Bayern Munich collapsed from 2-0 up as Borussia Monchengladbach produced a stunning comeback to inflict a second defeat of the season on the Bundesliga leaders.
A first-half brace from Jonas Hofmann drew Gladbach level at the break after a Robert Lewandowski penalty and a Leon Goretzka piledriver had given Bayern an early lead.
And Florian Neuhaus scored what proved to be the winning goal shortly after half-time with a curling effort from the edge of the box. Bayern pushed hard for an equaliser, but Gladbach clung on for a famous victory that keeps them in touch with the upper reaches of the league.
Bayern took the lead thanks to a helping hand from VAR, and another from Neuhaus, with the referee adjudging from the replay that Gladbach’s midfielder had sufficiently handled the ball on the edge of the box to merit a penalty, allowing Robert Lewandowski to tuck the ball away.
There was no doubt about the validity of Bayern’s second though, with Leon Goretzka thundering in a long-range strike on 26 minutes to seemingly set the visitors on the path to a convincing win.
The hosts had other ideas however, taking a risk and pressing higher up the pitch to great effect. Gladbach repeatedly won the ball back in dangerous areas and on two such occasions Jonas Hofmann was played clean through to tuck the ball past Neuer’s right hand into the bottom corner to level things up just before half-time.
And Gladbach completed their comeback shortly after the break when Bayern were again robbed of possession in their own half and the ball was worked to Neuhaus on the edge of the box to rattle a superb shot into the top corner.
The result makes it six wins in their last 12 meetings with the German Champions for Gladbach, comfortably the best Bundesliga head-to-head record against Bayern.
Defeat leaves Bayern just two points clear at the top of the table with closest challengers Leipzig given a chance to go top when they face fellow big-hitters Dortmund on Saturday evening. Monchengladbach remain seventh but have pulled to within a point of the Champions League qualification spots.
The Team of Borussia Moenchengladbach celebrates after Florian Neuhaus scored his teams third goal during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and FC Bayern Muenchen at Borussia-Park on January 08, 2021
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Talking Point – What’s wrong with Bayern’s defence?
They may be German and European Champions, but Bayern Munich’s defence looked nowhere near the level you’d expect from a team with those recent honours. Time and again they were opened up on the break by Gladbach, with the right side particularly vulnerable.
Full-back Pavard looked reasonable on the ball yet was often caught up-field when the hosts won the ball back with their high press, but the most worrying performance came from big Nicklas Sule. The 6 foot 4 inch defender might cut an impressive figure, but he’s not the ideal fit for a team who so often leave their centre-backs exposed, particularly against a side with the quick attacking threats that Gladbach possess.
Neither Sule nor his alternative Jerome Boateng have looked like the solution at right centre-back this season and Flick will surely be tempted to delve into the transfer market to fix that problem.
Man of the Match – Lars Stindl (Borussia M’gladbach)
The Gladbach captain produced two moments of real quality to assist Hofmann’s goals in the first half and it was his incisive passing and clever movement that troubled the Bayern defence all night as he flitted across the front-line.
Bayern Munich: Neuer 6; Pavard 5, Süle 4, Alaba 5, Davies 5; Goretzka 7, Kimmich 6; Sané 6, Müller 6, Douglas Costa 4; Lewandowski 6. Subs: Coman 6
Gladbach: Sommer 8; Lainer 7, Ginter 8, Elvedi 7, Bensebaini 7; Neuhaus 8, Zakaria 8, Kramer 7; Embolo 8, Stindl 8, Hofmann 8. Subs: Hermann 7, Wolf 7. (Wendt and Jantschke were introduced in added time.)
Bayern Munich's Polish forward Robert Lewandowski celebrates scoring the opening goal during the German first division Bundesliga football match Borussia Moenchengladbach v FC Bayern Munich in Moenchengladbach, western Germany on January 8, 2021
Image credit: Getty Images
20’ Penalty – Woah, now that is an interesting call. The referee is called over to the monitor after a VAR intervention and gives a penalty to Bayern for a handball against Neuhaus. It was fingertips from the Gladbach man. Enough for a spot-kick? Debatable.
20’ GOAL! – Lewandowski tucks the spot-kick away to make it 1-0 to Bayern. Bit of a sickener for Gladbach.
26’ GOAL! – A thunderous strike by Goretzka! The midfielder wins the ball back initially as Gladbach look to counter and then he’s not closed down, allowing him to unleash a monstrous shock from outside the box. 2-0.
35’ GOAL! – It’s a lifeline for Monchengladbach! They press Bayern high up the pitch and win the ball back. Stindl slides a lovely ball through and Hofmann tucks it past Neuer. 2-1.
45’ GOAL! – Hofmann is played in behind Bayern’s high-line defence again and he slots his shot past Neuer. The flag initially goes up, but replays suggest it was just onside and the goal is given! 2-2!
49’ GOAL! – What a goal that is! Gladbach win the ball back in midfield and work it to Neuhaus on the edge of the box. There’s plenty still to do, but the midfielder produces a brilliant curling shot into the top corner to complete the hosts’ stunning comeback. 3-2!
92’ – Off the line! Ginter gets back onto the line as a corner results in some pinball inside the box and he clears to keep Gladbach ahead.
Stats and Facts
- This was Hansi Flick’s fourth defeat in all competitions as Bayern manager. He still has more trophies (5) than losses during his tenure.
- Robert Lewandowski is the first player to reach 20 league goals across Europe’s top five leagues this season. It has taken him just 14 games.
- This is the sixth straight season that Lewandowski has scored 20+ goals in the Bundesliga.
- Gladbach have won six of their last 12 league meetings with Bayern, a league record.
- In the history of the Bundesliga Bayern have better away records at every other club than Gladbach, losing on 22 of their 52 visits.