Gladbach rescue point as Union and Freiburg stumble

BERLIN: French striker Alassane Plea rescued a point for crisis-hit Bundesliga club Borussia Moenchengladbach against Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday, as high-flying minnows Freiburg and Union Berlin both slumped to surprise defeats in the race for the Champions League.

Gladbach, whose miserable season took another turn for the worse last week with the surprise departure of sporting director Max Eberl, remain just two points clear of the bottom three after they were held 1-1 at Bielefeld.

Their run of one win in nine competitive games looked set to continue when Janni Serra smashed the ball into the top corner to give Bielefeld an early lead.

The hosts continued to dominate until Plea equalised out of the blue for Gladbach with a diving header.

Elsewhere, Eintracht Frankfurt took a step towards the European spots in a dramatic 3-2 win over relegation-threatened Stuttgart.

Evan Ndicka flicked the ball in at a corner to give Frankfurt an early lead before Stuttgart hit back just before half-time, Waldemar Anton getting on the end of a swinging free-kick to score his side's first goal in six league games.

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Ajdin Hrustic restored the lead with a thunderous volley just minutes after coming on at half-time.

A Sasa Kalajdzic header levelled the scores again, before Hrustic netted the winner with a deflected long-range effort.

Stuttgart are now three points adrift of safety after fellow strugglers Augsburg picked up a surprise 2-0 home win over fourth-placed Union Berlin.

Union keeper Andreas Luthe handed the opener on a silver platter to Michael Gregoritsch with a hashed clearance early on, before Andre Hahn smashed in a superb long-range effort on the hour mark.

Union remain in fourth despite the defeat, as those around them also dropped points.

Hoffenheim lost 2-0 away to Mainz thanks to a late goal from South Korean international Jae Sung Lee and a penalty from Moussa Niakhate.

Fifth-placed Freiburg, meanwhile, were beaten 1-0 away to Cologne.

Anthony Modeste gave the hosts an early lead, tucking away his 14th goal of the season after a brutal counter-attack.

Freiburg had an equaliser ruled out for offside shortly after the break, but went home empty-handed despite a dominant second-half performance.

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