Borussia Moenchengladbach routed Union Berlin 4-1 on Sunday behind closed doors with French striker Marcus Thuram scoring twice and taking a knee in protest at the death of an unarmed black man in the United States.
First-half goals by midfielder Florian Neuhaus, who bagged Gladbach’s 3,000th goal in the Bundesliga, and Thuram put Gladbach 2-0 up at the break.
Union’s Swedish striker Sebastian Andersson pulled one back early in the second-half after being left unmarked. However, Gladbach pulled away when Thuram added his second after pressing the Union defence.
The 22-year-old French striker then took a knee on the Borussia Park turf, imitating NFL star Colin Kaepernick. It was the latest show of Bundesliga solidarity with the current protests sweeping the United States.
Schalke’s US midfielder Weston McKennie wore an armband in Saturday’s defeat to Werder Bremen bearing the words “Justice for George”. George Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis in an arrest by a police officer who pinned him to the ground for several minutes by kneeling on his neck.
On Sunday, Alassane Plea grabbed a goal of his own for Gladbach, having set up Thuram’s first, when he fired home off his left foot on 81 minutes to beat Union goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz.
After a 3-1 defeat to Leverkusen last weekend, and a goalless draw with relegation-threatened Werder Bremen on Tuesday, this was an important win for Gladbach. It lifted them to third in the table, but RB Leipzig can take their place if they win at Cologne on Monday.
On Saturday, reigning champions Bayern Munich opened a 10-point lead with a 5-0 thrashing of Fortuna Duesseldorf with the league’s top-scorer Robert Lewandowski netting twice.
Later on Sunday, second-placed Borussia Dortmund can trim Bayern’s lead if they win at bottom side Paderborn.
(With inputs from AFP)