Borussia Mönchengladbach retain an outside chance of qualifying for next season's UEFA Europa League after posting a routine win over relegation-threatened Wolfsburg at Borussia-Park.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-0 Wolfsburg
Six points adrift of the top six at the start of play, Gladbach began in relentless mood. Returning skipper Lars Stindl set the tone with an emphatic finish inside eight minutes, assisted by an errant Riechedly Bazoer back-pass. Wolfsburg never recovered, the visitors falling two behind when Raffael calmly fired home after Koen Casteels had saved well from Jonas Hofmann one-on-one. Christoph Kramer's quickly taken free-kick - whipped into the net with the green and white shirts still building their wall - compounded the Wolves' misery late in a decidedly one-sided half.
There were signs of encouragement from Wolfsburg after the restart as Bazoer forced Yann Sommer into evasive action, but it didn't take long for Gladbach to resume control of proceedings. Only a fine Koen Casteels save thwarted Hofmann following a bamboozling run that left four Wolfsburg defenders in their wake, before Matthias Ginter flashed a header wide. Although a fourth goal wasn't forthcoming, the Foals were full value for the win and remain hot on the heels of the European places with three fixtures to play. For Wolfsburg, the prospect of another relegation play-off just will not go away.
- Stindl scored his first goal in his 14th career outing against Wolfsburg. His four goals during the first half of the season all came away; his two in 2018 have all fallen at home.Raffael ended a run of six matches without a goal.Kramer's cheeky effort was his third goal of the season - a career best.Gladbach winger Ibrahima Traore made his first appearance since Matchday 9 after a long season suffering with injury.Only champions Bayern Munich have scored more goals (10 in the opening quarter of matches this season than Gladbach (nine).Wolfsburg defender John Brooks made his first appearance since 12 December 2017, following injury.
Gladbach: Sommer – Elvedi, Ginter, Vestergaard, Wendt – Hofmann (Benes 80'), Zakaria (Traore 80'), Kramer (Strobl 85'), Hazard – Raffael, Stindl (c)
Unused subs: Sippel, Drmic, Jantschke, Cuisance
Absentees: Doucoure (thigh), Herrmann (ankle), Villalba (thigh), Oxford (fitness), Johnson (fitness)
Coach: Dieter Hecking
Wolfsburg: Casteels – Jaeckel, Brooks (Tisserand 29'), Knoche – Verhaegh (c), Arnold, Bazoer (Steffen 68'), William – Didavi – Dimata (Origi 74'), Malli
Unused subs: Grün, Blaszczykowski, Brekalo, Rexhbecaj
Absentees: Guilavogui (muscular problems), Uduokhai (suspended), Itter (thigh), Camacho (muscular problems), Mehmedi (foot)
Coach: Bruno Labbadia