Bayern thrash Gladbach as the Bundesliga title race fires into life

Bayern thrash Gladbach as the Bundesliga title race fires into life

Matthew Marshall – Mönchengladbach, Germany

Gladbach vs Bayern ended with the hosts suffering a  5-1 thrashing as the Munich side joined Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga.

  • Javi Martinez opened the scoring for the visitors after two minutes
  • Gladbach are now without a win in their last four fixtures
  • Robert Lewandowski collected his 200th Bundesliga victory in just 280 appearances

Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-5 Bayern München

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, 91′)

The Bavarians started with intent and were ahead in the 2nd minute. Thomas Müller sent Robert Lewandowski through on goal with his shot tipped wide by Yann Sommer.

James Rodriguez whipped a corner in that was met by Javi Martinez who appeared to push Nico Elvedi out of the way before heading in from close range.

Serge Gnarby burst clear after a slip by Michael Lang but couldn’t find a teammate in the Gladbach box. FC Bayern were pressing well, winning the ball back frequently and cutting off the Foals’ passing lanes.

Jonas Hofmann earned an early yellow card for holding back Müller in a dangerous position. The visitors made it 2-0 soon after as Gnabry’s clever cross was met by Müller, his shot was stopped by Sommer but the space interpreter was on hand to poke it home.

Experience the Champions League and Europa League live! Book your European football travel now by visiting Nickes!

Experience Bundesliga football live! Book your European football travel now by visiting!

It was men against boys in the early stages with Mönchengladbach second best in every department. Florian Neuhaus headed wide with Gladbach’s best chances coming from offside positions, Michael Lang shooting wide and Alassane Plea’s close-range ruled out.

Niko Kovac’s side spurned a number of opportunities to extend their lead. A Manuel Neuer goal kick evaded Matthias Ginter with Müller feeding Lewandowski who had a weak shot saved by Sommer.

Lewandowski then shot over the bar before Gnabry’s shot was saved at the near post. Gnabry had another chance after being sent through 1 on 1 by Lewandowski with his effort shot saved Sommer once again.

Lars Stindl sent a warning shot over the bar and wouldn’t be deterred. A clever move saw Thorgan Hazard set up Stindl who made no mistake the second time, firing past Neuer to get the hosts back in the game.

A shot from Müller was deflected for a corner that Martinez headed at Sommer to end an exciting first half.

Whatever Dieter Hecking said at half-time went out the window in the opening minutes of the second half. Nice Elvedi’s weak pass was intercepted by Lewandowski, James taking his time before shooting wide.

Thiago then burst clear and pierced the defence to find Lewandowski who showed strength and poise to shoot past a helpless Sommer. Oscar Wendt powered a free kick past the post but the hosts were looking short of answers.

Müller’s weak shot failed to trouble Sommer before Lewandowski shot blocked. It should have been 4-1 not long after as a bad turnover led to another Lewandowski shot that forced a crucial block from substitute Denis Zakaria.

There was plenty of time for Bayern Munich to make their superiority count however – Joshua Kimmich’s cross found Lewandowski, his header was saved by Sommer but Gnabry was on hand to smash it home.

The rout was complete in added time, Kimmich taken down by Hazard in the box with Lewandowski stepping up to convert the penalty with ease.

The 5-1 result was fully deserved and sent an ominous warning to Borussia Dortmund who look powerless to stop the Bavarian giants claiming a seventh successive Bundesliga title.

Gladbach v Bayern – Man of the Match: Thiago Alcântara, Bayern München

Thiago Alcantara’s absence was one of the main reasons for FC Bayern’s slump in November but the midfield maestro is back to his best. Able to orchestrate proceedings from the middle of the park, the Spaniard can also do the dirty work with crucial interceptions and tackles.

Man of the Match - Gladbach v Bayern

Thiago Alcantara (R) battles for possession with Florian Neuhaus of Borussia Monchengladbach during the Bundesliga match Gladbach v Bayern. (Photo: Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Gladbach v Bayern – Talking Point

Bayern Munich joined Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga table and are clear favourites to go on with the job and secure their seventh straight title. They were far too strong for Mönchengladbach who were powerless to stop the onslaught in the second half.

Gladbach v Bayern – Match Stats

  • Javi Martinez scored the opening goal of a fixture for the fourth time (all competitions)
  • Lars Stindl netted his 50th Bundesliga career goal – his 26th at Gladbach
  • Robert Lewandowski scored his 195th goal in the Bundesliga – drawing level with Claudio Pizarro as the highest scoring non-German in Bundesliga history
  • Bayern claw back a seven-point deficit to pull level with Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga

Gladbach v Bayern – Line-ups

Borussia Mönchengladbach:

Formation: 4-1-2-3

Sommer – Lang (Johnson, 76‘), Ginter, Elvedi, Wendt – Kramer – Neuhaus (Zakaria, 65‘), Hofmann (Raffael, 72) – Hazard, Stindl, Plea

Coach: Dieter Hecking

Bayern München:

Formation: 4-2-1-2-1

Neuer – Kimmich, Süle, Boateng, Rafinha – Martinez, Thiago – James (Sanches, 80‘) – Müller (Jeong, 83‘), Gnabry (Davies, 83‘) – Lewandowski

Coach: Niko Kovač

Matthew Marshall is a freelance football journalist. Born in Australia and living in Germany, he is sports mad but his passion is undoubtedly the beautiful game. Primarily covering the Bundesliga and the Portuguese national team, he follows all the major European domestic leagues intently alongside both UEFA club competitions. A member of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS). Follow Matthew Marshall on Twitter @noobzcorp