Monchengladbach march on
Borussia Monchengladbach kept pace with the leading three in the Bundesliga with an impressive 3-0 win at Stuttgart, who tumble even further down the table on the back of their fourth straight league defeat.
Mike Hanke gave the visitors the lead in the first half and Marco Reus and Igor de Camargo rounded off the scoring as Stuttgart fell apart in the second half.
The win lifts Lucien Favre's side back to within a point of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Schalke at the top of the Bundesliga, keeping them on course for a place in the Champions League next season.
Stuttgart, on the other hand, are now just four points above the relegation zone and the pressure is beginning to mount on their coach Bruno Labbadia.
In the day's other game, Mainz scored three times in a stunning opening 17-minute spell as they brought to an end their five-match winless streak with a 3-1 victory over 10-man Freiburg.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting put the home side ahead in the third minute and three minutes later Eugen Polanski doubled Mainz's lead from the penalty spot in an incident that also saw Freiburg defender Fallou Diagne sent off.
Choupo-Moting netted his second and Mainz's third 11 minutes later as the hosts looked on course to record a huge win, but they were unable to add to the scoreline after that and bottom club Freiburg managed to pull a goal back through Pavel Krmas in the 68th minute.
Nevertheless, the result saw Mainz pick up their first league triumph since their shock win over Bayern Munich back in November.