After reducing the deficit against Bayer Leverkusen to two points, Bayern Munich hosted Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday. Despite conceding the game’s first goal, Bayern pulled off a 3-1 victory to remain in touching distance of the top spot. The win against Gladbach sets up a mouth-watering clash with the league leaders at the BayArena on February 10. Let us look at three players who inspired a terrific comeback victory against Gladbach.
Aleksandar Pavlovic delivered a man-of-the-match performance against Gladbach. In his fifth Bundesliga start, the German Under-20 international once again displayed a keen sense of positioning throughout the game which helped Bayern to dictate the play in midfield. The defensive-midfielder completed an impressive 97% of his passes (70/72). Pavlovic was perfect with his crosses (3/3) and also found his man with both of his attempted long-range passes.
For the second game in succession, the 19-year-old midfielder scored Bayern’s opening goal. His strike, just before half-time, which drew Die Roten level with the opposition would have warmed the hearts of the Bavarian faithful since it was his first goal at Allianz Arena. The manner in which Pavlovic picked the moment to stride forward and join the attack before blasting home the equalizer was reminiscent of a certain Bastian Schweinsteiger. Having not been able to secure that desired new number six, Thomas Tuchel can continue to breathe a sigh of relief courtesy of Pavlovic.
Whether or not Harry Kane manages to surpass or equal the Bundesliga single-season goal-scoring record is really and truly a moot point. Throughout the season despite not always getting many touches the England Captain continues to find ways to score and impact the game.
Against Gladbach, Kane had just 43 touches during 90 minutes. Despite few touches, he still managed to draw two sharp saves from Gladbach’s custodian Moritz Nicolas before scoring Bayern’s second goal with an opportunistic header midway through the second half. Typical of the star-striker, Kane dropped deep at times to create space for others to flourish in attack and was successful with two of his three attempted long-range passes. England’s record- goalscorer also won three of his six ground duels.
Matthijs de Ligt
It’s no secret that Matthijs de Ligt is not Thomas Tuchel’s first-choice central defender. However, since the Dutch international’s return to action from his most recent bout with injury, Tuchel is no doubt grateful for De Ligt's efforts in defense and attack.
De Ligt looked the part against Monchengladbach alongside newcomer Eric Dier in the heart of the defense. The Dutch defender was composed at the back as reflected in his 95% pass completion rate (91/96). His sense of positioning was key in limiting the opposition to just three shots on target. The 24-year-old managed to cap a fine performance by scoring Bayern’s third goal with a bullet header, moments before the final whistle, to put the outcome beyond doubt. (All stats courtesy: Sofascore)