Florian Neuhaus, Marcus Thuram, and Alassane Plea all scored 4-1 at home as Borussia Mönchengladbach beat Union Berlin to remain on top of their qualification hopes in the UEFA Champions League.
Neuhaus almost opened the scoring with an audacious halfway attempt, catching Rafal Gikiewicz off his line, but the Union goalkeeper scrambled back just in time to tip the shot around the post.
The Gladbach midfielder, however, had his goal just a few moments later, sailing past several Berlin defenders over the top of the penalty area.
His shot hit the inside of the post before rolling across the line for his fourth of the season. Thuram then doubled the lead just before half-time, when Alassane Plea picked up the far post with a cross from his fellow countryman, burying his powerful header beyond Gikiewicz.
Nevertheless, Union produced one of their party tricks shortly after the break when Marcus Ingvartsen knocked down set-piece specialist Christopher Trimmel’s free-kick to head home for top scorer Sebastian Andersson.
Only a few minutes later, when the French connection kicked in again, the two-goal lead was restored, Plea crossing low this time for Thuram to return home his 10th goal of the campaign after Jonas Hofmann had dispossessed Grischa Prömel at the edge of the net.
The plea then stepped into the scoring act himself as he adapted well to catch Ramy Bensebaini ‘s cross and steer it beyond Gikiewicz for Gladbach’s fourth and keep them in the top four.