Pep Guardiola’s men have dropped points on just two occasions this season – both draws at Freiburg and Leverkusen – and picked up their ninth win in successive games through goals from Mario Goetze and Thomas Mueller.
It seemed Bayern Munich were somewhat riled by losing 3-0 at Red Bull Salzburg in the winter break and they made a strong start to proceedings.
As Lucien Favre’s side stood back in pressing their opponents, Bayern’s invention and combination play worked wonders, especially through the front-duo of Muller and Gotze.
After five minutes of action, the former Dortmund playmaker’s quick feet fooled Gladbach defender Alejandro Dominguez and he skipped clear, slashing his right-foot finish inches past the post.
It was a warning sign for Gladbach, but they didn’t shore up their defence and Goetze netted his fifth league goal for the German champions two minutes later.
Mueller was the architect, spinning in behind Oscar Wendt in second gear before sweeping the ball back to the perfectly-positioned – and unmarked – Goetze and he finished with aplomb.
Foals keeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is Camp Nou-bound, according to reports, but he was a busy man for Gladbach, fisting clear Rafinha’s 40-yard drive on 12 minutes.
Gladbach appeared to be on holiday mode and the hushed Borussia-Park watched Bayern utterly cruise most of the first-half proceedings – but with next-to-no open chances.
Six minutes before the break, Bayern switched off and Gladbach began to make forays into the opposition penalty box with Manuel Neuer pulling off a fine stop from Max Kruse.
The former Freiburg man took advantage of slack play at a throw-in, which infuriated the touchline team of Guardiola and Matthias Sammer, as Kruse controlled sweetly and smashed a shot against Neuer’s right-arm, then on to the post.
Similarly to the first period, Bayern took just seven minutes to find the net – and Mueller, again, was influential. In the reverse match in August, Gladbach conceded two spot-kicks within a minute and referee Peter Gagelmann awarded Bayern a spot-kick after 52 minutes for a clear handball from Granit Xhaka.
Ter Stegen had done his best in the preceding attack to keep the ball, denying Goetze on two occasions, but he couldn’t prevent Mueller from dispatching the spot-kick.
Although they had improved minimally, Gladbach were certainly more aggressive going forward and Neuer had to react sharply to save from Kruse on 56 minutes.
But the home side’s best effort came after 63 minutes when Patrick Herrmann ambitiously rifled a volley from a tight angle on the right-flank, which cannoned off the inside of the post.
While Xherdan Shaqiri missed by a few millimetres, seconds later at the other end, Herrmann squandered a gaping opportunity on 65 minutes from close range.
The German U-21 international was set up perfectly by Raffael, similar to Goetze’s early strike, but the winger didn’t get any contact on the ball, as a great chance went a begging.
Substitute Claudio Pizarro passed up a fine chance with three minutes to play on the clock, as Ter Stegen only added to his fledging reputation with a super block from close range.
But as improved as the Foals were after the break, this was one-sided stuff from the all-round excellence of Bayern Munich who extended their lead over Bayer Leverkusen to 10 points, with Leverkusen travelling to Freiburg on Saturday.
- Sports & Recreation
- Bayern Munich
- Mario Goetze
- Thomas Mueller