Hofmann hat trick as ’Gladbach beats Mainz 4-0 to go 2nd
BERLIN (AP) — Jonas Hofmann scored a classy hat trick to move Borussia Moenchengladbach to second place in the Bundesliga with a 4-0 win over visiting Mainz on Sunday, while Hertha Berlin was frustrated by VAR in the early game.
Thorgan Hazard also starred in another fine performance from ’Gladbach after Dieter Hecking’s team beat Bayern Munich 3-0 away in the previous round. Hazard scored one and set up Hofmann’s first two goals against Mainz.
Hofmann opened the scoring in off the far post in the 21st minute and grabbed his second after the break, five minutes before Alassane Plea set up Hazard.
Hofmann completed his hat trick a little after the hour-mark.
’Gladbach is three points behind league leader Borussia Dortmund after eight rounds, ahead of Werder Bremen on goal difference and a point ahead of Bayern.
VAR denied Hertha Berlin a possible Bundesliga win over Freiburg when a late penalty decision was overturned in a 1-1 draw.
Hertha substitute Palko Dardai, brought on just minutes earlier by his father Pal Dardai, fell in the area after a tussle with Freiburg defender Manuel Gulde in the 87th minute. That led referee Benjamin Cortus to award the spot kick.
But Cortus consulted video replays of the incident and changed his mind, angering most of the 53,716 fans at Berlin’s Olympiastadion.
“That was a penalty for me,” Hertha forward Salomon Kalou said.
Freiburg sporting director Jochen Saier said “I don’t think it was a definite penalty, but we had a bit of luck at that stage.”
“We have to simply accept it,” Pal Dardai said of the penalty dispute.
Ondrej Duda fired the home side into an early lead with his sixth goal of the season before Robin Koch equalized for the visitors in the 36th.