In a frenetic opening period the goals flew in, with the hosts racing to a 3-1 lead with just ten minutes gone. However, Franck Ribery turned on the style for the guests and had a hand in each of Bayern's strikes as they maintained their unbeaten away record this season.
With the stage set for a fairytale ending to Heynckes' Bundesliga journey - the veteran was poetically signing off where his career had begun - hosts Gladbach defiantly refused to play their part. The Foals began at a gallop and pressured Bayern furiously and soon caught them off guard.
First Martin Stranzl leapt highest to head Juan Arango's curling free-kick past Manuel Neuer before Mike Hanke, in his last appearance for the club, made the most of a rare Dante error to double Gladbach's lead. The incredulous look on Neuer's face - he had only conceded four goals on the road all season prior to kick-off - did not last long as the champions knuckled down and set about undoing the damage.
The response was almost immediate, as Javier Martinez latched on to Ribery's defence-splitting pass to slot coolly past Marc-Andre ter Stegen. However, any thoughts of a comeback were premature as Lucien Favre's men still had the bit between their teeth and swiftly restored their two-goal advantage when Havard Nordtveit finished from close range, with the visiting defence uncharacteristically disorganised.
The drama did not stop there in one of the most breathless starts to a Bundesliga match you are ever likely to see. Picking the ball up on the left-side of Gladbach's area, Ribery drifted inside before drilling in a low shot to reduce the deficit once more. In a record-breaking season, the goal represented another first for the Bavarians, as five goals had never before been scored in the first 18 minutes of a match in the league's history.
Inevitably the intensity waned as the half wore on and although both sides created further chances, neither found the net again. After the break the visitors shifted through the gears, determined to give Heynckes a worthy farewell and soon overpowered Gladbach. A sumptuous left-footed volley from the edge of the area from Ribery brought the scores level, before Arjen Robben put Bayern ahead for the first time all afternoon with a tidy back-post finish from Ribery's cross.
The match continued to be an entertaining affair until the final whistle, with neither side content to settle for the status quo. No further goals ensued but the game was a worthy and highly memorable way for a Bundesliga great to sign off.
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