Borussia Mönchengladbach once again underlined their reputation as Bayern Munich’s bogey team after coming from behind to win 2-1 in the Matchday 18 opener on Friday, their sixth win in their last 11 meetings with the record German champions.
Julian Nagelsmann said in his pre-match press conference that revenge was “on his mind” for the 5-0 DFB Cup thrashing earlier this season, and his charges certainly began eager to fulfill their coach’s wish. Serge Gnabry had a fierce shot well saved before Robert Lewandowski opened his account for 2022 with a brilliant turn on the edge of the box that opened up space for him to lash a rasping shot high past Yann Sommer. Gladbach hadn’t read the script, though. Less than 10 minutes later the visitors were level after Bayern failed to deal with a cross from the right, giving Florian Neuhaus the chance to volley in from 10 yards. The Foals edged in front when Stefan Lainer headed in a Luca Netz corner, and Bayern needed a superb save from Sven Ulreich to avoid going even further behind, the back-up goalkeeper thwarting Breel Embolo on the stroke of half-time. Lewandowski still had time to hit the post before the interval and Thomas Müller’s follow-up was cleared off the line by Matthias Ginter, hinting at plenty more drama in the second period.
It did not disappoint. Jamal Musiala went close with an eye-catching outside-of-the-boot shot before Müller got a toe to Lewandowski’s cross, but both were kept out by the ever-alert Sommer. Lewandowski then hit the crossbar with a looping strike – the sixth time he has been denied by the woodwork this season – as Bayern applied near constant pressure on their guests. Nagelsmann brought on youngsters Lucas Copado – the nephew of sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic – and Paul Wanner – the club’s youngster ever player, who only turned 16 shortly before Christmas – in a bid for fresh legs and ideas in the closing stages, but they found the going tough against resolute defenders. Alassane Plea could have wrapped up the points shortly before the final whistle after being played through by Lars Stindl, but Niklas Süle made a superb recovery block to deflect his effort wide. It ultimately mattered little, though, as Gladbach held on in four minutes of stoppage time to claim three precious points.
- Ulreich made his first Bundesliga appearance for Bayern since returning to the club last summer. His previous top-flight league outing for the Reds was on 20 June 2020.
- Malik Tillman made his starting debut in the Bundesliga, having previously made two substitute appearances earlier this term.
- Lewandowski put his side 1-0 up for the fifth time this season (and 72nd time overall), a feat matched only by Union Berlin's Taiwo Awoniyi (also five in 2021/22).
- Bayern have now scored at least once in their last 65 consecutive Bundesliga games, equalling their own league record.
- Gladbach have now won six and drawn one of their last 11 competitive games with Bayern.
- The Foals have scored from a dead-ball situation in each of their last four Bundesliga games (one free-kick, one penalty and two corners).
Watch: Nagelsmann: "You have to accept it"
Bayern: Ulreich – Pavard, Kimmich, Süle – Sabitzer, Roca (Wanner 75') – Tillman (Copado 75'), Musiala, Müller (c), Gnabry – Lewandowski
Unused subs: Früchtl, Feldhahn, Arrey-Abi, Lawrence, Ibrahimovic, Kern, Motika
Out: Choupo-Moting (Africa Cup of Nations), Coman (not included), Davies (not included), Goretzka (knee), Hernandez (not included), Neuer (not included), Nianzou (not included), Richards (not included), Sarr (Africa Cup of Nations), Sane (not included), Stanisic (thigh), Tolisso (not included), Upamecano (not included)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Gladbach: Sommer – Jantschke (Beyer 67'), Ginter, Elvedi – Lainer (Herrmann 79'), Kramer (Benes 79'), Neuhaus (Plea 67'), Kone, Netz - Stindl (c) (Thuram 90'), Embolo
Unused subs: Sippel, Wolf, Müsel, Noß
Out: Bennetts (not included), Bensebaini (Africa Cup of Nations), Doucoure (not included), Hofmann (knee), Scally (not included), Zakaria (not included)
Coach: Adi Hütter
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