Monchengladbach shock leaders Bayern with comeback win
Berlin (Germany), January 9: Front runner Bayern Munich dropped points after giving away a two-goal lead to Borussia Monchengladbach at the opener of the 15th round in Bundesliga on Friday.
The German record champion established a two-goal advantage within 26 minutes, and it looked like Hansi Flick's men had already paved the way for the win but a first-half brace from Jonas Hofmann and the early second-half winner from Florian Neuhaus helped the "Foals" to secure all three points on home soil.
Bayern took the reins from the kick-off and enjoyed greater possession but for all that the visitors lacked in penetration, whereas Monchengladbach kept all its men behind the ball and focussed on fast breaks.
The Bavarians eventually opened the scoring with 20 minutes played when Florian Neuhaus committed a handball inside the box. Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski stepped up and made no mistake to score his 20th goal of the season after sending Monchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer the wrong way.
Only six minutes later, Bayern made it two as Leon Goretzka drilled the ball from 18 meters past Sommer.
The "Foals" looked to be down and out with only 26 minutes gone but Marco Rose's men responded well and forced a turnover to catch Bayern flat-footed in the 36th minute when Lars Stindl's perfectly timed through ball allowed Hofmann to halve the deficit.
Monchengladbach gained momentum and realized it was able to put Bayern under pressure during its build-up. Stindl dispossessed Joshua Kimmich in the midfield and sent Hofmann, who overcame onrushing Neuer in a one-on-one to level the scores just before half time.
After the restart, Monchengladbach grabbed a fairy tale start into the encounter as Neuhaus made reparations for his first-half handball after hammering the ball from the edge of the box into the top right corner with 49 minutes played.
Bayern tried to turn up, but the German giants were unable to overcome Monchengladbach's well-positioned defense for a third time.
With the result, leaders Bayern Munich suffer its second loss of the season while 7th placed Borussia Monchengladbach reduce the arrears to the top six.
"Monchengladbach staged a very efficient performance today. We dominated the first 30 minutes, but we did not defend very well. We made too many mistakes and Monchengladbach made the most of it," Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick said.
"We are of course proud and delighted with the performance and the result, but we have to continue to play like this," Borussia Monchengladbach's head coach Marco Rose said.
The following fixtures are scheduled for Saturday: bottom side Schalke host Hoffenheim, Freiburg see Cologne, third-placed Bayer Leverkusen face Werder Bremen, Mainz take on Eintracht Frankfurt, Union Berlin clash with Wolfsburg, and runner up Leipzig encounter Borussia Dortmund.