Alassane Plea (3rd.l) scored three of Borussia Mönchengladbach's six goals away to Shakhtar Donetsk. - © SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images
Alassane Plea (3rd.l) scored three of Borussia Mönchengladbach's six goals away to Shakhtar Donetsk. - © SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images
bundesliga

Alassane Plea hits hat-trick in Borussia Mönchengladbach's 6-0 rout of Shakhtar Donetsk

Alassane Plea scored a hat-trick as Borussia Mönchengladbach followed up draws with Inter Milan and Real Madrid by thrashing Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0 in Ukraine to move top of UEFA Champions League Group B.

Shakhtar Donetsk 0-6 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Goals: 0-1 Plea (8'), 0-2 Bondar (o.g. 17'), 0-3 Plea (26'), 0-4 Bensebaini (44'), 0-5 Stindl (65'), 0-6 Plea (79')

To say Shakhtar were second best is an understatement. Gladbach set the tone inside eight minutes when Stefan Lainer expertly brought a raking diagonal ball under wraps and crossed for Plea to steer home on his right foot. Florian Neuhaus and Lars Stindl fired off further warning shots, before Christoph Kramer slammed in a second courtesy of a deflection off Valeriy Bondar, with Stindl and Plea having instigated the move. Plea completed his brace with a thunderous finish into the top left-hand corner following an incisive counter, and wasn’t far off his hat-trick in the 36th minute, driving a fierce effort wide. Ramy Bensebaini reacted quickest to a corner to stretch Gladbach’s advantage on the stroke of half-time.

Despite three pairs of Shakhtar fresh legs entering the fray after the restart, Gladbach masterfully kept the Ukrainian champions at arm’s length whilst carving the hosts open at will in attack. After Thuram found the mitts of Anatoliy Trubin on the hour, Borussia extended their lead. Plea picked off Trubin’s poor clearance and fed Stindl, who arrowed an unstoppable finish into the bottom corner for his side’s fifth. The Shakhtar goalkeeper denied Neuhaus and Kramer tickled the side netting, before Marcus Thuram played in Plea with a beautifully weighted pass for his hat-trick. The goal stood following a VAR review for a possible offside as Gladbach celebrated their biggest win of the Champions League era. The Foals host Inter after the November international break with five points to show for their first three Group B assignments.

Match stats

  • Gladbach equalled their biggest away win in European Cup history, having won 6-0 in Cyprus against Larnaca in their first game in the competition in September 1970.
  • The Foals scored 13 goals in their two previous Champions League campaigns, but already have 10 at the halfway stage in the 2020/21 groups.
  • Plea scored his first Champions League goals.
  • Borussia are unbeaten in seven European away games (W3, D4), since a 4-0 loss at Barcelona in the 2016/17 Champions League group stages.
  • Marco Rose's side are now unbeaten in eight matches in all competitions.
  • Shakhtar's previous heaviest home European defeat was 0-3

Line-ups

Shakhtar: Trubin - Dodo, Bondar, Khocholava, Korniyenko - Maycon (Stepanenko 69'), Antonio (Patrick 46') - Tete, Marlos (c) (Kovalenko 46'), Solomon - Taison (Moraes 46')
Unused subs: Shevchenko, Pyatov, Kryvtsov, Matviyenko, Vakula, Marquinhos, Bolbat, Sudakov
Out: Dentinho (hamstring), Fernando (knock), Ismaily (knee), Konoplyanka (groin)
Coach:
Luis Castro

Gladbach: Sommer - Lainer (Lang 82'), Ginter, Elvedi (Jantschke 82'), Bensebaini - Kramer, Neuhaus - Hofmann (Lazaro 75'), Stindl (c) (Wolf 69'), Thuram - Plea (Traore 82')
Unused subs: Sippel, Grün, Herrmann, Wendt, Benes, Embolo, Reitz
Out: Poulsen (shoulder), Zakaria (knee)
Coach:
Marco Rose

As it happened

Shakhtar 0-6 Gladbach
Goals: 0-1
Plea (8'), 0-2 Bondar (og 17'), 0-3 Plea (26'), 0-4 Bensebaini (44'), 0-5 Stindl (65'), 0-6 Plea (79')

Shakhtar: Trubin - Dodo, Bondar, Khocholava, Korniyenko - Maycon (Stepanenko 69'), Antonio (Patrick 46') - Tete, Marlos (c) (Kovalenko 46'), Solomon - Taison (Moraes 46')
Gladbach: Sommer - Lainer (Lang 82'), Ginter, Elvedi (Jantschke 82'), Bensebaini - Kramer, Neuhaus - Hofmann (Lazaro 75'), Stindl (c) (Wolf 69'), Thuram - Plea (Traore 82')

FULL-TIME! SHAKHTAR 0-6 GLADBACH

That will live long in the memory. Gladbach run roughshod over the Ukrainian champions, with Plea scoring a hat-trick. Three games in, the Foals top Group B ahead of Shakhtar, Inter and Real. Three to go...

90' ADDED TIME

Three additional minutes before Gladbach can put Shakhtar out of their misery...

82' CH-CH-CH-CHANGES

Hat-trick hero Plea is one of three Gladbach changes. Defenders Lainer and Elvedi also make way, with Lang, Jantschke and Traore joining the action. A few minutes before the Frenchman scored his third, Hofmann made way for Lazaro.

79' GOAAAAL! SHAKHTAR 0-6 GLADBACH

Plea gets his hat-trick! Thuram is the provider with a beautifully weighted pass through the middle for his compatriot to steer beyond Trubin. There's a wait as the VAR reviews the effort for a possible offside, but it rightly stands. Incredible!

71' WE WANT SIX!

Kramer tickles the side netting, with Shakhtar very much on the ropes. This is relentless from Gladbach - brilliant stuff!

69' HERE COMES WOLF

Stindl makes way after a fine shift at the office. On in his place comes Hannes Wolf, Gladbach's match-winner against Leipzig at the weekend. Stepanenko replaces Maycon in Shakhtar's fourth change.

67' NEUHAUS WANTS IN!

Trubin keeps out an effort from Neuhaus as Gladbach chase a sixth goal. Shakhtar are staring the heaviest defeat of their Champions League history in the face.

65' GOAAAAL! SHAKHTAR 0-5 GLADBACH

Gladbach are really making this a night to remember now as Stindl gets in on the act. Plea picks off Trubin's poor goal-kick and finds his captain 12 yards from goal. He takes aim, and makes no mistake with the finish.

59' CORNER THREAT

Shakhtar are really struggling from corners. Hofmann is the provider again as Thuram fires at Trubin from an unmarked position. Can only see Gladbach adding to their lead...

54' SLOW AND STEADY

Quiet start to the second half. There's no need for Gladbach to play with any urgency. They'll happily exploit the space Shakhtar leave as they chase a way back into the contest...

SECOND HALF! SHAKHTAR 0-4 GLADBACH

No changes for Gladbach following that foursome first-half display. Shakhtar throw on Patrick, Kovalenko and Moraes...

HALF-TIME! SHAKHTAR 0-4 GLADBACH

And there goes this whistle after a blistering attacking display from the Foals. They're heading top of Group B!

44' GOAAAAL! SHAKHTAR 0-4 GLADBACH

Simply remarkable. Shakhtar don't clear their lines as Hofmann whips in a corner, and Bensebaini makes them pay with an emphatic finish from close range. A 4-0 lead going into half time - what a performance this has been from Gladbach!

37' CHANCES AT BOTH ENDS

Korniyenko chances his arm from range, without testing Sommer. Gladbach go straight on the offensive with Plea, who leathers wide. He only needs one more for his hat-trick, remember...

34' THURAM!

Hofmann finds Thuram from the ensuing corner, but the Frenchman puts his header over the bar. That would have been curtains for the Ukrainian champions!

33' HOFMANN TAKES AIM

But here come Gladbach again, this time with Bensebaini. His diagonal pass finds Hoffmann, who stings the palms of Trubin from a good 20 yards. Shakhtar cannot live with those cross-field balls...

29' SOMMER SAVE

Sommer is made to work for the first time in the game by Tete, who had wriggled free in the box. It's a smart stop with his feet, but one a goalkeeper of his calibre would be expected to make.

26' GOAAAAL! SHAKHTAR 0-3 GLADBACH

Pick that out! Stunning hit from Plea as Gladbach go 3-0 up little over midway through the first half. The Frenchman stars the move, before continuing his run to the edge of the area, where he meets Stindl's lay-off - smartly allowed to run by Kramer - with an unstoppable effort into the top left-hand corner. Clinical stuff from the men in white!

23' THURAM ON HAND

Shakhtar enjoy their first meaningful spell of possession. The hosts win a corner, but Thuram is on the edge of the Gladbach six-yard box to clear.

17' GOAAAAL! SHAKHTAR 0-2 GLADBACH

Christoph Kramer makes it two! Plea and Stindl combine on the edge of the Shakhtar area, leaving the home defence all shook up. Kramer takes aim, and finds the net with the aid of a deflection. They all count - Gladbach are flying!

13' GLADBACH IN CHARGE

Hofmann, Neuhaus and Plea are making a real nuisance of themselves in the early stages. Plea is involved as Gladbach win a corner, taken by Hofmann. It's cleared only as far as Neuhaus, who warms the palms of Trubin from the edge of the area. The Foals are back on the charge soon after, but captain Lars Stindl is unable to match his strong run with the finish and fires wide.

10' HIGH, WIDE AND TAISON

Shakhtar muster a response, but Taison's speculative effort from 20 yards doesn't trouble Yann Sommer.

8' GOAAAAL! SHAKHTAR 0-1 GLADBACH

Alassane Plea puts Gladbach ahead! Stefan Lainer takes a raking ball in his stride and whips in a telling ball from the right. Plea attacks it with his right foot, leaving Trubin with no chance in the Shakhtar goal. Dream start!

5' GLADBACH CORNER

The first of the game - won by Plea. Involved in more Gladbach goals than any other player so far this season (four goals, five assists), Hofmann whips it in, but Shakhtar stand their ground.

UNDER WAY!

The ball's rolling in Ukraine. Let's see if Gladbach can make it a case of third time lucky...

SHAKHTAR FORM

Shakhtar won their 13th Ukrainian Premier League title this season. Luis Castro's team are second after eight matches in the current standings behind Dynamo Kiev, with four wins and as many draws. They went out at the Champions League group stage last term, before reaching the Europa League semi-finals, where they lost a one-legged tie 5-0 to eventual runners-up Inter.

GLADBACH FORM

The Foals are unbeaten in seven competitive matches since losing their Bundesliga opener to fellow Champions League competitors Borussia Dortmund. Cologne, Mainz and 2019/20 Champions League semi-finalists Leipzig are the teams they've beaten in the league this season, along with minnows Oberneuland in the DFB Cup first round. Rose's side are fifth in the current Bundesliga standings, four points behind leaders Bayern Munich.

THURAM THE MAN

Marcus Thuram scored both goals against Real at Borussia-Park, having notched an assist in Milan on Matchday 1. He's had a direct hand in three goals in the league this season, and was Gladbach's joint leading scorer last term. And if you didn't already know, the Frenchman is the son of 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000 winner, Lillan Thuram.

GROUP B

Shakhtar are the leaders, after beating Real 3-2 and holding Inter. Gladbach are second on two points, ahead of Inter by virtue of their superior number of goals scored. Record winners Real prop up the section ahead of their home tie with Inter later today.

SHAKHTAR TEAM NEWS

Only one change from last week's goalless draw with Inter. Dentinho is injured, so in comes Taison as the lone striker.

GLADBACH TEAM NEWS

Head coach Marco Rose makes three changes from the side that inflicted a first league defeat of the season on RB Leipzig on Saturday. Christoph Kramer, Lars Stindl and Marcus Thuram return as part of the same XI that held Real to a 2-2 draw a week ago.

WELCOME!

After matching Inter Milan and Real Madrid all the way in their opening Group B encounters, Gladbach take their search for a first win to Donetsk. Stay tuned for all the build-up and live text commentary you can shake a stick at...