering injury time volley consigned them to a 2-1 defeat at Wolfsburg.

Moenchengladbach arrived at the Volkswagen Arena knowing a third straight league win would send them back to the number one spot above Leipzig who hammered Fortuna Duesseldorf 3-0 last Saturday.

Rose’s side lost for a second straight game following the midweek defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir in the Europa League.

“I find it really disappointing – although I knew it would come – that my team would be treated this way, like a punching bag being hit here and there,” Rose said.

“We’ve been answering all the questions people have asked of us for seven or eight weeks now and so this week we’ve received two bitter results – and now people are saying we aren’t up to it,” he added.

Wolfsburg’s German midfielder Max Arnold (C) tries to score. PHOTO: AFP

Arnold’s effort, 42 seconds into added time, came after Breel Embolo had responded for Borussia following Xaver Schlager’s opener within the first quarter of an hour.

The hosts opened the scoring after 13 minutes, with Schlager side-footing into the net from close range to score his first of the season.

Gladbach hit back two minutes later, however, with Switzerland forward Embolo smashing in a looping cross from Alassane Plea at the back post to make it 1-1.

From there, the encounter turned scrappy, with six yellow cards handed out, three in each half, as each side pushed for a winner.

With the clock winding down, Arnold met a poorly cleared ball at the edge of the box and struck it cleanly past goalkeeper Yann Sommer to claim the three points.

The Wolves move above Hoffenheim to eighth place, while Gladbach fall back to second after 10 weeks on top of the table and are now two points behind Leipzig.

In last Sunday’s late game, 10-man Schalke leapfrogged Bayern Munich to fourth place as they held on to beat Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 thanks to an inspired performance from Amine Harit.

The Royal Blues’ United States (US) midfielder Weston McKennie was stretchered off in the opening quarter of an hour with a shoulder injury.

Attacking midfielder Harit was everywhere at the Veltins Arena, creating the overlap and then assisting Benito Raman’s goal in the 53rd minute.

The hosts endured a nervous final 25 minutes – as well as a further seven minutes of injury time – after goalkeeper Alex Nuebel was red carded for a brutal mid-air challenge on Eintracht’s Mijat Gacinovic outside the box.