Gladbach crush Shakhtar to stay top of Group B

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MOENCHENGLADBACH, Germany (Reuters) - Borussia Moenchengladbach scored three times in a powerful first half before cruising past Shakhtar Donetsk 4-0 on Wednesday to stay top of Champions League Group B with two matches remaining.

Captain Lars Stindl, who also scored in their 6-0 mauling of Shakhtar in Ukraine this month, put the hosts in the driving seat with a 17th-minute penalty.

Breel Embolo hit the woodwork as Shakhtar, missing key players through injury, desperately struggled to keep pace with the Germans.

Stindl floated in a corner for Nico Elvedi to head in Gladbach's second goal in the 34th minute before fellow Swiss international Embolo's superb bicycle kick in first-half stoppage time made it 3-0.

The hosts took their foot off the gas in the second half but still added a fourth when Oscar Wendt whipped in a free kick from the right in the 77th minute and the ball sailed across a crowded box and ended in the back of the net.

It was the Foals' first win in their last four Champions League home group games after drawing their last three.

Gladbach are top of the group on eight points and next play Inter Milan before facing Real in their final match.

Inter, in last place on two points, host Real, on four, later on Wednesday. Shakhtar are also on four.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)