BERLIN — Borussia Moenchengladbach defeated Bundesliga runner-up Wolfsburg 2-0 at home Saturday to cap a remarkable turnaround after its dismal start to the season.
Raffael shrugged off Timm Klose's foul to cross for Havard Nordtveit to break the deadlock in the 76th and Lars Stindl produced a defense-splitting pass for Ibrahima Traore three minutes later, sealing 'Gladbach's third successive win after starting with five straight defeats.
"We put the Wolfsburgers under pressure early on. They didn't like that at all," Moenchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka said.
Stindl hit the post in the 11th, five minutes before Wolfsburg had a penalty appeal turned down when Andre Schuerrle went down under light contact from reserve goalkeeper Tobias Sippel. There was a brief flare-up between players before referee Felix Zwayer intervened.
Zwayer handed yellow cards to 'Gladbach's Xhaka and Fabian Johnson as tempers frayed again before the break.
Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking was sent to the stands in the second half as his side slipped to seventh.
'Gladbach's interim coach Andre Schubert is the first at the club to start with three league wins.
"Ach, the record," Schubert said. "The only thing I'm thinking of is what the players delivered, how they ran. It was incredible."
Hertha Berlin striker Vedad Ibisevic scored twice in as many minutes to seal a 3-0 win over Hamburger SV.
Solomon Kalou opened the scoring in the 17th, eluding Johan Djourou and firing inside the left post before Ibisevic sealed Hertha's third straight win at home in the 79th.
"It was a win for a day of celebration," Hertha coach Pal Dardai said referring to 25 years of German reunification. "Great crowd, great weather and a great win."
Hertha, based in the west of the city, displayed banners saying "We unite east and west because Hertha stands for all of Berlin."
Salif Sane's 59th-minute header was enough for Hannover to beat Werder Bremen 1-0 for its first win. Celebrating his 37th birthday, Bremen substitute Claudio Pizarro was unable to prevent his side's fifth loss.
Timo Werner equalized in the last minute for Stuttgart to salvage a 2-2 draw at Hoffenheim.
Hoffenheim forward Kevin Volland scored a penalty in the 33rd and then cancelled out Jan Kliment's 64th-minute equalizer with a wonderful chip over the goalkeeper, before Werner headed into the left corner for the draw. Despite the point, injury-hit Stuttgart slipped bottom.
Stuttgart captain Christian Gentner, Filip Kostic and striker Daniel Ginzcek were all ruled out before the game, the latter until 2016 with a cervical spine injury.
"That was a big shock for us," Stuttgart coach Alexander Zorniger said of Ginzcek's injury.
Also, Ingolstadt defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 for its first home Bundesliga win.
"We're always capable of creating chances. We rewarded ourselves today and I'm delighted for everyone," Ingolstadt coach Ralph Hasenhuettl said.
Frankfurt sporting director Bruno Huebner was watching as his son Benjamin hit the post for Ingolstadt.
"At least he's happy," the senior Huebner said about his son's win.
Bayern Munich hosts Borussia Dortmund as the top two clash on Sunday.