Borussia Monchengladbach booked their place in the Champions League on Saturday as they comfortably beat Hertha Berlin 2-1 at Borussia-Park.
The debilitated Hertha side – who were without the services of 12 first-team players – registered only two shots on target as goals from Jonas Hofmann and Breel Embolo nullified Vedad Ibisevic’s late consolation strike to see Die Fohlen end their turbulent 2019-20 campaign in 4th place.
Marco Rose’s men were in pole position in their race to the Champions League against Bayer Leverkusen following Die Werkself’s 2-0 loss to Hertha last weekend, but they refused to rest on their laurels and started with immense attacking prowess.
Their fast start paid dividends after just seven minutes, when Embolo bravely fought off the advancing challenges of both Dedryck Boyata and Jordan Torunarigha to play a square ball to Hofmann, who coolly slotted it beyond Dennis Smarsch.
Hertha never bounced back from the early blow, and failed to record a shot on goal until the 73rd minute.
Embolo sealed the three points shortly afterwards, with a deserved goal assisted by Hofmann, returning the favours given to him earlier in the day.
Bosnian striker Ibisevic buried Die Alte Dame’s final goal of the season with a thumping finish from close range in injury time, having been substituted on twenty minutes earlier.
Takeaways from the match
Monchengladbach can go a long way in Europe
The football played by Rose’s Fohlen is revered worldwide, and today they were a class above Hertha even without the striking force of Alassane Plea and Marcus Thuram.
Having now qualified for the group stages, they seem to be entering a new era of their history, particularly after such a glittering season even saw a stint at the top of the league.
Monchengladbach showed what they are about today as they tore apart a club who are also on the rise.
Dennis Smarsch will be Rune Jarstein’s successor
It is not often that the losing side’s goalkeeper is in the running for man-of-the-match, but the Berlin-born 21-year-old will certainly have been considered. In only his second appearance this season, the youngster made six saves and ensured the scoreline remained respectable.
Usual back-up ‘keeper Thomas Kraft is confirmed as departing the capital over the summer, leaving Smarsch behind as the primary reserve for his Norwegian senior, Jarstein.
Man of the match
Embolo created everything for Monchengladbach and scored the goal that sealed Champions League entry. He was a menace to the defence and always kept Boyata and Torunarigha guessing.