Borussia Mönchengladbach moved into the top four with an emphatic 5-0 win over fellow UEFA Champions League qualifying contenders Hertha Berlin on Sunday.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 5-0 Hertha Berlin
Six points behind their opponents coming into the game, Gladbach’s need was the greater at kick-off, and Andre Schubert’s men showed it, biting into challenges and looking somewhat more alert than their visitors. Mahmoud Dahoud was particularly switched on to intercept Rune Jarstein’s ill-advised clearance, and immediately played in Thorgan Hazard, who slipped the ball under the Hertha goalkeeper to give the Foals an early lead.
In the injury-enforced absence of top scorer Raffael, Hazard’s lively display was all the more welcome for Gladbach. The Belgium international would have added a second shortly before the break only for Jarstein to atone for his earlier error, brilliantly tipping Hazard’s narrow angle shot beyond the far post.
Jarstein might have been forced to make a great save – or pick the ball out of his net again – if Oscar Wendt had shown more composure after being teed up by Andre Hahn. Hahn took matters into his own hands on the hour mark, doing brilliantly to turn and fire high beyond Jarstein, who then denied the rampant hosts a third soon after with a stunning save from Fabian Johnson.
The Norway international was helpless, however, after parrying Hazard’s angled shot into Patrick Herrmann’s path – the Gladbach substitute smashed the ball into the empty net for a third. Hazard’s deflected shot made it four before Ibrahima Traore's drive slipped under Jarstein for a slightly flattering fifth.
Man of the Match
With Raffael on the sidelines, Gladbach needed Hazard to step into the void, and he did.
Gladbach’s home form has made them serious contenders for a top-four finish, but with four of their remaining six games outside BORUSSIA-PARK, can Schubert’s side pick up enough points on their travels?
- Hazard’s double was his first Bundesliga brace.Hahn has now scored as many goals (3) in nine games this season as he did in 23 last term.Hertha have not won any of their last 25 Bundesliga games when trailing at half-time (2D 23L).Gladbach have won eight of their last nine home matches, and kept four successive clean sheets.
Gladbach: Sommer - Elvedi, Christensen, Nordtveit - Johnson, Dahoud (Jantschke 81’), Xhaka, Wendt - Stindl – Hahn (Herrmann 65’), Hazard (Traore 83’)
Coach: Andre Schubert
Hertha: Jarstein - Weiser, Stark, Lustenberger, Plattenhardt - Skjelbred - Cigerci (Hegeler 46’) – Haraguchi (Stocker 81’), Darida (Baumjohann 62’), Kalou - Ibisevic
Coach: Pal Dardai