Thuram, Plea dazzle in Gladbach rout of Union

Marcus Thuram and Alassane Plea combined to score three goals as Borussia Moenchengladbach crushed Union Berlin 4-1 to reclaim third place in the Bundesliga.

Moenchengladbach's French forward Marcus Thuram (R) and Moenchengladbach's German midfielder Patrick Herrmann celebrate after the German first division Bundesliga football match Borussia Moenchengladbach v Union Berlin.   -  AFP

Marcus Thuram and Alassane Plea combined to score three goals as Borussia Moenchengladbach crushed Union Berlin 4-1 on Sunday to reclaim third place in the Bundesliga with five matches left.

The 22-year-old Thuram headed in at the far post from fellow Frenchman Plea's cross in the 41st minute after Florian Neuhaus had put the host ahead in the 17th with a solo run.

Thuram went down on his knee in memory of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in Minnesota after a white police officer knelt on his neck, sparking widespread protests in the United States.

READ| Bundesliga: Thuram takes a knee in solidarity with Black Lives Matter movement

Sebastian Andersson briefly cut the deficit for the visitor five minutes after the restart.

But the host, playing fluid football in front of empty stands filled with cardboard cutouts of fans, was far superior, constantly finding space to attack.

Thuram, the son of 1998 World Cup winner Lilian Thuram, grabbed his second goal on the hour, tapping in at the far post after Plea threaded another pass through the Union defence.

Plea turned scorer himself with a well-timed left-footed shot to join Thuram on 10 goals this season and put Gladbach back in the mix for a Champions League spot with its first win in three games.

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The Bundesliga became the first major sports league to restart two weeks ago after a break of more than two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Foals, who next travel to Freiburg, are third in the standings on 56 points, ahead of Bayer Leverkusen on goal difference. RB Leipzig, fifth on 55, takes on Cologne on Monday.

Promoted Union has now gone six games without a win to drop down to 14th, four points above the relegation playoff spot.

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