Borussia Dortmund’s trying week ended with a final sting when Jonas Hofmann led Borussia Mönchengladbach to a 4-2 rout of his former team in the Bundesliga on Friday.
It was Dortmund’s second loss in four days after falling at Wolfsburg 2-0 on Tuesday, and it potentially leaves the team nine points behind leader Bayern Munich for the league’s extended winter break. Bayern visits last-placed Schalke on Saturday.
Dortmund’s pride was already hurt on Thursday when Mats Hummels and Marco Reus were left out of Germany’s World Cup squad. Reus has been laboring with an ankle injury while Hummels, also 33, was omitted to “give a younger player a chance,” Germany coach Hansi Flick said.
Dortmund sporting director Sebastian Kehl said Reus’ absence was “completely stupid” and Hummels’ omission “not easy to accept.”
Hofmann, in contrast, was called up. He celebrated by sweeping in the opening goal in the fourth minute, set up by Lars Stindl by a clever throughball after the home team passed its way through the static Dortmund defense.
Julian Brandt equalized in the 19th after Jude Bellingham floated the ball over the defense. Brandt cushioned the ball with his right thigh before turning to volley it past Gladbach reserve goalkeeper Jan Olschowsky with his left boot.
But Gladbach wasn’t done yet. Hofmann headed his second goal from Ramy Bensebaini’s free kick in the 26th and Marcus Thuram rounded the Dortmund ‘keeper to make it 3-1 in the 30th.
Olschowsky denied Youssoufa Moukoko with the rebound falling to Gio Reyna, but Bensebaini somehow got back to prevent what looked like a certain goal.
Olschowsky again denied Moukoko before Niko Schlotterbeck finally scored for Dortmund in the 40th.
Reyna went off at the break as Gladbach defender and United States teammate Joe Scally had the better of their pre-World Cup duel.
Hofmann set up Manu Koné to score right after the break. The former Dortmund winger thought he scored a hat trick only to see the goal ruled out by VAR for a Thuram foul on Hummels in the buildup.
It was the only thing that went Dortmund’s way.