Bayern Munich overcame their old enemies Borussia Mönchengladbach with a hard fought 2-1 victory. After a cagey opening 30 minutes, Bayern would find themselves undone from a Gladbach corner. Maximilian Wöber’s flicked header would find the unmarked Ko Itakura, whose looping header nestled into the far corner to give the Foals a well earned half-time lead.
However, Bayern’s dominance in the second-half would eventually pay off, as Joshua Kimmich’s delightful ball would be tucked away by Leroy Sané just before the hour mark. Mathys Tel would secure a late winner for Thomas Tuchel’s side, who have shown that they are certainly not the finished product. Nevertheless, a first victory against Die Fohlen in six competitive games will delight the Bayern faithful. As for Gladbach, the result will hurt, but they have shown signs of improvement and that this season may not be as nail-biting as first feared.
Leroy Sané is Bayern’s saviour
Leroy Sané has started this season in spectacular style. Two goals on matchday one saw the 27-year-old steal the headlines away from Harry Kane on his Bundesliga debut. While matchday two would not prove to be so lucrative, he would still complete more successful dribbles than any other Bayern player.
Consistency has plagued Sané’s career with Die Rekordmeister, and knowing that there is a highly talented player wanting to shine through has often been the frustration of many Bayern fans. However, so far this campaign, Sané looks to be a rejuvenated player.
While the rest of the Bayern squad struggled to break down a stubborn Gladbach backline, Sané often found himself finding more luck than his compatriots. A near stunning solo effort in the first half would be made up for by a well-timed run and delicate finish prior to the hour mark. It offered Bayern a route back into a game they looked out of and a remarkable return of nine successful dribbles proved his worth to Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Borussia Mönchengladbach show signs of improvement
An enthralling 4-4 draw with Augsburg on matchday one may have made for phenomenal viewing for the spectating neutrals, but for Gladbach, early alarm bells would have been violently ringing. While on matchday two, the Foals would be dismantled by Xabi Alonso’s captivating Bayer Leverkusen side.
It would be significantly hard to find a Gladbach fan who believed at the start of this season that Die Fohlen would rise back into European contention; a season of transition for Gerardo Seoane and his disciples. However, with a performance of that ilk against Bayern, could Gladbach be heading into a more positive direction?
Defensively, the Foals were disciplined and compact. Bayern struggled to find any sense of rhythm, and when they did find moments in which they could penetrate the Gladbach backline, Moritz Nicolas would prove to be in inspired form. While on their fleeting visits towards Sven Ulreich’s goal, they appeared direct and threatening. The result will frustrate Seoane, but after a frustrating start to the campaign, there were certainly positive signs for the head coach to build upon.
Will Bayern’s failure to sign key players cost them?
It has been a rather indifferent summer transfer window for Bayern Munich. While on one hand, the acquisition of Harry Kane will undoubtedly be considered as a roaring success for those at the Säbener Straße, the failure to sign key players in midfield and defence would have frustrated the Bayern board.
A deal for Fulham’s João Palhinha collapsed at the final hour, and the sale of Ryan Gravenberch and Benjamin Pavard has left Thomas Tuchel with a lot of thinking to do as he figures out how to adjust his side until at least January. While few will claim that Die Rekordmeister lack quality, what was evident against Gladbach, was just how little inspiration they could turn to. Raphaël Guerreiro and Jamal Musiala will return by the end of the month, but no side can go a full season without suffering from injuries.
A severe lack of options across the pitch could cost Bayern come the end of the season. Mathys Tel may have provided salvation for Die Rekordmeister, but can they consistently rely upon the 18-year-old? League rivals such as Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig have a plethora of support waiting in the wings and it could come back to haunt the German champions. For a side hoping to compete on three fronts, only time will tell, but Bayern could look towards January as a pivotal point in their season.
GGFN | Will Shopland