Borussia Mönchengladbach has improved their UEFA Champions League qualifying hopes with a 3-0 victory over Wolfsburg, twice on goal with Jonas Hofmann and twice on third with Lars Stindl.
Despite a berth still to play in the UEFA Champions League for next season, Gladbach emerged with a new-look attack following back-to-back defeats: Ibrahima Traore made his first season start and Breel Embolo led the line in the absence of the injured Alassane Plea and Marcus Thuram.
It was a move that seemed to do some good with Embolo impressing early on as he skipped past John Brooks and slid into Hofmann ‘s ball to nudge past Koen Casteels for the opener.
Gladbach doubled their lead on the half-hour mark when Hofmann paced his run to perfection again to meet Matthias Ginter ‘s clever lay-off header from Stindl and smash the ball down into the bottom corner.
Hofmann might and should have completed his hat-trick early in the second half, but then he was eluded by the composure he displayed in his two goals, as he put a shot wide from Embolo ‘s pass on the left post. Then Stindl put the result definitely, driving another excellent team to a fine side-footed finish that Traore saw provide help.
Wolfsburg coach Oliver Glasner responded with a triple-substitution and the changes had a positive impact as the visitors enjoyed the best spell of their season. Yet chances were hard to come by as Gladbach easily defended his lead in putting three valuable points on the board and turning the pressure up on Bayer Leverkusen in a football battle in the Champions League that looks likely to go down to the wire.