Florian Neuhaus, Marcus Thuram and Alassane Plea all scored as Borussia Mönchengladbach beat Union Berlin 4-1 at home to keep their UEFA Champions League qualification hopes on track.
The home side made a quick start in their fight to maintain their top-four place in the table. Neuhaus almost opened the scoring with an audacious effort from the halfway line, spotting Rafal Gikiewicz off his line, but the Union goalkeeper scrambled back just in time to tip the shot around the post. The Gladbach midfielder had his goal just a few moments later, though, skipping past a number of Berlin defenders across the top of the penalty area. His shot hit the inside of the post before rolling over the line for his fourth of the season. Thuram then doubled the lead just before half-time when Plea picked out his compatriot with a cross to the far post, with Thuram burying his powerful header beyond Gikiewicz.
However, Union produced one of their party tricks soon after the break when set-piece specialist Christopher Trimmel's free-kick was knocked down by Marcus Ingvartsen for top scorer Sebastian Andersson to head home. The two-goal advantage was restored just a few minutes later, though, when the French connection kicked into action again, Plea crossing low this time for Thuram to turn home his 10th goal of the campaign after Jonas Hofmann had dispossessed Grischa Prömel on the edge of the box. Plea then got in on the scoring act himself as he adjusted well to latch onto Ramy Bensebaini's cross and divert it beyond Gikiewicz for Gladbach's fourth. There was a great moment late on for Mamadou Doucoure, who finally made his Gladbach debut after joining in 2016 but being beset by constant injuries as the Foals celebrated a comfortable win to keep them well in the race for the top four.
- Neuhaus' goal was the 3000th in Gladbach's Bundesliga history. Only Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen have previously reached that mark.
- Plea is the fourth player across Europe's top five leagues to reach double figures for both goals and assists this season, after Serge Gnabry, Jadon Sancho and Lionel Messi.
- Gladbach scored for the 14th straight Bundesliga home game. It's their best run within a single season since going 15 between August 2012 and April 2013.
- Gladbach have now won against all 52 clubs they have faced in the Bundesliga.
- Christoph Kramer made his 150th Bundesliga appearance for Gladbach.
- Seven of Andersson's 12 Bundesliga goals have been with his head and is a league best. He's scored 12 goals in all three of his seasons in Germany.
Watch: Neuhaus: "This should give us a lot of confidence"
Gladbach: Sommer - Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini (Wendt 90') – Hofmann (Traore 82'), Neuhaus (Doucoure 90') - Stindl (c) (Benes 82') – Herrmann (Kramer 72'), Plea, Thuram
Unused subs: Sippel, Müsel, Quizera, Kurt
Out: Embolo (calf), Jantschke (suspended), Johnson (muscular), Strobl (hamstring), Zakaria (knee)
Coach: Marco Rose
Union: Gikiewicz - Friedrich, Schlotterbeck, Subotic (Kroos 46') - Trimmel (c), Gentner (Ujah 80'), Prömel, Lenz (Ryerson 60') (Mees 65') – Ingvartsen (Malli 80'), Bülter – Andersson
Unused subs: Nicolas, Hübner, Abdullahi, Schmiedebach
Out: Andrich (suspended), Becker (thigh), Gogia (match fitness)
Coach: Urs Fischer
Watch: Rose: "I at least pretend to understand the French players"