Gamba started very well and had the 'keeper under pressure more than once in the opening exchanges before scored the first in the 10th minute. He started the move in the centre circle with a deft flick to find Kosuke Onose in the right channel. Onose advanced, looked up and flighted a perfect cross for the Brazilian to blast home to give his team the lead.
The home team then doubled their lead as they impressed with their pressing game against a Vissel defence trying to play the ball out from the back. Centre back Shunya Suganuma - of all people - high up on the right wing beat Andres Iniesta to a pass and in one movement slipped the ball into the path of Hwang Ui-jo who slid the ball under the advancing goalkeeper to make it 2-0, 24 minutes gone.
Gamba were cruising and had the away team on the ropes as the half time whistle approached but somehow Vissel halved their deficit just before the break, as Lukas Podolski waited patiently for a cleared Iniesta free kick to fall on his favoured left foot, and the German's volley gave his team hope.
Vissel were then back in the game at 2-2 soon after the restart, with Podolski involved again, although his shove in the back of Takahiro Ko on the left wing was surely illegal. The referee allowed play to go on and Podolski's cross found David Villa wide open just a few yards out and he managed to get high enough over the ball to guide it downwards and into the net with his face, somehow. 2-2!
Gamba went looking for more goals and all three points, of course, after being pegged back, and the 3-2 goal came in the 71st minute as Hwang approached the area and looked for his favoured right foot, and found it. His low shot towards the corner was palmed out by Vissel goalkeeper Daiya Maekawa, but only into the path of Yasuhito Endo, who looked to have an easy conversion, but the genius of the veteran fooled everyone as he slipped the ball to his left for Shu Kurata to have an open goal to poke into. 3-2, Gamba ahead again.
The game was far from over, though and Vissel leveled again in the 80th minute with a rare long ball from their own half - from Podolski - finding the brilliant touch of Kyogo Furuhashi behind the defence. He brought it down in one movement and swept the ball left to substitute Junya Tanaka to score into an empty net. 3-3 and still not done!
Sadly for the huge majority of the 37,000+ crowd in Panasonic Stadium it was the away team that took the points, and it was Furuhashi and Tanaka combining again to give Tanaka his second of the night and the winner for Vissel!
Team - Higashiguchi, Miura, Suganuma (Yonekura, 90+2), Kim, Fujiharu, Ko, Kurata, Onose (Tanaka, 90+1), Endo (Watanabe, 90), Ademilson, Hwang
HWANG Ui-jo 24'
Shu KURATA 71'