AMSTERDAM – Borussia Moenchengladbach winger Fabian Johnson opened and closed the scoring in a wild 3-3 draw away to former employers Hoffenheim on Saturday afternoon.
The US star wasted little time in breaking the ice, as his well-timed run was rewarded with the perfect entry feed for him to fire 'Gladbach into the lead after just five minutes. However, the hosts stormed back to a take a two-goal advantage early in the second half.
The Foals would soon halve the lead, setting the stage for Johnson's 87th-minute heroics. The American got loose on the right wing and sailed in to roof the equalizer. It was his third league goal of the season and his fourth across all competitions in November.
Johnson also notched eight positive passes in or into the final attacking third, including three that teed up shots for teammates and three set piece clearances at the defensive end. The result kept 'Gladbach unbeaten in nine Bundesliga games and nudged them back into the fourth Champions League slot in the table.
Around the horn, Hertha Berlin fell 2-0 away to defending champs Bayern Munich despite a solid full shift from John Brooks.
The defender, who worked the left side a three-man back line, pitched in with five pass interceptions in or around the area and four clearances. The capital crew conceded twice in a seven-minute span late in the first half to slip to fifth place. Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt suffered the indignity of a 4-0 humbling at previously struggling Hannover 96.
The US midfielder managed three good looks at goal but came up empty with one shot, drawing a good save and another hitting the side netting. With but one win in their last six, Ingolstadt have slipped to 11th place, two points shy of the last Europa League spot.
Also, Timothy Chandler went unused in Eintracht Frankfurt's 2-1 loss at Mainz 05. The 13th place visitors are now winless in four.
One flight down, Bobby Wood had some tough early luck in front of goal as Union Berlin settled for a 1-1 home share with Arminia Bielefeld.
The US forward struck the crossbar on nine minutes and then rang the post just before the quarter hour. Wood also had a chance to win the game with 10 minutes left but placed his effort just wide of frame. Now unbeaten in four, the Iron Union rose clear of the drop zone.
Turning focus to the English Premier League, DeAndre Yedlin worked all 90 minutes on his return to the Sunderland lineup, a 2-0 victory over Geoff Cameron and 10-man Stoke City that lifted the home side out of the relegation zone for the first time this season.
The Black Cats right back posted a game-best four tackles and completed 25 of 30 passes. Yedlin also raced onto a long ball in the 70th minute, but it was a stretch to reach and he was only able to volley over. Cameron, meanwhile, emerged just before the hour mark to work central defense for Stoke, supplying three clearances and a pair of shot blocks.
The result gave Sunderland their first EPL win streak since May while dipping the Potters to 12th place with their first loss in four.
Elsewhere, Tim Howard and Everton were 10 minutes away from a clean sheet victory at Bournemouth, only to blow two leads inside the waning moments to end up with a 3-3 draw.
The US netminder logged six saves and two cross captures, with his best stop denying Joshua King early in the contest. However, The Toffees conceded an 80th-minute wonder goal and a pair of close-range strikes, with Junior Stanislas' second leveling matters for good eight minutes into stoppage time. Despite the letdown, Howard & Co. inched up to seventh place.
The woes continued for Brad Guzan and last-place Aston Villa, who dropped a 3-2 home decision against Watford.
The American notched four saves, including a stunner to rob Odion Ighalo shortly before the Hornets striker opened the scoring in the 17th minute. Hapless Villa also gave up an own goal and the decisive unmarked late header after Guzan had made an initial save. The Villans have lost 11 times during their 13-match winless slide.