Gladbach beat Hertha to bag berth

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BERLIN: Borussia Moenchengladbach climbed into the Bundesliga’s Champions League places on Sunday (Monday in Manila) with a 5-0 hammering of Hertha Berlin as Andre Hahn scored his first goal since his horror injury.

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Gladbach routed third-placed Hertha 4-1 in Berlin last October and again ran riot at Borussia Park as Thorgan Hazard scored twice with Germany winger Patrick Hermann and Ibrahima Traore joining Hahn on the scoresheet.

The result sees Gladbach climb from seventh to fourth and are now just three points behind Hertha with Andre Schubert’s team hunting a return to the Champions League next season.

It was Gladbach’s highest scoring league win for five years.

Gladbach took the lead when Hertha’s goalkeeper Rune Jarstein made a hash of his clearance kick on 14 minutes.

Borussia’s Mahmoud Dahoud intercepted the ball and his pass found Hazard, who fired home.

Gladbach doubled their tally with an hour gone when Hahn marked his first start in five months with a superb individual effort.

Having received the ball with his back to goal, Hahn made enough space to turn and hit the top left-hand corner.

It marked his sweet return to Gladbach’s starting line-up after a horror tackle by Schalke’s Johannes Geis left him with a fractured leg and torn knee ligament last October.

The floodgates opened in the last 15 minutes as Herrmannn finished a move he started with Hazard on 76 minutes before the Belgian claimed his second on 80 minutes.

With the Hertha defence in disarray, Ibrahima Traore replaced Hazard and scored two minutes after coming off the bench to claim Gladbach’s fifth.

Later Hoffenheim escaped the relegation places with a dramatic 1-1 draw at home to Cologne as Kevin Volland’s equalizer came in the 91st minute.

The single point lifts Hoffenheim from 16th to 14th and pushes Augsburg into the bottom three.

On Saturday, Franck Ribery’s spectacular bicycle kick sealed Bayern Munich’s 1-0 win over second-from-bottom Eintracht Frankfurt to keep Pep Guardiola’s side five points clear.

With six games left, the Bavarians remain on track to become the first German club to win four straight Bundesliga titles.

Second-placed Borussia Dortmund later came from behind to seal a dramatic 3-2 win over Werder Bremen as super subs Shinji Kagawa and Adrian Ramos scored the hosts’ goals which confirms their Champions League place for next season.

South Korea international Koo Ja-Cheol netted for relegation-threatened Augsburg as his club lost 4-2 at Mainz and the defeat leaves them 16th.

Bottom side Hanover 96 sacked Thomas Schaaf as head coach on Sunday in the wake of their 3-0 home defeat to Hamburg, his tenth defeat in 11 games.

Schalke dropped to seventh, and risk losing their Europa League place for next season, after their 3-0 drubbing at Ingolstadt.

Darmstadt pulled themselves two points away from the relegation battle with a 2-2 draw at home to Stuttgart.

On Friday, Wolfsburg were hammered 3-0 at Bayer Leverkusen in a poor build-up to Wednesday’s Champions League quarterfinals, first leg at home to Real Madrid.

AFP

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