Gladbach stay within one point of the teams at the top of the league with a confident display in an impressive triumph over their lacklustre hostsTwo goals scored on the counterattack in the second half gave Borussia Monchengladbach an impressive 3-0 win over Stuttgart with a workmanlike performance at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
The visitors opened the scoring in a cagey affair through Mike Hanke's header and proved deadly in the second half. They stayed solid at the back and countered with fantastic conviction, enabling Marco Reus and Igor de Camargo to complete a polished display in the final 10 minutes.
The game was limited to shots from distance and Juan Arango produced a couple of ambitious efforts that went well wide, failing to test Sven Ulreich. Zdravko Kuzmanovic could not do any better than the Venezuelan; his effort from distance flew high and wide causing ter Stegen no trouble.
Gladbach seized the initiative and after some lovely, intricate build up play in the 28th minute, the visitors earned a corner. Reus whipped it in and Hanke flicked it on to the back post where Arango fired a volley on target, only to see his effort was cleared off the line.
Motivated by the chance, Gladbach kicked on and broke the deadlock soon after. With a free kick wide on the left Reus delivered another fine set-piece which was glanced into the back of the net off of the head of Hanke.
Arango saw an strike cleared off the line soon after and within moments Thomas Hajnal tested ter Stegen at the other end. Antonio Rudiger’s cross was headed back across goal by the Hungarian but the Gladbach keeper produced a delightful, acrobatic save to turn the ball behind.
The second half hosted a much more open game as Stuttgart looked for an equaliser and Gladbach sought to enhance upon their lead. The visitors’ swift, direct breaks were beginning to work the space well but they could not find the killer touch.
Gladbach were very much in control of the game and when Arango’s deft flick put Patrick Herrmann through in a one-on-one situation it looked as though the lead would be doubled. However, he failed to find the corner and aimed his shot straight at Ulreich who made the save.
With just over 15 minutes remaining the solid Gladbach defence had a rare wobble. Dante’s clearance ricocheted off of Havard Nordtveit but Julian Schieber could not capitalise on the loose ball, shooting comfortably into ter Stegen’s arms.
With Stuttgart pressing for an equaliser Gladbach secured the victory with a terrific counterattack in the 81st minute. Arango's through ball found Reus in acres of space and he used the time to devastating effect, slotting home with unerring composure.
Three minutes later de Camargo put a glossy finish on the score line when he tapped in from close range after Reus and Herrman connected well around the area. The latter supplied a lovely ball across the face of the goal for the Belgian to tuck away.
The result means Stuttgart remain in 10th position but are only four points away from the relegation zone following Mainz’s lethal first half display secured a 3-1 victory over bottom club Freiburg. Gladbach continue to surprise and keep pace with the league leaders, sitting one point from the summit.