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Bundesliga: Gladbach blow past Hertha Berlin to reclaim fourth place

Mönchengladbach are back in the mix for Champions League qualification after crushing Hertha Berlin. Meanwhile, Kevin Volland earned a point for Hoffenheim with an equalizer against Cologne in second-half stoppage time.

Mönchengladbach are back in the mix for Champions League qualification after crushing Hertha Berlin. Meanwhile, Kevin Volland earned a point for Hoffenheim with an equalizer against Cologne in second-half stoppage time.

Gladbach 5-0 Hertha

(Hazard 14', 80', Hahn 60', Hermann 76', Traore 85')

Borussia Mönchengladbach thrust themselves back into a prime position in the race for a Champions League place, smashing five goals past third-placed Hertha Berlin on Sunday. They converted scoring chances from several parts of the penalty area, redeeming themselves after their subpar performance in Gelsenkirchen.

With an extra forward in attack, Gladbach tried to press Hertha's defense into making an early mistake. Thorgan Hazard almost capitalized on one early, but could not win the ball off of Per Skjeklbred after maneuvering his body between the Hertha midfielder and the ball.

Gladbach eventually capitalized on the mistake, pouncing on a misplayed pass from Rune Jarstein. The Hertha goalkeeper passed the ball directly to Mahmoud Dahoud, and the young midfielder threaded the gifted ball through to Hazard for the easy finish.

Even after getting the opener, Hazard continued to look hungry for goals, trying to compensate for the loss of production due to the absence of Raffael. He got a chance to double Gladbach's lead before halftime, but his shot skipped wide of the far post as Niklas Stark closed him down. A pretty even first half still saw Gladbach ahead, and Hertha needing to regroup as they headed into the break on the wrong end of the scoreline for the first time in 2016.

Injured Foals fly again

Making his first start after returning from a knee injury, Andre Hahn seized his moment in the second half. Fabian Johnson found Hahn right outside of the six-yard box, and the Gladbach forward was able to steer an off-balance shot in to the back of Jarstein's goal. He came off shortly thereafter, receiving a big hug and a high-10 from his coach, Andre Schubert.

Patrick Hermann, another player who had a long layoff due to a knee injury, came on for Hahn, and it did not take long for him to add to Gladbach's tally. Johnson played a ball into space for Hermann, and the 25-year-old winger picked out Hazard before swooping in to finish off Jarstein's save on Hazard's shot.

Gladbach's tempo only accelerated from there. Hazard completed his brace after dribbling past two Hertha defenders and firing a shot off the leg of Fabian Lustenberger. Ibrahima Traore finished off a break forward not long after, firing a near-post shot Jarstein could not handle. Gladbach handed Hertha their worst loss of the season and leapfrogged Bayer Leverkusen to move back into fourth place in the Bundesliga standings.

Fussball Köln gegen Hoffenheim

Kevin Volland was mobbed by his teammates in the moments after he pulled Hoffenheim level

Hoffenheim 1-1 Cologne

(Volland 90+1' - Zoller 69')

In a relegation fight, every point is valuable. Playing at home in Sunday's late kick off, Hoffenheim were unable to build on their first road victory under new coach Julian Nagelsmann, but Kevin Volland earned them a point with a late equalizer against Cologne.

Hoffenheim started out brightly, creating several scoring opportunities early in the contest; however the Sinsheim-based club failed to bury any of them. Andrej Kramaric and Nadiem Amiri wasted the best chance of the first half, with Kramaric's shot being stopped by Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn and Amir firing the rebound over the bar.

Fortunately for Hoffenheim, Cologne could not finish their chances either, with Anthony Modeste missing a sitter in the penalty area after Leonardo Bittencourt had poked the ball through for him.

Cologne seemed to have an extra gear when the second half started, and Simon Zoller took advantage of the boost. Playing on the right wing for most of the game, Zoller drifted into the center of the area and pounced on a cross from Jonas Hector to put away the opener.

Just when it looked as if Cologne were about to snatch all three points, Volland drove forward to keep his team in the game, creating a chance to score himself from outside the area late in the second half after wiggling by two defenders. He was finally rewarded for his efforts in stoppage time, latching onto a ball that Horn had been unable to push to safety following a shot from Kramaric. The goal gave Hoffenheim the point they needed to rise out of the relegation zone, the first time they have been above the drop since October.

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