Robert Lewandowski scored one and was denied a good few more by Yann Sommer as Bayern Munich began their latest Bundesliga title defence with a come-from-behind draw at Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Gladbach and Bayern have played out countless classics since the Bundesliga's inception some 58 years ago - and the 2021/22 season opener was no exception. Patrick Herrmann fizzed a warning shot wide and Josip Stanisic made a vital block to deny Lars Stindl, before the Foals raced ahead. Stindl was the architect, dispossessing Alphonso Davies and feeding Alassane Plea for a cool finish past Manuel Neuer from just inside the Bayern area. Borussia were good value for their lead, but buckled under mounting Bayern pressure late in the half. Sommer had already made a handful of top saves from Lewandowski, and kept out Stanisic, when the record champions levelled. Lewandowski did the damage, last season’s 41-goal record scorer heading home a Joshua Kimmich corner.
Bayern picked up where they left off after the restart as Leroy Sane warmed the palms of Sommer, who was made to work once again by Lewandowski moments later. A Gladbach free-kick provided momentary respite and a glimpse of Neuer’s goal, but Stefan Lainer sent his back-post header wide. Davies then set up a sure-fire goal for Lewandowski on the hour, only for Sommer to intervene with yet another reaction save of the highest order. A spectator for much of the second half, Neuer sprung into action with 20 minutes remaining to deny quick-fire efforts from Stindl and Hannes Wolf. Substitute Marcus Thuram went within a whisker of turning in a Lainer cross as Gladbach found a second wind. A stretching Stindl went closer still to a winner, but couldn't get enough behind Jonas Hofmann's low ball into the danger zone. Kimmich shot wide with the final kick of the game as Julian Nagelsmann's first competitive game as Bayern head coach ended all square.
- No team has taken more points off Bayern in the last 10 years than Gladbach (28).
- Lewandowski has finished as Bundesliga top scorer in the last four seasons in a row. He has scored on the opening matchday for a record seven seasons running.
- Nagelsmann has faced Gladbach 12 times as a coach (W3, D6, L3). He is still awaiting his first win as Bayern coach, following a winless pre-season.
- Bayern are unbeaten in their previous 10 Matchday 1 fixtures (W8, D2). Gladbach are the only team to beat them on the opening weekend in the last 23 years, doing so twice.
- Joe Scally is the fourth American national to play for Gladbach in the Bundesliga after Kasey Keller, Fabian Johnson and Michael Bradley.
- Neuer will overtake Oliver Kahn for clean sheets with one more Bundesliga shut-out. The duo currently share the record (204).
Watch: Scally: "We want to win the league"
Gladbach: Sommer - Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Scally - Kramer, Neuhaus (Benes 90'+1) - Herrmann (Hofmann 64'), Stindl (c), Wolf (Bennetts 72') - Plea (Thuram 64')
Unused subs: Sippel, Beyer, Netz, Jantschke, Noß
Out: Bensebaini (thigh), Doucoure (Achilles' tendon), Embolo (thigh), Kone (knee), Zakaria (match fitness)
Coach: Adi Hütter
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Stanisic (Sarr 82'), Upamecano, Süle, Davies - Kimmich, Goretzka - Sane (Coman 75'), Müller (Choupo-Moting 82'), Gnabry (Musiala 75') - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Ulreich, O. Richards, C. Richards, Cuisance, Nianzou
Out: Hernandez (knee), Pavard (ankle), Roca (ankle), Tolisso (match fitness)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann