Borussia Monchengladbach emphasised their own Champions League credentials with a 3-0 win over Schalke which takes them above their rivals into third place in the table.
All three goals came in the first half for Lucien Favre’s side, who trail league leaders Borussia Dortmund by three points and move two ahead of the Royal Blues.
Gladbach’s magic triangle of Marco Reus, Mike Hanke and Juan Arango accounted for the goals as the Borussia Park stadium looks increasingly likely to stage European football next season given the Foals’ 12-point advantage over seventh-placed Hannover. Schalke, meanwhile, slip five points adrift of local rivals Dortmund.
Reus gave the home side a dream start in the second minute when he took the ball past Benedikt Howedes and fired his shot into the far corner of the goal, out of the reach of Lars Unnerstall.
It could have been 2-0 just moments later when Mike Hanke only just failed to capitalise on a moment of confusion between Unnerstall and Kyriakos Papadopoulos.
Hanke added the second in the 15th minute, finishing an excellent team move which saw him exchange passes with both Filip Daems and Arango before providing a fine finish past Unnerstall into the far right of the goal.
Arango made it three in the 32nd minute with a well-worked free-kick from almost 25 yards.
It was an indirect free-kick but Arango touched the ball to Reus, who stopped it in his path, allowing him to lift it over the wall and in off the underside of the crossbar.
Hanke almost made it three two minutes later when he nudged the ball past Hanke, but missed from a tight angle.
Gladbach had done enough in the first 45 minutes to win the game and the second half was a case of playing down the clock without running any risks.