Germany: Bundesliga
5 - 2
(4 - 0)
D. Malen (5), J. Bellingham (18), S. Haller (20), S. Haller (32), G. Reyna (90)
R. Bensebaini (75), L. Stindl (85)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Dortmund keep pace in title race with dismantling of Gladbach

Borussia Dortmund have answered Bayern's six goals against FC Schalke 04 with five of their own against a listless Borussia Mönchengladbach side at Signal Iduna Park in the Bundesliga's Saturday evening "Top-Spiel".
The top two in the Bundesliga table remain just one point apart with two matchdays remaining. Edin Terzic's Borussia Dortmund responded to FC Bayern München's 6-0 win over FC Schalke 04 with a 5-2 win of their own over Borussia Mönchengladbach. Dortmund rushed out to an early 4-0 lead against Daniel Farke's foals shortly after the half-hour-mark and the game was essentially non-competitive for long stretches of time.

BVB trainer Terzic obviously saw no need to tinker with the XI that demolished VfL Wolfsburg last Sunday. His side remained unchanged. BMG trainer Farke had to do without first-choice keeper Jonas Omlin on short notice. Twenty-one-year-old Jan Olschowsky took the Swiss international's place. Hannes Wolf also deputized for the suspended Alassane Plea. Despite the fact that he was once again available after suspension, Ko Itakura began the game on the bench.

The hosts rushed out to an early lead when lead striker Sebastien Haller was allowed to go on a long run virtually unchallenged. Haller's eventual effort on goal took an unlucky, from Gladbach's point-of-view, deflection off Ramy Bensebaini. As a result, Donyell Malen was able to head in easily from just in front of the goal-lone. The luck involved in the opener almost seemed immaterial as the marking on Haller was atrocious. There were soon more signs that Gladbach would be in for a long evening.

Wave after wave of BVB attacks were only briefly interrupted by a quality BMG charge in the 12th. The hosts were awarded a penalty in the 16th when Florian Neuhaus hacked Haller down in the box. Jude Bellingham converted the 2-0 from the spot in the 18th. Two minutes after that, some lovely combo play from Malen and Julian Brandt led to Haller receiving a chance from the center of the box. Haller - once again not well marked - did supply an outstanding blind right-footed finish with his back to goal.

Gladbach's Nathan Ngoumou, filling in for Marcus Thuram at lead-striker, tried to have a go at the spectacular himself seven minutes after that, missing on a tight-angle-effort in the 27th. The decisive 4-0 came in the 32nd. Brandt and Malen were once again involved in the lead-up to Haller's brace. Brandt unleashed Malen on the right. Haller finished off a direct cross from Malen straight through the legs of the loose marking Marvin Friedrich.

Dortmund keeper Gregor Kobel was called into action a couple of times before the half was out, but neither side really had any interest in playing after that for a good long while. BVB actors understandably didn't wish to risk injury whilst Gladbach looked completely deflated. The guests were gifted a lifeline via a penalty in the 75th. The subbed on Giovanni Reyna fouled Bensebaini illegally in the box. The Algerian finished the 1-4 himself from the spot.

Departing BMG skipper Lars Stindl entered the match fifteen minutes from time and, together with fellow sub Luca Netz, made matters mildly interesting. Netz assisted Stindl's 2-4 in the 86th. Stindl actually tested Kobel with a stinging effort two minutes later. For one brief moment, it seemed there could have been a comeback. After Stindl's effort, however, matters cooled off. Reyna took advantage of an Olschowsky mistake to score the final goal off a free-kick at the death.

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