BREMEN, Germany – Borussia Mönchengladbach crushed host Werder Bremen 3-1 on Saturday to snatch the second spot in the Bundesliga’s standings from Bayern Munich, who is set to face off against leader Borussia Dortmund later in the day.
French striker Alassane Plea shone at Weser-Stadion, striking a hat-trick for Mönchengladbach in the 39th, 48th and 52nd minutes, securing the three points for his side that allowed it to climb to the second spot with 23 points.
Meanwhile, Turkish midfielder Nuri Sahin scored the lone goal for the home side, which was not enough to prevent Bremen from conceding its fourth defeat in the season, to sit in seventh place of the table with 17 points.
In other Bundesliga action Saturday, Hoffenheim earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory over visiting Augsburg, to provisionally hold the fifth spot in the standings with 19 points, with six-point lead ahead of the 10th-placed visitors.
Croatian striker Andrej Kramaric opened the scoring for Hoffenheim at WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena in the 65th minute, but Icelandic center-forward Alfred Finnbogason netted the equalizer for the visiting side four minutes later.
In the closing minutes, English young winger Reiss Nelson scored the 2-1 winner for the hosts, just seven minutes before the second-half stoppage time.
Elsewhere in German soccer, newly-promoted Fortuna Düsseldorf thrashed Hertha Berlin 4-1 at home, earning its second victory this season, while Freiburg was handed a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Mainz, and last-placed Stuttgart topped host Nurnberg 2-0, claiming its second win in this Bundesliga campaign.