Hertha Berlin moved up to third after Salomon Kalou scored his first three Bundesliga goals of the season in a 3-0 victory at home to Gladbach. The sorry visitors also had Christoph Kramer sent off in the first half.
Hertha Berlin 3-0 Borussia Mönchengladbach
(Kalou 18’, 33’, 84 ' - Kramer sent off 39’)
Hertha barely needed to break into a sweat and this encounter at the Olympiastadion was over, poor Gladbach defending contributing to Kalou’s two first-half goals before he added his third late on.
Gladbach’s struggles on the road continue while they have not scored in the domestic league since September and have now gone five games without a win, Andre Schubert's worst run as coach.
Hertha in contrast wrapped up their fifth straight home win.
"It is a good feeling to score three goals after this difficult moment," Kalou, whose father died in August, told Sky. "It was a relief for me and I am also happy for the team because we needed to win tonight."
It started badly for Schubert’s struggling side with Kramer picking up a needless early booking as the hosts generally dominated, despite having lost their last five games to Gladbach.
Hertha were beaten at Hoffenheim last weekend but any dent to their confidence was easily overcome just by looking at Gladbach’s body language.
Gladbach sat off and paid the price in the 18th minute when Mitchell Weiser was given too much room to cross and Ivorian Kalou was unmarked as he netted with a diving header, his first Bundesliga goal of the campaign.
Strike partner Vedad Ibisevic then fell into Patrick Herrmann with no malice but the injury-prone Gladbach man suffered a nasty-looking ankle injury and had to go off on the half hour.
Schubert failed initially to react to being a man short and Hertha pounced, although again it had a lot to do with the Gladbach defending.
This time it was comical with Nico Elvedi’s clearance crashing off teammate Jannik Vestergaard and falling perfectly into the path of Kalou, who did the rest.
Gladbach eventually introduced Fabian Johnson to replace Herrmann but they were soon reduced to 10 permanently when Kramer gave the referee little option with a tactical foul in midfield and was shown a second yellow.
The visitors have been forced to play Tuesday-Friday, Tuesday-Friday for the past two weeks and it clearly showed. Schubert had rotated slightly by leaving Thorgan Hazard on the bench after he made his starting comeback in the Champions League draw with Celtic in midweek. In-form forward Andre Hahn also only made it as a substitute, but fit-again Raffael did start to little avail.
The Herrmann injury and covering Kramer’s red card by bringing on defender Julian Korb meant Schubert had no real opportunity to thrown on Hahn to try to change the game. Rune Jarstein was called upon to make two smart stops but that was all 11th-placed Gladbach could muster and Hazard came on too late.
Kalou then completed his hat trick in typically understated style to send the Hertha faithful home feeling very happy.
Hertha boss Pal Dardai could just watch the second half in relaxed mood, knowing his side are still flying high in the Bundesliga. The also have an extended break now with the rest of the Bundesliga playing Saturday and Sunday, with World Cup qualifiers due next week.