Bayern Munich continued their good run of form in the Bundesliga by clinching a crucial win over Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday. Gladbach went ahead in the first half, but Bayern bounced back well from this setback to score three goals to get all three points.
The win against Gladbach perfectly sets up Saturday’s clash against league leaders Bayer Leverkusen. Xabi Alonso’s side is currently leading Bayern by two points in the table. Before the focus turns towards the big game in Leverkusen, let us look at the key takeaways from the win against Borussia Monchengladbach.
Pavlovic giving good selection headache to Thomas Tuchel
For the second consecutive gameweek, Aleksandar Pavlovic scored the opening goal for Bayern. The 19-year-old German midfielder scored the equaliser against Borussia Monchengladbach late in the first half to make sure Bayern were level at the half-time mark.
The goal from Pavlovic is just a bonus since defensive midfielders don’t score frequently. The work he does with and without the ball in the midfield is impressive. At the age of 19, Pavlovic has shown great maturity in the five league starts for Bayern this season. He is very secure on the ball and also solid defensively to provide Die Roten steel and finesse in the center of the park. As things stand, Pavlovic is giving a good selection headache to Tuchel in the midfield department.
Leroy Sane getting back to his best ahead of big games
Leroy Sane had a quiet end to the first half of the season. The German winger has previously blown hot and cold for Bayern over the season, but he has largely been consistent this campaign. However, a quiet end to the Hinrunde did raise concerns. Tuchel was confident that Sane would begin Ruckrunde on a good note. The German winger has proved Tuchel right by delivering solid performances over the last few games.
Sane looked threatening against Borussia Monchengladbach. The German winger created three chances and had three shots on the goal. He was unfortunate to not get on the scoresheet early in the game when his shot rattled the crossbar in the fifth minute. Sane provided the assist for Matthijs de Ligt’s goal late in the game by delivering a pinpoint cross. The German winger has three assists in five games during Ruckrunde. With big games in the Bundesliga and Champions League just around the corner, Sane has regained the form he showed during the majority of the first half of the campaign.
Matthijs de Ligt making the most of a run in the starting XI
With Dayot Upamecano out due to injury and Kim Min-jae enjoying a deep run in the Asian Cup with South Korea, Matthijs de Ligt has got a significant amount of game time under his belt at the start of Ruckrunde. The Dutch defender is making the most out of these opportunities to force his way into Tuchel’s preferred starting XI.
De Ligt was flawless against Borussia Monchengladbach. He made six recoveries and four clearances in the game, which showed his anticipation of the danger in Die Roten’s third. The Dutch international was also secure in possession, completing 95% of the passes he attempted on Saturday. To put the icing on the cake, De Ligt scored the decisive third goal to seal the victory for Bayern. The Dutch defender will have a good chance of starting games regularly when other central defenders return if he continues to deliver quality performances. (Stats courtesy- Fotmob)