On Matchday 20 of the Bundesliga campaign, Bayern Munich hosted Borussia Monchengladbach. A club that has earned the title as Bayern's bogie team, it has been a struggle for the Bavarian side to walk away with three points when playing against M'gladbach. However, in their meeting earlier this season, Bayern was finally able to come away with the win, and they were surely aiming to repeat that outcome on Saturday.
After Gladbach held league-leaders Bayer Leverkusen to a draw last weekend, Bayern came into this game just two points behind Xabi Alonso's team. A win on Saturday was crucial for Die Roten to remain in touching distance of Bayer Leverkusen ahead of next weekend's top-of-the-table clash.
From kickoff, Bayern's forwards were putting pressure on the visitors. It only took them five minutes to create their chance with Leroy Sane hitting the crossbar. Just moments later, Thomas Muller played Sane directly in front of the goal but the German winger was again not as clinical as he would like. Trying to chip the M'gladbach keeper, Sane sent the ball soaring wide left.
After 25 minutes of excellent offensive passage and pure dominance on the attack, Bayern outnumbered M'gladbach's shot tally- seven shots to zero, showing that Bayern might have finally gotten that attacking spark back that they desperately needed.
The 30th minute saw Bayern's best chance in the first half. After Jamal Musiala was taken down just a few yards outside of the box, Bayern was awarded a freekick in an excellent position. With Harry Kane and Sane lined up over the ball, Kane sent his shot barrelling toward the top right corner, only to draw an incredible save from M'gladbach's Moritz Nicolas.
A great passage of defending from hosts, including a goal-line clearance from Eric Dier-- who made his first Bundesliga start at Allianz Arena-- was all for nothing after a botched pass from Manuel Neuer was intercepted and slotted into the back of the net by Nico Elvedi to break the deadlock. However, Bayern were able to rally back right before the halftime whistle.
In the 44th minute, Bayern were able to bring things level once again with a goal from Aleksandar Pavlovic. The Munich-born youngster bagged the first home goal of his career, stemming from a brilliantly pass from Muller.
The opening stages of the second half seemed to be very slow compared to the excitement of the first half. Besides maintaining the bulk of possession, no true chances were created until Harry Kane scored the decisive second goal in the 70th minute. Leon Goretzka sent a swooping ball toward goal, attempting to find the head of Muller. Muller was able to stop Nicolas from collecting the ball, which allowed Kane to pounce on the rebound. The English forward calmly headed the ball into the net. A classic case of being in the right place at the right time.
Bayern were able to officially seal the game by scoring the third goal late in the game. After being awarded a free kick roughly 25 yards out, Sane stepped up to deliver the cross in the box. Sane perfectly found Matthijs de Ligt in the box. The Dutch defender met the cross with a powerful header that stood no chance of getting saved. A terrific effort and a solid performance from the hosts to get a 3-1 win.
After collecting a much-needed three points, it all comes down to Bayern's matchup against Bayer Leverkusen next week. The winner of that matchup will take the top spot in the points table and become strong favorites to be crowned Bundesliga champions. This battle between first and second will take place on February 10.