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Sports

Bundesliga: Five-star Borussia Mönchengladbach return to form

The Foals picked up their first win of the calendar year with a thumping 5-1 win over Werder Bremen who are third from bottom in the Bundesliga. Claudio Pizarro marked a career milestone with a record-breaking goal.

Borussia Mönchengladbach 5-1 Werder Bremen

(Stindl 12', Christensen 32', 49', Raffael 68', Nordtveit 87' - Pizarro 58' pen)

On a night when Claudio Pizarro became the joint fifth-highest scorer in Bundesliga history, Borussia Mönchengladbach delivered an impressive performance to hammer Werder Bremen and end a series of back-to-back defeats.

Lars Stindl scored the opener before Andreas Christensen scored a double, his first two goals since arriving at Borussia-Park on loan from Chelsea. Pizarro scored his 182nd goal in the Bundesliga from the penalty spot on 58 minutes, but strikes from Raffael and Havard Nordtveit bolstered Borussia's imperious advantage.

The Foals took the lead on 12 minutes despite an even start to proceedings. Mahmoud Dahoud played a superb pass wide to Thorgan Hazard, the Belgian winger sliding the ball delicately into the central area of the box where Stindl converted his sixth goal in his last four appearances against Bremen.

Although Bremen won the last meeting 4-3 in the German Cup, it was Gladbach who were the dominant side. Dahoud was impressive in central midfield, bringing a penetrative edge to Gladbach's game. Stindl was a constant threat in attack, a continued thorn in Bremen's side, yet he was unable to add a second - or even a third - to his tally for the evening inside the first 25 minutes.

Fussball Bundesliga 20. Spieltag Borussia Moenchengladbach vs. Werder Bremen

Pizarro marked his 400th Bundesliga appearance with a goal, but couldn't avoid defeat

Dahoud dazzles

The second did arrive just past the half hour point in the game - but from the unlikeliest of sources. Danish centre-back Christensen found the net with his first shot on target in German football, tidily sending the ball past Felix Wiedwald after a superb pass from Dahoud. Christensen bagged his second, four minutes after the restart, timing his run superbly at the corner kick and heading into the corner.

Bremen threatened to bounce back in the same manner as last weekend's 3-3 draw at home to Hertha Berlin. Viktor Skripnik's side pulled one back through Pizarro's penalty on 58 minutes, but were denied by a last-ditch block from Nico Elvedi in the 64th minute.

However, the Northern Germans looked consistently shaky at the back and a mistake from Jannik Vestergaard gave the Foals the perfect chance to kill the contest. Raffael scored his eighth goal of the season from the spot. Three minutes from the final whistle, Nordtveit's hit-and-hope from 30 yards lobbed over Wiedwald and secure the three points.