A Borussia Mönchengladbach blitz of three goals in the space of just nine minutes either side of half-time saw the Foals romp from behind to seal an emphatic 5-1 win over Hoffenheim on Saturday with Jonas Hofmann netting twice on Matthias Ginter's swansong.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 5-1 Hoffenheim
Goals: 0-1 Kramaric 3' (assist: Skov), 1-1 Stindl 26' (assist: Plea), 2-1 Plea (pen. 44'), 3-1 Hofmann 45+1' (assist: Neuhaus), 4-1 Embolo 53' (assist: Hofmann), 5-1 Hofmann 68' (assist: Kone)
Andrej Kramaric enjoys facing Gladbach, and the Foals were again on the wrong end of the Croatia international's goalscoring ability early on. Robert Skov's ball in from the right was left by fellow Dane Jacob Bruun Larsen and Kramaric gobbled up the opportunity. The former Leicester City forward was desperately close to adding a second when — following a smart one-two with David Raum — he whisked a shot narrowly past a post. Yann Sommer, back in goal after sitting out last weekend's draw with Eintracht Frankfurt, breathed a sigh of relief, just as Oliver Baumann did when Lars Stindl headed straight at him when either side of the Hoffenheim goalkeeper would have presented a stern challenge to preserve his team's lead. The veteran wasn't able to do that when Stindl was given a second opportunity: the Germany international snapped up the rebound after Baumann parried Alassane Plea's shot. The Frenchman then stepped up when Breel Embolo was fouled to sweep home a penalty and put the hosts ahead before Hofmann added a third with Hoffenheim crumbling in the dying embers of the first half.
The interval seemed to do the visitors no good whatsoever as Gladbach soon moved further in front. Hofmann's ball was perfect for Embolo, who coolly slotted beyond Baumann to give his team a three-goal cushion; the former Schalke striker would have made it four shortly afterwards but for Baumann brilliantly keeping out another effort with an outstretched boot. A fifth goal did come for Gladbach with 22 minutes left: Hofmann again finding the net after Kevin Akpoguma's ill-advised header back to Baumann had been intercepted by Patrick Herrmann. Ginter enjoyed a farewell cameo as Adi Hütter's men made the most of their final afternoon of competition. Gladbach were wearing next season's shirt, which bears a central green and black stripe that harks back to the club's glory years of the 1970s and '80s; if they play like this, the 2022/23 season could be one that, unlike the 2021/22 campaign, stands out for all the right reasons.
- Hofmann has a career-best 12 goals for the campaign, only Bayern Munich's Serge Gnabry has scored more times (14) among German players in the Bundesliga. Hofmann netted for the first time in 13 appearances against Hoffenheim.
- Plea tucked away his third penalty of the campaign, and his 10th league goal of the season. He has now scored six times in his last 10 top-flight appearances.
- Embolo registered a career-high ninth league goal of the season.
- Embolo has won 11 penalties in his Bundesliga career - the most of any player in the German top flight since the Switzerland international forward made his debut in the competition in the 2016/17 season.
- Kramaric has netted 59 of his 88 Bundesliga strikes in the Rückrunde of top-flight seasons, including four this term.
- Ginter's Gladbach career comes to an end after 154 Bundesliga appearances and 11 goals — four of which have come against Hoffenheim — since joining the Foals in 2017.
Gladbach: Sommer - Lainer (Scally 74'), Friedrich (Ginter 80'), Bensebaini, Netz -, Kone, Neuhaus - Hofmann (Kramer 80'), Stindl (c) (Herrmann 74'), Plea - Embolo (Thuram 63')
Unused subs: Sippel, Kramer, Benes, Bennetts
Out: Elvedi (suspended), Jantschke (knee)
Coach: Adi Hütter
Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) - Akpoguma (Bicakcic 86'), Vogt, Posch - Skov (Rudy 64'), Samassekou (Che 64'), Stiller (Tohumcu 86'), Raum - Baumgartner - Bruun Larsen (Proschwitz 64'), Kramaric
Unused subs: Pentke, Philipp, Nuhu
Out: Dabbur (suspended), Hübner (back), John (shoulder), Nordtveit (hamstring), Richards (thigh), Geiger (shin), Bebou (knock), Grillitsch (knee)
Coach: Sebastian Hoeneß
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