Borussia Mönchengladbach gave their chase for a top-four finish a timely boost by comprehensively beating VfB Stuttgart at the BORUSSIA-PARK on Wednesday night.
With Lars Stindl back in the starting line-up, Gladbach immediately showed more fluency going forward compared to the Matchday 23 draw at FC Augsburg. The Foals enjoyed plenty of possession in the opening stages, and the impressive Thorgan Hazard duly gave the hosts the lead, poking home from close-range after excellent work from Fabian Johnson on the right. Andre Schubert’s troops remained in control after the opener, and could have added to the lead before the break through Stindl and Hazard, whose 43rd-minute effort was ruled out by goal-line technology.
Stuttgart coach Jürgen Kramny reacted to his side’s disappointing first-half display by bringing on Artem Kravets and Lukas Rupp after the interval. The Ukrainian tested Yann Sommer within three minutes of his entrance, but otherwise it remained one-way traffic in the direction of the Stuttgart goal. Both Stindl and Hazard again came close, before Raffael capitalised on Przemyslaw Tyton’s error to double the lead. There was still time for the dominant hosts to find two more goals, substitute Patrick Herrmann latching onto Mahmoud Dahoud’s pass and firing emphatically past Tyton, before Kevin Großkreutz turned into his own net in injury-time.
Man of the match
Hazard put in perhaps his best display in a Gladbach shirt. The young Belgian was involved in everything good the hosts did going forward prior to his substitution, firing in a personal best five shots.
It all clicked perfectly here for Gladbach going forward. The youthful Foals were a joy to watch throughout, and with Bayer 04 Leverkusen losing, Schubert’s side look to be in pole position to finish in a UEFA Champions League spot for the second season running.
- The opener was Hazard’s first goal of the season.
- Raffael has scored in four of Gladbach’s last five games; the Brazilian’s strike here was his 11th of the season.
- After going eight games unbeaten, Stuttgart have lost the last two games.
Gladbach: Sommer - Elvedi, Christensen, Nordtveit, Wendt (Hinteregger, 29’) – Dahoud (Korb, 83’), Xhaka – Hazard (Herrmann, 67’), Johnson - Stindl, Raffael
Stuttgart: Tyton - Großkreutz, Schwaab, Niedermeier, Insua – Gentner (Maxim, 67’), Die (Rupp, 46’) - Harnik, Didavi, Kostic – Werner (Kravets, 46’)