After their 3:0 win over FC Bayern München on match day seven, Borussia Mönchengladbach maintained their fine form with a clinical demolition job against 1. FSV Mainz 05. In a stunning display, Jonas Hofmann scored his first-ever hat-trick as the visitors conceded as many goals as they had done in their first seven matches.
Gladbach coach Dieter Hecking seems to be doing everything right at the moment, and things are also clicking for him. There was only one change for the home team, with defensive midfielder Tobias Strobl coming in as a straight swap for 2014 World Cup winner Christoph Kramer, who was left on the bench.
There were just a couple of changes for visitors Mainz. First choice 'keeper Florian Müller returned to replace Robin Zentner, while Austrian Under-21 international Phillipp Mwene made way for Daniel Brosinski.
Gladbach ease in front
High on confidence after their win in Munich, die Fohlen were quickly out of the stalls. Summer signing Alessane Pléa went close after just three minutes, but Mainz - at the beginning at least - were counter-punching effectively. Striker Jean-Philippe Mateta created a couple of half-chances for the Null-Fünfer, who have been struggling to find the net.
Mateta headed over the target for Schwarz's men, but just three minutes later the home side made the crucial breakthrough. A lovely pass from Thorgan Hazard found former German Under-21 international Jonas Hofmann, whose cool finish found the back of the net.
It was all Gladbach after that. Hoffmann forced a fine save from Müller just short of the half hour mark, and went close again two minutes before the break when another effort was blocked by Pierre Kunde.
Three goals in ten minutes
There was some gentle sparring in the opening minutes of the second half, but after 53 minutes the home side doubled their lead. Skipper Lars Stindl picked out the busy and industrious Hazard, and the Belgian had no difficulty finding the red-hot Hofmann, who executed an easy finish at the far post.
Five minutes later, it was Hazard's turn to get on the board. After another blistering counterattack, Pléa - playing as a winger rather than an out and out striker - provided the assist, and the Belgian had surely put the game beyond all doubt.
Hecking's men were merciless, and continued to look for even more. Just five minutes after Hazard's goal, Hofmann wrapped up a superb hat-trick. Collecting a well-time pass from Florian Neuhaus, Hoffmann worked his way past Müller before rolling the ball into the empty net. It was a nice moment for the 26-year-old, who had spent a year on loan with Mainz in 2015/16.
Parting shots: Hofmann completes his hat-trick
There was every likelihood that Gladbach could match Eintracht Frankfurt's seven-goal achievement from the day before, but instead they started to slowly slide down the gears. Mainz had a penalty shout when Bote Baku was challenged by Denis Zakaria, but that was pretty much the end of that.
When Baku had to withdraw through injury with thirteen minutes left, Mainz's day was done. The win took Hecking's men up to second place, just three points behind early pace-setters Dortmund.
For Mainz, their goal drought continues. They have now gone five games without troubling the scorers, and their proud defensive record was also shot to pieces. Having conceded just four goals in their opening seven Bundesliga matches, The Palatinate side saw Gladbach put the same amount past them in the space of just 42 minutes either side of half-time.
Result: Borussia Mönchengladbach 4 (Hofmann 21., 53., 63., T. Hazard 58.) 1. FSV Mainz 05 0