Bayern Munich – Borussia Mönchengladbach: Late Goretzka Goal Dents Mönchengladbach’s Top Four Hopes (2-1)
An error-filled game at the Allianz Arena finished in a win for the home side after Leon Goretzka tapped in Benjamin Pavard’s low cross with just four minutes left. The result puts Bayern within one win of an eighth consecutive Bundesliga title, while leaving Gladbach’s hopes of returning to the Champions League hanging in the balance.
Tactical analysis and match report by Manasvin Andra.
Bayern’s scintillating form since the return of the Bundesliga meant that they were favourites in the run-up to this match. However, suspensions handed out to Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller complicated matters for the defending champions. Faced with this handicap, manager Hansi Flick made four changes to the side that beat Bayer Leverkusen, with Lucas Hernández replacing Alphonso Davies at left back, Mickaël Cuisance replacing Müller in attack and Ivan Perišić coming in for Kingsley Coman on the wing. Further, Joshua Zirkzee was chosen in place of the suspended Lewandowski, ahead of highly touted prospects Oliver Batista-Meier and Kwasi Wriedt.
With inconsistency stripping away any championship aspirations, Gladbach have narrowed their focus to finishing in the top four, though even that hope was dented with last week’s loss to Freiburg. With key player Alassane Pléa suspended for the game, Marcus Thuram was played up top, supported by the attacking trio of Jonas Hofmann, Lars Stindl and Patrick Herrmann. Behind them sat the double pivot Two central midfielders next to . . .