Lars Stindl struck two and Marcus Thuram set up as many as Borussia Mönchengladbach kept up the pressure on the Bundesliga leaders with an impressive 4-1 win at Fortuna Düsseldorf.
As strong winds battered Europe again this weekend, Kaan Ayhan's crosses were whipping up something of a storm in the early exchanges, although the absence of a finish was punished by Gladbach when they sniffed their first opportunity, and expertly took it. Thuram picked out Jonas Hofmann's run with surgical precision, allowing the midfielder to slot in his second of the season. Undeterred, Fortuna fought back fiercely with Erik Thommy taking down Ayhan's next textbook cross impeccably, holding off Stefan Lainer and swivelling to turn a shot past Yann Sommer. The offside flag curtailed Florian Neuhaus' celebrations as he put the ball in the back of the net for a second time in a highly-entertaining encounter which was interrupted by the half-time whistle.
The fine flow of the game continued after the break, though, and a typically swift Gladbach move saw Neuhaus put Thuram through, and he nudged the ball altruistically past the onrushing Florian Kastenmeier for Stindl to tap into the open goal. Neuhaus was again denied, with Thuram's shot on the rebound also saved by Kastenmeier, who was giving Fortuna a fighting chance. Not even he could do anything about a deflected Stindl strike which doubled Gladbach's advantage, from Denis Zakaria's pass. Thuram's job had been done and Breel Embolo gave him a breather, and the former Schalke striker missed a glorious chance to make it four with his first touch. Neuhaus showed better composure in front of goal to add the goal which put the result beyond any doubt, and helped lift the Foals to within three points of the Bundesliga summit, and with a game in hand over current leaders RB Leipzig.
- Stindl scored his first Bundesliga brace since 28 January 2017.
- Neuhaus scored his third goal of the season – as many as he managed in the whole of 2018/19.
- Hofmann has scored in back-to-back Bundesliga games for the first time.
- Thommy scored his third goal for Fortuna. Düsseldorf had won on the other two occasions he had scored.
- Rösler lost his first game as Düsseldorf coach, after going three unbeaten.
- Gladbach will play their game in hand against Cologne on 11 March.
Watch: Thuram: "Derbies are always tough"
Fortuna: Kastenmeier - Ayhan, Zanka, Adams (Suttner 81') - Zimmermann, Morales, Stöger, Berisha (Bodzek 78'), Thommy - Ampomah (Skrzybski 65'), Hennings (c)
Unused subs: Okoye, Pledl, Gießelmann, Sobottka, Tekpetey, Zimmer
Out: Bodzek (groin), Hoffmann (suspended), Karaman (pneumonia), Kownacki (knee), Ofori (suspended), Steffen (knee)
Coach: Uwe Rösler
Gladbach: Sommer (c) - Ginter, Strobl, Elvedi - Lainer, Neuhaus, Zakaria, Wendt - Hofmann, Stindl (Traore 85'), Thuram (Embolo 81')
Unused subs: Sippel, Kramer, Herrmann, Raffael, Johnson, Benes, Jantschke
Out: Bensebaini (muscular), Kramer (head injury), Plea (suspended)
Coach: Marco Rose