Hannover beats 'Gladbach to go 5th in Bundesliga

CIARAN FAHEY Associated Press Published:

BERLIN (AP) -- Hannover extended its unbeaten home record and climbed to fifth in the Bundesliga with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday, when Schalke was held 1-1 at Hoffenheim.

"The Gladbachers didn't apply the pressure I expected. The second half went very well for us," Hannover coach Mirko Slomka said after his club's 250th Bundesliga win.

Didier Ya Konan slid in to give the home side the lead in the 57th minute by deflecting Konstantin Rausch's cross through Marc-Andre ter Stegen's legs.

Hannover, which remains the Bundesliga's only team unbeaten at home this season, made it 2-0 in the 77th when Sergio Pinto sent Jan Schlaudraff free and the former Moenchengladbach player waited before picking out Mame Biram Diouf with a precise cross.

Havard Nordtveit pulled one back a minute later when he toe-poked the ball past Ron-Robert Zieler after beating three Hannover defenders.

Zieler ensured his side claimed all three points with two saves in injury time from Marco Reus and then Filip Daems.

Both Hoffenheim and Schalke had debatable penalty decisions go their way in the late game.

Sven Schipplock earned Hoffenheim's spot kick in the 29th after Lars Unnerstall stretched out his leg. The Schalke goalkeeper was given a yellow card and had to pick the ball out of his net a minute later when Sejad Salihovic scored the penalty.

Winter transfer Chinedu Obasi got Schalke's penalty against his former side in the 80th when he fell under light contact from Andreas Beck just inside the area.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar sent Tom Starke the wrong way as the Dutch striker joined Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez as the top scorer with 23 goals this season.

Schalke looked tired after losing 4-2 to Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League on Thursday night, but consolidated third place by moving three points ahead of Moenchengladbach.

Hannover is 10 points behind Moenchengladbach.

"We started to play too late," Moenchengladbach coach Lucien Favre said after his side's second loss in a row. "After the win in Leverkusen it was hard against Bayern (in the German Cup semifinal) and Hoffenheim. That's the five percent we're missing at the moment."

Diouf's fifth league goal of the season was his second in four days after the Senegal striker claimed an important away goal in the first leg of Hannover's Europa League quarterfinal at Atletico Madrid.

Much of the action happened off the pitch Sunday, with Bayer Leverkusen firing Robin Dutt as coach and Cologne opting to leave Stale Solbakken in change for its battle against relegation.