Borussia Mönchengladbach Is My New Favorite To Win The Champions League

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We’ve got a new leader in rowdy UEFA Champions League Group B, and Real Madrid and Inter Milan should really just be thankful that Borussia Mönchengladbach isn’t dashing off into the sunset at this point.

After drawing 2-2 with both Real and Inter by way of conceding 90th-minute equalizers, Gladbach travelled to Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday in a violent mood inspired by French forward Alassane Pléa.

Shakhtar actually started the day top of the group after stunning Real and holding on for dear life in a scoreless draw with Inter, but the Ukrainian club’s mad three-goal first half against Real was actually bettered by Gladbach inside 44 minutes at the Olimpiyskiy.

Pléa opened the scoring in the eighth minute, Christoph Kramer doubled the advantage in the 17th, Pléa hammered home Gladbach’s third in the 26th and Ramy Bensebaini made it four just before halftime.

Despite making only one change to the side that’d recorded those historic results against Real and Inter — and that one being Taison for Dentinho at striker — Shakhtar was miserable in the first half. The fact that the home side committed zero fouls in the opening 45 said everything about just how untouchable Gladbach was.

We’ll start with Pléa’s second goal because it’s easily the pick of the bunch.

And here’s his first, which effectively demonstrates the ease of Gladbach’s attacks.

Kramer’s effort took a heavy deflection, ending the blessed streak enjoyed by Shakhtar’s 19-year-old keeper Anatoliy Trubin.

Bensebaini’s effort off a corner kick showcased the worst kind of set piece defending. Why do you need four men huddled around the near post when Gladbach has zero? Probably because no Shakhtar player wanted responsibility for anything at this point.

Gladbach made it five in the 65th minute after Pléa turned provider with a delicious flick for Lars Stindl to fire home.

Five became six with Pléa completing his hat trick in the 78th.

Gladbach went top with five points; Shakhtar dropped to second with four. Inter (two points) and Real (one) meet later Tuesday in Madrid to complete Matchday 3 in Group B.

Action resumes on Nov. 25 with Gladbach hosting Shakhtar and Inter hosting Real.

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