Pléa hat trick helps Gladbach rout Shakhtar 6-0 away in CL

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KYIV, Ukraine — Alassane Pléa scored a hat trick as Borussia Mönchengladbach routed Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0 away in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The German club equaled its biggest European Cup away win from September 1970, when it won 6-0 at Cypriot side EPA Larnaca in its first game in the competition.

Pléa got his team off to a flying start in the seventh minute. Stefan Lainer crossed for the French striker to grab his first Champions League goal.

The visitors kept pushing and Lars Stindl went close before Christoph Kramer made it 2-0 with a shot deflected by Valeriy Bondar in the 17th minute.

Gladbach coach Marco Rose had evidently warned his team against throwing away a lead, as it had done already against Madrid, Inter, Wolfsburg and Union Berlin this season.

To make sure, Stindl set up Pléa’s second in the 26th, when Kramer let the ball through, and Ramy Bensebaini got Gladbach’s fourth in the 44th, when he persisted after his first effort from a corner was blocked.

Gladbach also missed other chances before the break, which provided welcome relief for the home side.

Shakhtar coach Lui´s Castro reacted with three changes for the second half, but Gladbach managed to slow the game down, conceding possession and looking for chances to hit on the break.

Marcus Thuram went close on the hour-mark, then Pléa missed another chance, before Stindl finally scored the fifth goal that had always looked likely in the 65th.

Pléa completed his hat trick in the 78th, set up by Thuram.

It was the Ukrainian club’s heaviest defeat at home in European competition, and it helped Gladbach get over some of the disappointment of conceding late equalizers in 2-2 draws against Real Madrid and Inter Milan in its previous Group B games.

Madrid was hosting Inter later.

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