After a competitive 50 minutes of football, Thorgan Hazard puts the Foals ahead, before Niko Gießlemann struck the post from the spot, which proved to be a deceive moment as Fortuna began to wane.
Düsseldorf more than a match for their visitors
The atmosphere in the Esprit-Arena was electric for this derby, with a sell-out crowd of over 50,000 packed in and smoke from flares in the away end added an extra haze to the scene. Gießelmann, Julian Schauerte, Robin Bormuth, and Rouwen Hennings were brought into the line-up by Friedhelm Funkel from the win against SV Darmstadt 98 on Friday, whilst Dieter Hecking made just two changes, recalling Tony Jantschke and Ibrahima Traoré, despite a 5-1 home thrashing at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga at the weekend.
Düsseldorf, 2. Bundesliga leaders, were more than a match for the local rivals in the first half, and they started strongly albeit without testing Yann Sommer. Florian Neuhaus, loaned by Gladbach to Fortuna after joining from 1860 Munich in the summer, hit a shot off target, whilst a good run from Oliver Fink was unfairly halted by Traoré. Lars Stindl had the first real chance on goal though, as a free-kick fell to him, but the shot was blocked.
After that Gladbach looked to be taking control, with Raffael and Denis Zakaria both missing the target, but then the hosts almost scored. Hennings found himself surrounding in the centre of the box, but Jean Zimmer took the chance to run forward. Hennings set him up, but Zimmer shot across goal and wide.
They had their tails up now, with Zimmer having a strong case for a penalty after an excellent charge into the box. Oscar Wendt, from behind, tried to get the ball as Zimmer’s momentum slowed but might have nicked him enough to send him down – just not enough for Manuel Gräfe to point to the spot. Just after Benito Raman came very close, a curling strike going just over the bar.
Gladbach were able to get forward more by the end of the half, although Traoré was shooting on sight. Raffael could have had a penalty though after André Hoffmann barged into him, but like with the Zimmer incident, Gräfe showed no interest.
Hazard opens scoring before Gießelmann miss proves costly
Both sides resumed in positive fashion after the break, with Sommer having to force a Gießelmann cross away from goal. His team would soon go ahead though. Raffael provided the assist for Hazard, who turned inside and struck, with the ball going in off the knee of Raphael Wolf.
Düsseldorf looked to hit straight back. A cross from Schauerte met the head of Hennings, although his effort was saved by Sommer, who would also keep out a shot from Neuhaus.
It was by no means all Düsseldorf, but they would then get a chance to level the game up from the penalty spot. Gießelmann was fouled just inside the box by Jantschke, with Gräfe this time making an affirmative decision, and then the left-back himself stepped up to take the penalty. He struck it to his left, but agonisingly hit the post. It remained in play, but no-one responded with a rebound effort.
Sadly for the hosts, that appeared to sap the life out of their efforts with a relatively uneventful final 20 minutes. There was one moment right before the end where it seems Hennings could create some magic in the box, but Gladbach got the ball clear and a couple of minutes later they had their place in the last-16 booked.