Bayern Munich joined Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga table thanks to a comfortable 5-1 win at Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday evening.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-5 Bayern Munich
Goals: 0-1 Martinez (2'), 0-2 Müller (11'), 1-2 Stindl (37'), 1-3 Lewandowski (47'), 1-4 Gnabry (75'), 1-5 Lewandowski (pen. 90+1')
Robert Lewandowski was denied an early goal by Yann Sommer, but the resulting corner was whipped in by James Rodriguez for Javi Martinez to head the visitors into an early lead. Bayern stamped their authority on the game with a second after ten minutes, Thomas Müller ending a drought which had lasted 767 minutes by converting at the second time of asking, after Sommer saved his initial effort. Borussia battled back bravely and almost reduced the arrears when Alassane Plea struck, but the offside flag cut his celebrations short. Lewandowski showed how dangerous Bayern could be on the break, bringing another save out of Sommer, who kept his team in the game with another fine stop from Serge Gnabry. It proved to be a crucial stop as Lars Stindl fired in his first goal since Matchday 12 to give the Foals hope heading towards half-time.
That was dashed within minutes of the restart when Lewandowski finally got the goal he had been threatening, drilling his effort powerfully into the roof of the net as if to make a statement after being denied by Sommer several times in the first half. Oscar Wendt curled a free-kick just wide as Gladbach again tried to find a route back into the game. Denis Zakaria and Raffael were both sent on by Dieter Hecking, and the former went close within seconds of taking to the field. However, any hopes they had of recovering were ended for good when Gnabry added a fourth after Lewandowski had yet again been denied by Sommer from point-blank range. With the points in the bank, Bayern coach Niko Kovac handed Alphonso Davies his fourth Bundesliga appearance, and gave Wooyeong Jeong his league debut, and there was still time for Lewandowski to draw level with Claudio Pizarro as the Bundesliga's most prolific foreign goalscorer, as the Bavarians moved level on points with Dortmund at the top of the pile.
- Martinez has won 84 per cent of the games he has played for Bayern, losing just one in 25 this season (21 wins, four draws).
- Bayern have never lost a game in which Müller has scored, winning 81 and drawing five.
- Lewandowski has scored a league-high ten of his 15 goals this season away from home.
- With 121 goals, the Polish forward is now third in the classification of Bayern's all-time top-scorers, behind Gerd Müller (365) and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (162).
- Gnabry's goal was Bayern's 4,000th in the Bundesliga. They became the first club to reach that milestone.
- Lewandowski is now the joint all-time foreign-born top scorer in the Bundesliga alongside Claudio Pizarro on 195.
Watch: Martinez happy to score, but says winning is all that matters
Gladbach: Sommer – Lang (Johnson 76'), Ginter, Elvedi, Wendt – Neuhaus (Zakaria 65'), Kramer, Hofmann (Raffael 72') – Hazard, Stindl (c), Plea
Unused subs: Sippel, Strobl, Herrmann, Jantschke
Out: Beyer (ankle), Cuisance (Achilles), Drmic (thigh), Doucoure (thigh), Jantschke (flu), Traore (groin)
Coach: Dieter Hecking
Bayern: Neuer (c) – Kimmich, Süle, Boateng, Rafinha – Martinez, Thiago – Müller (Jeong 86'), James (Sanches 80'), Gnabry (Davies 83') – Lewandowski
Unused subs: Ulreich, Hummels, Mai, Shabani
Out: Alaba (ankle), Coman (thigh), Goretzka (ankle), Ribery (stomach bug), Robben (thigh), Tolisso (knee)
Coach: Niko Kovac