BERLIN – Marco Reus led Borussia Moenchengladbach to a 3-0 win at Stuttgart on Sunday to keep his side within a point of the Bundesliga’s top three.
Reus sent in a dangerous free kick for Mike Hanke to score with a glancing header in the 31st minute, and then scored himself in the 81st. Igor de Camargo added another three minutes later, when Reus was also involved.
Moenchengladbach remains a point behind league leader Bayern Munich, defending champion Borussia Dortmund and Schalke, all level on 40 points after winning their games Saturday.
“It won’t do any good to dream (of the title),” said Moenchengladbach defender Dante. “We have to stay grounded.”
Moenchengladbach’s first win over Stuttgart since 2005 inflicted the home side with its fourth league loss in a row to leave it 10th.
Earlier Sunday, Mainz scored three goals in the first 17 minutes to beat 10-man Freiburg 3-1 and climb to 12th.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting fired Mainz ahead in the third minute when Eugen Polanski sent him through. It got worse for the league’s bottom side a minute later when Fallou Diagne was sent off for bringing down Adam Szalai. Polanski converted the resulting penalty in the sixth.
Choupo-Moting put the game beyond doubt in the 17th, sprinting down the right before shooting into the bottom left corner.
“You saw how hard it is when a game is decided so early,” Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel said. “We had enough chances to score the fourth goal but instead there was a bit of excitement to the end.”
Freiburg defender Pavel Krmas scored with a header from a corner in the 68th. It was Freiburg’s first goal from a corner this season.
“The team showed its spirit in the second half,” Freiburg coach Christian Streich said. “I’m sorry the guys were so severely punished. But that’s life.”
Meanwhile, Moenchengladbach made amends for its 7-0 loss at Stuttgart last season, its biggest ever away defeat.
“You know our aims — to take each game as it comes and collect points,” said Borussia coach Lucien Favre.
Hanke scored with the visitors’ second real chance, Reus whipping in the ball for the 28-year-old to head beyond Sven Ulreich.
Ulreich denied Juan Arango in a one-on-one in the 38th, and Moenchengladbach’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen did even better at the other end a minute later, pulling off a fantastic flying save to deny Tamas Hajnal’s header.
Hajnal struck the post with a free kick before the break and Vedad Ibisevic, making his Stuttgart debut after joining from Hoffenheim, was blocked out for a corner in the 48th.
Patrick Herrmann should have made it 2-0 in the 65th, when he only had Ulreich to beat, but again the goalkeeper made a vital stop.
The game opened up as both sides pushed for the decisive goal, Herrmann sending Reus through for 2-0 with a cool finish beyond Ulreich.
Reus and Herrmann then combined to set up de Camargo for an easy finish.
“We’re only concentrating on ourselves, because it will be hard for us in the coming weeks,” Favre said. “It will be hard, very hard. Game by game.”