Borussia Mönchengladbach moved into outright first place in the Bundesliga table after scoring four first-half goals in a 5-1 win over Augsburg.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 5-1 Augsburg
Goals: 1-0 Zakaria (2’), 2-0 Herrmann (8’), 3-0 Herrmann (13’), 4-0 Plea (39’), 4-1 Niederlechner (80'), 5-1 Embolo (83')
Gladbach took the lead inside just two minutes after Marcus Thuram danced his way through the Augsburg defence before squaring to Denis Zakaria to turn home. Less than five minutes later the lead was doubled when Alassane Plea ran onto Ramy Bensebaini’s ball down the line and cut back to Patrick Herrmann, who buried inside the near post. Moments after being denied on the counter by goalkeeper Tomas Koubek, the former Germany international had his second inside 13 minutes after a slick one-two with Plea before finding the bottom corner once again. The game settled down somewhat after that before Plea made it four in the first half after a horror moment for Koubek, who failed to control a pass back and was unable to prevent the Frenchman stealing in to tap home and round off a brilliant half for the Foals.
Augsburg made two changes at the break with Martin Schmidt sending on defensive reinforcements in Raphael Framberger and Reece Oxford in place of Stephan Lichtsteiner and Rani Khedira respectively. The changes did the trick as the visitors proved much harder to break down. Borussia suffered a setback on the hour mark, when right-back Stefan Lainer went over on his ankle and had to be replaced by Nico Elvedi. The game burst back to life with 15 minutes remaining when Zakaria had an effort blocked on the line before Augsburg countered through Florian Niederlechner, only to have his effort turned onto the post by goalkeeper Yann Sommer when one-on-one. Centre-back Matthias Ginter injured himself in preventing the goal and may now miss Germany’s upcoming matches against Argentina and Estonia. Niederlechner did get a consolation late on for Augsburg when he tucked away a rebound following Sommer's save before substitute Breel Embolo then restored the four-goal advantage when teed up by Herrmann. Gladbach are now outright leaders in the Bundesliga on 16 points, taking advantage of slips by Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, Bayer Levekusen, Freiburg and Schalke, who all sit on 14 going into the international break.
- Gladbach are top of the Bundesliga table for the first time since Matchday 3 of 2011/12 under Lucien Favre. The last time they were first on Matchday 7 or later was in 1985/86 under Jupp Heynckes.
- Borussia scored five goals in a league game for the first time since April 2016 against Hertha Berlin (5-0).
- Embolo's last five Bundesliga goals have all come after the 79th minute.
- Zakaria’s goal was recorded at 1.32pm local time – the earliest goal in Bundesliga history.
- Herrmann bagged the sixth Bundesliga brace of his career and his first since April 2015 against Hoffenheim.
- Augsburg conceded four goals in the first half of a Bundesliga game for just the second time, the previous also coming in Mönchengladbach in September 2015.
Gladbach: Sommer (c) – Lainer (Elvedi 60’), Ginter (Wendt 81'), Jantschke, Bensebaini – Benes, Zakaria, Kramer – Herrmann, Plea (Embolo 54’), Thuram
Unused subs: Sippel, Doucoure, Raffael, Neuhaus, Noß, Makridis
Out: Bennetts (thigh), Beyer (knee), Hofmann (match fitness), Johnson (groin), Strobl (knee), Traore (ankle)
Coach: Marco Rose
Augsburg: Koubek – Lichtsteiner (Framberger 46’), Jedvaj, Uduokhai, Max – Khedira (c) (Oxford 46’), Moravek – Vargas, Gregoritsch (Jensen 76'), Hahn – Niederlechner
Unused subs: Luthe, Cordova, Schieber, Iago, Finnbogason, Teigl
Out: Götze (hip), Gouweleeuw (match fitness), Gruezo (ankle), Richter (thigh), Suchy (hip)
Coach: Martin Schmidt