Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez continued his astonishing scoring streak by netting a maiden Bundesliga hat-trick to help Bayer 04 Leverkusen defeat Borussia Mönchengladbach 5-0 on Saturday evening.
Perhaps buoyed by their strong performance against Barcelona in the Champions League during the week, Leverkusen started strongly and gained the upper hand in the early stages of the game. Both sides missed a couple of half chances before Stefan Kießling broke the deadlock, heading in at the back post from Roberto Hilbert’s right-wing cross.
Gladbach were more aggressive after the break and almost equalised when Raffael hit the post with a free-kick, but it wad the hosts who found the net again. Following superb interplay between Kießling and Chicharito, the Mexican striker prodded home from close range. Kießling effectively killed the game off shortly afterwards by powering a thunderous header home from a corner, before Chicharito stole the show late on by completing his hat-trick and taking his tally to 17 goals in 20 competitive outings for Leverkusen.
Man of the match
Chicharito had a barnstorming second half, putting the result beyond Gladbach’s reach with a lesson in clinical finishing. His link-up play with Kießling was sensational, while his elusive movement caused the Gladbach defence problems throughout the game.
Following eight victories and two draws in his first ten Bundesliga games at the helm, Gladbach head coach Andre Schubert suffered his first league defeat in charge of the Foals.
- Kießling put his side 1-0 up for the 51st time in his career – more than any other current Bundesliga player.
- Kießling’s second effort was his 138th Bundesliga goal, moving him up to 16th in the all-time top scorer’s chart, level with former FC Bayern München striker Mario Gomez.
- Chicharito is the first Mexican to score a hat-trick in the Bundesliga.
Leverkusen: Leno – Hilbert (Donati 46’), Tah, Toprak (c), Wendell – Bellarabi, Kramer, Kampl (Frey 87’), Calhanoglu – Kießling, Hernandez (Mehmedi 79’)
Gladbach: Sommer – Jantschke (Elvedi 46’), Christensen, Nordtveit – Xhaka (c), Dahoud (Schulz 81’) – Korb, Traore (Raffael 46’), Wendt – Drmic, Stindl