FC Bayern München were made to wait to secure a record fourth consecutive Bundesliga title after Borussia Mönchengladbach fought back bravely to hold the Reds to a 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena.
FC Bayern München 1-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
With an eye on next Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid, Pep Guardiola made a total of eight changes to his starting eleven, recalling Jerome Boateng after a lengthy spell on the sidelines and handing starts to Kingsley Coman and Mario Götze.
Guardiola also asked Thomas Müller, rested in the Spanish capital on Wednesday, to lead the attack, and it was a decision that bore fruit almost instantly, with the Germany international heading in Joshua Kimmich’s corner. Thereafter chances were at a premium in the first half, but the lack of action belied an entertaining clash played at a lightning-quick pace, with both sides pressing relentlessly to shut down space for the opposition.
After the restart Bayern continued to appear impenetrable at the back, with Medhi Benatia outstanding, but the introduction of Patrick Herrmann and Lars Stindl changed the game for the visitors. Herrmann’s telling ball across the six-yard box eluded Andre Hahn by a whisker, but the latter made no mistake a few minutes later, collecting Stindl’s pass and drilling in low to Manuel Neuer’s left.
Douglas Costa entered the fray as the Reds stepped up the pressure in search of a winner, but Borussia defended stoutly in the final stages, limiting Bayern to shots from distance. The result means Guardiola’s charges, five points ahead of second-placed Borussia Dortmund, must now wait until next week’s trip to FC Ingolstadt 04 to wrap up Bundesliga title no. 25.
Man of the match
Hahn had missed much of the season with a serious knee injury, but his performance reminded everyone what an explosive talent he is. His industry over the 90 minutes was infectious and in the crucial moment, he kept his cool to frustrate Bayern and please both of the league’s Borussias.
They may be on the brink of the title, but Bayern undoubtedly have a bogey team in the form of Gladbach, who have now won two and drawn two of the sides’ last four league meetings.
- This was the first time in 52 league games that Bayern failed to win when Müller has scored.This was also the first game this season that the Reds failed to win after scoring first.This is the first Bundesliga season in which two FC Bayern players have scored at least 20 goals (Müller and Robert Lewandowski).Gladbach are unbeaten in their last four league games against Bayern.Second-placed Dortmund’s current haul of 77 points would have been sufficient to take them to the title in all but four of the 53 Bundesliga seasons to date. The exceptions? The last four seasons.
Bayern: Bayern: Neuer (c)– Tasci (Costa 77’), Boateng (Alaba 68’), Benatia - Rafinha, Rode, Kimmich, Bernat - Coman, Müller, Götze (Thiago 62’)
Coach: Pep Guardiola
Gladbach: Gladbach: Sommer - Elvedi, Christensen, Nordtveit (c)- Dahoud, Xhaka – Traore (Herrmann 61’), Wendt - Hazard (Stindl 57’) - Hahn, Raffael (Hofmann 90’)
Coach: Andre Schubert