With a number of key players injured Bayern Munich were forced to field an underpowered side against Borussia Monchengladbach, with the home side taking advantage to claim a 2-1 victory.
Bayern spent most of the match dominating possession (71 percent), but in the closing stages of an uneventful first half they were caught out. Gladbach smashed home two goals in five minutes right before halftime from a Thorgan Hazard penalty and a tap-in from Matthias Ginter.
The visitors scrambled to regain some parity in the second half, but Gladbach held tight. Bayern were simply unable to penetrate the penalty box as Gladbach’s goalkeeper stayed safe for most of the game. Die Roten were able to pull one back in the final 15 minutes of the game as Arturo Vidal drilled the ball home from outside the area but it was not enough.
Gladbach move into a Champions League spot while Bayern are still top but with only a three-point gap between them and RB Leipzig.
Bayern severely lacking in attack
Bayern’s attacking line-up against Gladbach looked completely unthreatening. Robert Lewandowski was hardly sighted and attacking midfielders hardly ever put the ball in the penalty box. With Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery injured, the same issue that has plagued Bayern for years appeared: they have no-one to replace them.
For years fans have wondered whether Bayern will ever finally replace the ageing Robben and Ribery on the wings. The Bayern management have attempted to bring in some fresh blood but most of these experiments have failed miserably due to poor performances or lack of playing time from the manager.
Now, this question is more pertinent as ever with the pair looking more fragile every season. This 2-1 loss is just a taste of what life without these wingers could be like and with the winter break approaching Bayern have ample time and money to find a high quality winger to fill the gap.
The top four spots get competitive
Bayern have maintained their position at the top of the table for a while now, but their three point lead could come under some scrutiny as the top four becomes more competitive. Schalke and Gladbach sit on 24 points but have been showing great promise and look ready to push Bayern for top spot. Leipzig sit even closer to Bayern on 26 points and are poised to overtake the Bavarians if they drop form. Dortmund also sit at fifth place but winter transfers could turn their fortunes around. Even though Bayern are sitting at the top, they are far from comfortable in the Bundesliga title race.
Gladbach claim a Champions League spot
With Dortmund in shocking form Gladbach have managed to grasp a hold on the Champions League places as they sit in fourth place ahead of the black and yellows. Their performances recently have been impressive and victory over Bayern has shown that they are ready to fight for Champions League football next season. If they manage to keep their form up, they may even be able to challenge the top spot as Bayern’s form continues to tumble in the absence of key players. Either way, Gladbach should be extremely pleased with their progress in the Bundesliga this season.