Bayern Munich hosted Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday. Three important points were at stake for both teams. For the league leaders, it was about winning a match after two consecutive Bundesliga draws and getting some breathing room at the top of the league.
For their visitors, points were necessary to leave the mid table places and stay in touch with at least the top six. They had to do so without a number of key players, out though injury. Two of the biggest of them were Thorgan Hazard and Brazilian star Raffael.
This prevented them from playing the fast counterattacking style, that most other teams in the league fear most about them.
Without that element to their game, Gladbach was largely harmless in the attaching third and lost the game 2-0.
The goals came relatively early, via a headed goal by Arturo Vidal and a nice finish by Douglas Costa, which he set up himself with his chest. In the second half, Bayern no longer cared to dominate, while Gladbach failed to take advantage of their passive opponents.
The defining moment of the match came in the 71st minute, when the visitors had their only chance to score, but André Hahn only hit the post. Had that ball gone in, who knows how the lately so insecure Bavarians would have reacted and what turn the game could have taken. (The move starts around 55 seconds into the video.)
Man of the Match
The scorer of the second goal, Douglas Costa was the best player on the field. He embodied the dominance of Bayern Munich, especially in the first half. Costa, much like his teammate Arjen Robben is still slowly coming back from an injury and yet, he performed excellently here.
According to the league’s official website, Costa had three shots on goal and won 62% of his individual duels. The latter is an excellent statistic for any offensive player.
For Gladbach, this defeat has the consequence of putting them down to tenth in the table. But they are still well within reach of the European places, considering the early stage of the season and the relative weakness of many of the teams above them.
From Bayern Munich’s point of view any talk of crisis is now clearly over.