KYIV (Reuters) - Striker Alassane Plea scored a hat-trick as Borussia Moenchengladbach crushed their hosts Schakhtar Donetsk 6-0 on Tuesday to take over from them at the top of their group in the Champions League.
Glabdach, who conceded late equalisers in their previous group matches against Inter Milan and Real Madrid, scored four in the first half, with two coming from the 27-year-old Plea, to kill off the game and eventually earn one of the largest away wins of the competition.
They are now top of Group B on five points from three games, one point ahead of Shakhtar.
Inter and Real, on two and one point respectively from two games, play each other later on Tuesday.
Gladbach, now on an eight-game unbeaten run in all competitions, caught Shakhtar by surprise with a two-pass counter attack and Stefan Lainer finding space down the right to cut back for Frenchman Plea, who scored with a crisp finish in the eighth minute.
They doubled their lead nine minutes later when Christoph Kramer's shot from outside the box took a deflection from Valeriy Bondar to send Shakhtar keeper Anatoliy Trubin the wrong way.
A Plea missile from 25 metres put the game beyond the hosts before Ramy Bensebaini added a fourth a minute before the break.
Lars Stindl made the most of a Trubin error to put his team 5-0 ahead in the 65th, before Plea beat the offside trap to complete his hat-trick with a fine finish.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Hugh Lawson)