Alassane Plea

Freiburg v. Borussia Monchengladbach recap
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Petersen’s header leads Freiburg past 10-man Gladbach

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Nils Petersen’s second half goal led Freiburg to a huge 1-0 win over 10-man Borussia Monchengladbach at the Schwarzwald-Stadion on Friday.

Freiburg keeps its Europa League hopes alive by moving onto 41 points, one behind sixth and seventh.

Gladbach fails in a bid to go third and remains fourth with 56 points, ahead of Bayer Leverkusen on goal differential.

A second yellow card to Plea was a double curse to Gladbach, who went down a man and now will miss a star forward against Bayern Munich.

[ LIVE: Bundesliga scores, stats ]

Bayer’s Ramy Bensebaini utilized a slick backheel turn to nutmeg an opponent and send in a cross that was put out for a corner kick.

Freiburg keeper Alexander Schwolow made a tight-angle save on Alassane Plea just after the quarter-hour mark.

Gladbach saw a chance chalked off after two dangerous bids resulted in an offside deflection into the goal.

Florian Neuhaus came close to scoring again when Lars Stindl headed the penultimate move of a fine team play into the six, but he popped it over the frame.

[ BUNDESLIGA: Week 30 preview and predictions ]

Gladbach’s second half again settled into the Freiburg final third, but it was a home sub that paid dividends at the other end.

Petersen improved his club record for goals when he nodded Vincenzo Grifo’s free kick home in the 59th.

Stindl wasn’t too far from equalizing with a 17-yard shot at the hour mark, but Plea’s second yellow card damaged Gladbach’s hopes of a comeback.

Plea, Thuram drive Gladbach into third

Gladbach v. Union Berlin recap and video highlights
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Alassane Plea set up Marcus Thuram for his ninth and 10th goals of the season before scoring one of his own as Borussia Monchengladbach moved third with a 4-1 win over Union Berlin on Sunday.

Florian Neuhaus also scored for Gladbach, whose 56 points defy Bayer Leverkusen on goal differential.

Sebastian Andersson scored his 12th goal of the season just after halftime to halve Union’s deficit, but Union finishes the day four points clear of the bottom three with 31 points.

Thuram (10 goals, 8 assists) and Plea (10 goals, 10 assists) exit the day with similar stats in Bundesliga play. Thuram celebrating one of his goals by taking a knee in honor of George Floyd, whose death after a police officer kneeled on his neck has been protested worldwide.

[ Bundesliga: Live scores | Saturday roundup | Bayern blowout  ] 

Gladbach avoided an early scare on a Union shot from distance before sending a warning sign through Marcus Thuram.

That was followed by Neuhaus dribbling across traffic to push a shot off the inside that post that bounded across the line for a 17th-minute opener.

Thuram and Plea entered with near-identical league stats before teaming up for Gladbach’s second.

This is a perfectly-weighted cross from Plea for his ninth Bundesliga helper and Thuram’s ninth goal:

Andersson pulled one back for Union with another headed goal off a 50th-minute cross from Marcus Ingvartsen.

Gladbach restored the lead through the same combination that provided its second goal, Plea’s cross coolly slotted by Thuram for his 10th of the season.

Algerian left back Ramy Bensebaini kept up his fine play in crossing to a wide-open Plea for the match’s final marker.

USMNT-eligible back Julian Ryerson played only five minutes, subbing off in the 65th minute with injury.

Bundesliga: Gladbach go top in style; Unbeaten Wolfsburg 2nd

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Saturday’s Bundesliga action opened the door wide for a new Top Two in Germany’s top flight, and both Sunday opportunists waltzed right through to a fine seat during the international break.

[ MORE: Bundesliga wrap — Saturday ]

ICYMI Saturday, Bayern lost at home to Hoffenheim but several chasers drew matches to leave the Top Five all with 4W-2D-1L records.

That meant huge opportunity for ‘Gladbach and Wolfsburg.

Borussia Monchengladbach 5-1 Augsburg

The hosts embraced their chance early, scoring in the third minute and building a 3-0 lead before the quarter-hour mark.

Alassane Plea had a goal and two assists, while Patrick Hermann had two goals and an assist in the win. Marcus Thuram and Breel Embolo also scored,

Plea’s goal was assisted by industry and comedy.

Wolfsburg 1-0 Union Berlin

So the lone remaining unbeaten team in the Bundesliga entered a home match knowing their weekend ceiling was second, and needed better than an hour to find its breakthrough.

Wout Weghorst continued his fine run as Wolfsburg’s new and improved Bas Dost with a 69th minute goal to push the club a point ahead of five teams on 14 points.

Eintracht Frankfurt 2-2 Werder Bremen

Eintracht’s many sales and fixtures are catching up to it.

Sebastian Rode’s 55th minute equalizer looked like a much-needed goal to pull a point at home, an Andre Silva soon scored to make three points a possibility.

But the lead would last only three minutes, as Milot Rashica scored in stoppage to earn a point for the visitors.

Davy Klaassen had given Bremen a lead, and USMNT teen Josh Sargent played 72 minutes.

Elsewhere

Hertha Berlin 3-1 Fortuna Dusseldorf — Friday
Freiburg 2-2 Borussia Dortmund — Saturday
Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 RB Leipzig — Saturday
Paderborn 1-2 Mainz — Saturday
Schalke 1-1 Koln — Saturday

Bundesliga wrap: Dortmund, Gladbach scoop big away wins

AP Photo/Michael Sohn
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The Top Three all won their first matches after the Bundesliga’s Winterpause, as leaders Borussia Dortmund and third place side Borussia Monchengladbach joined Friday winners Bayern Munich in the win column.

[ MORE: Arsenal-Chelsea recap | JPW’s 3 things ]


Bayer Leverkusen 0-1 Borussia Monchengladbach

Alassane Plea’s 10th goal of the season kept ‘Gladbach three points back of Bayern and nine behind BVB. The visitors had almost a month to stew on a 2-1 loss to the leaders, but were fairly fortunate to get three points considering Bayer out-attempted the Foals by a 21-7 margin and put nine shots on Yann Sommer.

Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 Freiburg

Eintracht’s pair of Top Ten scorers struck again, with Luka Jovic adding his league-best 13th goal and Sebastien Haller notching hsi 10th goal of the season. Borussia Dortmund is the only other club with two double-digit league scorers (Paco Alcacer and Marco Reus). The other goal came from Ante Rebic, who has six in 874 minutes.

RB Leipzig 0-1 Borussia Dortmund

Axel Witsel’s well-hit 19th minute goal off a corner kick was all BVB needed to restore its six-point table advantage on Bayern Munich. Christian Pulisic played the final quarter-hour for BVB, while fellow American youngster Tyler Adams of RBL was an unused sub during his first Bundesliga matchday.

Elsewhere
Hoffenheim 1-3 Bayern Munich — Friday
Stuttgart 2-3 Mainz
Augsburg 1-2 Fortuna Dusseldorf
Hannover 0-1 Werder Bremen — USMNT’s Sargent plays 10 mins
Nurnberg v. Hertha Berlin — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Schalke v. Wolfsburg — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Borussia Dortmund 18 14 3 1 45 18 27 8-1-0 6-2-1 45
 Bayern Munich 18 12 3 3 39 19 20 4-3-1 8-0-2 39
 Mönchengladbach 18 11 3 4 37 18 19 8-0-0 3-3-4 36
 RB Leipzig 18 9 4 5 31 18 13 7-2-1 2-2-4 31
 Eintracht Frankfurt 18 9 3 6 37 24 13 5-1-3 4-2-3 30
 VfL Wolfsburg 17 8 4 5 27 22 5 3-3-3 5-1-2 28
 1899 Hoffenheim 18 6 7 5 33 26 7 3-4-3 3-3-2 25
 Werder Bremen 18 7 4 7 29 29 0 3-3-3 4-1-4 25
 Hertha BSC Berlin 17 6 6 5 26 27 -1 4-3-1 2-3-4 24
 Bayer Leverkusen 18 7 3 8 26 30 -4 4-1-4 3-2-4 24
 FSV Mainz 05 18 6 6 6 20 24 -4 3-4-2 3-2-4 24
 SC Freiburg 18 5 6 7 22 28 -6 3-4-2 2-2-5 21
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 18 6 3 9 21 34 -13 4-0-5 2-3-4 21
 FC Schalke 04 17 5 3 9 20 24 -4 3-0-5 2-3-4 18
 FC Augsburg 18 3 6 9 26 31 -5 1-4-4 2-2-5 15
 VfB Stuttgart 18 4 2 12 14 38 -24 3-1-5 1-1-7 14
 Hannover 96 18 2 5 11 17 36 -19 2-1-6 0-4-5 11
 1. FC Nürnberg 17 2 5 10 14 38 -24 2-3-4 0-2-6 11

Bundesliga: Hoffenheim wins late, Gladbach closes in on top

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Borussia Monchengladbach jumped above Bayern Munich to move second in the German top flight with a 3-1 road victory over Werder Bremen thanks to a hat-trick from Alassane Plea in Saturday Bundesliga action.

Plea struck from all kinds of situations as he ended a personal three-match scoreless streak in a big way. He struck first in the 39th minute after good work against a double-team on the right side of the box, shooting a low curler with his left foot that tucked inside the far post.

The French international’s second came just after halftime as he charged towards a low corner delivery and cut the ball with his right foot through traffic and into the back of the net. He capped it off four minutes later by finishing off a great cutback from Oscar Wendt.

Elsewhere, Hoffenheim got a late winner for the home fans to savor as they beat Augsburg 2-1. 18-year-old English youngster Reiss Nelson was the man to cap the three points, catching the rebound off a saved turn-and-shoot from Adam Szalai and putting it into the empty net. The goal came just seven minutes from full-time after Andrej Kramaric and Alfred Finnbogason cancelled each other out just four minutes apart after halftime.

Fortuna Dusseldorf picked up a huge win, keeping pace with Stuttgart on the bottom with a 4-1 toppling of 10-man Hertha Berlin. Max Mittelstadt was sent off four minutes before the break for his second yellow card, and that left the visitors vulnerable. Dusseldorf scored all four goals after halftime, with substitute Benito Raman coming off the bench to finish with a brace.

Mainz scored a pair of goals inside the opening 20 minutes as they win 3-1 at Freiburg to jump their opponents and move into the top half of the table. Finally, Timo Baumgartl got the all-important opener as Stuttgart beat Nurnburg 2-0, although the win wasn’t enough to pull them off the bottom of the table thanks to Dusseldorf also picking up a victory.