Thorgan Hazard and Raffael grabbed two first-half goals apiece to help Borussia Mönchengladbach brush SV Werder Bremen aside at BORUSSIA-PARK.
Red card: Johannsson (82')
Gladbach were all over Bremen in the opening stages, and they only took 11 minutes to open the scoring when a rapid break saw Raffael feed Hazard, who thumped the ball home from outside the area. The Belgian raced clear of Fallou Diagne to latch on to Jannik Vestergaard's long ball before burying the ball home for his second, and by 21 minutes the hosts were 3-0 up from the penalty spot. Goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny brought down Lars Stindl, and Raffael slammed the resulting spot kick high into the net. He added his second before the break, having the space inside the box to collect a Stindl cross, turn and volley home.
Man of the Match
Bremen gave a better account of themselves in the second half, with Theodor Gebre Selassie and Sambou Yatabare wasting early chances to give their side any kind of hope. Bremen substitute Aron Johannsson saw a chance blocked on the line by Vestergaard, but Serge Gnabry scored his first goal for his new club when he beat the Gladbach offside trap to lash a superb volley past Yann Sommer. Hazard responded by going close to a hat-trick by hitting the post, but a bad night for Bremen was sealed when Johannsson was shown a straight red card for dissent.
Classy throughout, Hazard was just too good for Bremen and made them pay for mistakes from which there was no coming back.
Mönchengladbach were outstanding before the break but dipped in the second half. They had done enough, but will they need to be more ruthless during the season?
Gladbach: Sommer - Jantschke, Christensen, Vestergaard, Korb - Kramer - Traore, Stindl (Dahoud 63'), Johnson (Schulz 84') - Hazard - Raffael (Hofmann 46')
Coach: Andre Schubert
Bremen: Drobny - Gebre Selassie, Sane, Diagne (Moisander 46'), Garcia - Fritz (Johannsson 46'), Bauer, Yatabare, Junuzovic, Grillitsch - Gnabry
Coach: Viktor Skripnik