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Borussia M'gladbach v Bayern München Live Commentary, 20/03/2017

FT
0 - 1
BMG
FCB
T. Müller (63)
Stadion im BORUSSIA-PARK

Commentary

Bayern weren't at their best today, but they nonetheless did enough to leave with three points that keep them at the top of the table for yet another week. They now sit 13 points clear of nearest challengers Leipzig heading into their next league clash against Augsburg, meaning that, barring a disaster, the Bundesliga title is already as good as theirs.
FULL-TIME: BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH 0-1 BAYERN MUNICH
90' + 2' Late chance for Gladbach! A Raffael shot is closed down well by Thiago and fails to trouble Neuer, but the Brazilian is able to pick up the ball once again before teeing up Hazard. The Belgian fizzes a cross-cum-shot over towards the far post, but it isn't hit well enough and sails wide of the goal.
90' The fourth official has indicated that there will be two minutes of added time.
90' Tobias Strobl goes close! Raffael's cross from the set-piece is a good one and finds the head of Strobl in front of goal, but the midfielder is unable to keep his effort down and sends it a couple of yards over the top of the crossbar.
89' Raffael is bundled over from behind again and Gladbach are presented with a free-kick in an advantageous position 30 yards away from the Bayern goal. Can they make this one count?
88' Raffael's cross from the free-kick is a poor one and fails to find a Gladbach player inside the penalty area before bouncing harmlessly out of play for a goal-kick.
Javi Martínez
Yellow Card
Bayern München
87' Martinez drags Raffael to the ground midway inside the Bayern half of the pitch and gives away a free-kick in a dangerous position before receiving a yellow card that rules him out of his side's next game.
Renato Sanches
A. Robben
Bayern München
85' Renato Sanches comes on to take the place of Robben, who doesn't look at all happy at being replaced.
84' Gladbach lose the ball in the middle of the pitch and are immediately hit on a quick counter-attack by Bayern, but Muller's run into the box is slightly mistimed and means that he's flagged offside as soon as he latches on to a chipped pass from Robben.
82' Raffael almost equalises for Gladbach! Drmic muscles his way into the Bayern penalty area and towards the byline before cutting a clever pass back to Raffael, but the Brazilian is unable to guide his strike towards goal and instead sees it closed down and deflected out for a corner.
L. Bénes
A. Hahn
Borussia M'gladbach
81' Gladbach have made their final substitution of the game, with Hahn making way for Laszlo Benes.
80' Almost an own-goal from Martinez! Hazard, who has looked really dangerous since coming off the substitutes' bench, causes more problems over on the right wing before trying to tee up a team-mate with a low cross, but it deflects off Martinez's knee before looping just a yard or so over the top of the crossbar.
78' Hummels goes close! The corner is played short before a dangerous cross is fired over to the far post. It misses the outstretched foot of Lewandowski before almost finding Hummels at the back post, but he's put under good pressure and, despite his best efforts, is unable to get a shot away from a few yards out.
J. Kimmich
Xabi Alonso
Bayern München
77' Alonso receives a rousing round of applause from the Bayern fans as he's replaced by Joshua Kimmich.
77' Robben isn't at all happy with Lewandowski after the Polish striker decides to shoot from the edge of the penalty area instead of teeing up the Dutchman, who was in a really good position to his left. He was able to win his side a corner, however, presenting them with another chance to make it 2-0.
75' Hazard battles with Hummels over on the right-hand side of the penalty area before just about managing to get the better of the centre-back. He then tries to catch out the goalkeeper at the near post but is unable to do so, as his low effort is easily stopped by the Bayern goalkeeper.
J. Drmic
T. Jantschke
Borussia M'gladbach
73' Meanwhile, Gladbach have replaced Jantschke with Josip Drmic in another attacking change.
K. Coman
F. Ribéry
Bayern München
73' Bayern have decided to make their first alteration of the game, with Kingsley Coman coming on to replace Ribery.
72' Gladbach started the second half well but have struggled on the break since going behind. Not only are Bayern doing well to hold on to the ball but the home side have looked slightly rusty in possession, with several poor passes denying them the opportunity to break forward quickly.
70' Ribery and Robben play a lovely one-two between themselves before the Dutchman runs into the Gladbach box and tries to chip a shot over the head of Sommer, but it isn't hit well enough to beat the Swiss goalkeeper and he's calmly able to save the close-range effort.
68' Herrmann twists and turns over on the right-hand side of the Bayern penalty area before poking a teasing ball back towards Hazard. The Belgian is in a good position in front of goal and looks set to pull the trigger, but he's dispossessed by Hummels before he can do so.
66' Wonderful sportsmanship from Hofmann! The midfielder is brought down by what looks to be a poor sliding tackle from Thiago only to refuse the free-kick and tell the referee that it wasn't a foul. Instead, Bayern thump the ball back to Sommer and the game gets underway once again from inside the Gladbach half of the pitch.
T. Hazard
P. Herrmann
Borussia M'gladbach
64' Gladbach have made their first alteration of the evening, with Herrmann making way for Thorgan Hazard.
Thiago Alcântara
Assist
Bayern München
63' That was a brilliant cross from Thiago to pick out Muller in front of goal, but he arguably should have been closed down better by the Gladbach midfielders, who failed to close down the Spaniard on the edge of the penalty area.
T. Müller
Goal
Bayern München
63' GOAL! Bayern have taken the lead! Thiago cuts inside from the left wing on a great run before chipping a beautiful pass into the heart of the Gladbach box. Muller skips past both Wendt and Vestergaard before meeting the ball, and he controls it well before lifting a lovely shot into the back of the net from close range.
62' Inches away by Raffael! The striker, who has spent most of the afternoon away from the ball, picks up possession just outside of the Bayern penalty area before unleashing a thumping strike, and it's one that bounces just wide of the near post after beating the outstretched limbs of Neuer.
61' Bayern are still really struggling to cause problems inside the final third of the pitch. This time it's Muller who brings a promising attacking move to a disappointing end with a curling cross from the left flank that sails harmlessly out of play for a goal-kick.
59' Another chance for Lewandowski! Muller slips into the right-hand side of the Gladbach penalty area before firing a low cross straight into the path of Lewandowski. The striker meets the ball well before trying to flick it into the bottom left-hand corner of the net, but his effort is slightly scuffed and fails to result in the opening goal for Bayern.
57' Lahm is left in a pocket of space over on the right wing and does well to curl a quick cross right on to the head of Robben. The attacking midfielder is unable to guide his effort on target, however, allowing Sommer to watch the ball sail well wide of the goal.
Xabi Alonso
Yellow Card
Bayern München
56' Robben cuts inside from the right wing before trying to set up Muller just inside the Gladbach box, but he's unable to make decent contact with the ball and loses out to Hahn. The forward then flies forward on a quick run down the left flank, but it's stopped by a cynical challenge from Alonso that results in a yellow card for the Spaniard.
54' Raffael battles hard with Lahm over on the left wing and does well to force the full-back into conceding a free-kick in a dangerous position. Raffael drives in a low strike that's deflected out to Hofmann, and the midfielder then slices his first-time follow-up shot well wide of the goal.
52' Neuer sweeps up the danger! Bayern lose the ball in the middle of the pitch and a lofted pass is thumped forward towards Hahn. The forward sprints towards the loose ball and looks set to reach it just outside of the visitors' box, but he's beaten to it by Neuer at the vital moment.
50' Great run by Raffael! A poor low cross from Lahm is easily cut out by the Brazilian, allowing him to fly forward on a quick counter-attack. He's put under pressure by Ribery and is forced out wide, but, with the Frenchman and Alonso closing him down, nonetheless does well to win the home side a throw-in near to the corner flag.
48' Great interception by Christensen! Thiago darts towards the Gladbach penalty area before trying to play a quick one-two with Robben, but as soon as he's about to receive the ball back, the Spaniard is beaten to it by an outstretched foot from Christensen.
46' We're underway once again!
The two teams are making their way back out on to the pitch ahead of the start of the second half. Neither side have made any substitutions during the half-time break.
That was an excellent first half from Gladbach, who will certainly be the happier of the two sides. They've done really well to defend diligently against Bayern, who, bar a couple of good opportunities, have struggled to create many chances in front of goal. Robben went closest to scoring with a beautiful long-range effort before Lewandowski was denied from six yards out, but, either side of that, it was slightly underwhelming from the league leaders.
HALF-TIME: BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH 0-0 BAYERN MUNICH
45' Bayern push forward on one last attack as they try to build on their last chance on goal, but they're unable to do so quickly enough due to more strong defending from the home side and the referee eventually brings an end to what has been an entertaining first half.
44' Robben hits the crossbar! The Dutchman unleashes a wonderful strike that looks set for the back of the net, but it smashes off the woodwork after leaving Sommer rooted to the spot. The ball then bounces over to Lewandowski, who manages to send a diving header back towards goal, but the Gladbach goalkeeper pulls off another great save to deny the Polish striker the opening goal of the game.
42' Lewandowski hasn't looked at his best this afternoon, and he seems to be struggling to get the better of the Gladbach centre-backs. His runs into the box haven't been as good as they usually are, whilst his finishing looks a little rusty.
40' Gladbach push forward on a rare foray into the Bayern half of the pitch and win themselves a corner over on the right wing. Raffael steps up and curls a dangerous cross over to Hahn at the far post, but the latter is unable to make decent contact with the ball due to good defending from Lewandowski.
38' Another brilliant save by Sommer! Robben and Lewandowski link up really well on the edge of the Gladbach penalty area before the latter tees up Muller. The forward only has Sommer to beat, but the Swiss goalkeeper pulls off a wonderful stop with an outstretched foot to deny the visitors the first goal of the game.
36' After bringing an end to yet another Bayern attack, Gladbach hit their opponents on a swift counter-attack down the right flank. Hofmann darts into the visitors' half of the pitch on a marauding run before finding Hahn, but the forward brings an end to a promising attacking move with a poorly hit shot from 30 yards out.
34' It's been a good first half for Gladbach so far. The hosts are doing well to sit deep and soak up the pressure whenever Bayern push forward, and they've also managed to look dangerous on the counter when presented with opportunities to break away quickly.
32' Bayern go close! The visitors cause the Gladbach defenders more problems as they pile plenty of bodies forward. A cross from Lahm fails to find a team-mate before deflecting back to Thiago, who then chips a beautiful cross straight on to the chest of Alaba. The full-back brings the ball down and quickly pokes it over to Ribery, and the linesman's flag is raised before he can get a shot away.
30' Xabi Alonso sends a clever lofted pass over to the right-hand side of the Gladbach penalty area and into the feet of Lahm, but the latter's first touch is poor and he ends up firing the ball out for a goal-kick before he can get it under control.
28' Decent strike by Wendt! The Swedish full-back is left in a pocket of space deep down the left wing as he darts towards the Bayern box. He eventually decides to shoot after reaching the penalty area and almost catches out Manuel Neuer, but his effort flies the wrong side of the near post and into the side-netting.
26' Hummels fires a great cross-field pass over to the left wing, where it finds Alaba near to the byline. The full-back does well to keep the ball in play before cutting inside and picking out Muller, but the forward is unable to continue the move and instead loses out to a group of white and black shirts.
24' Big miss by Lewandowski! Jantschke is caught in possession in the middle of the pitch and allows Bayern to break away on a quick counter-attack. Lewandowski darts into the left-hand side of the box and only has Sommer to beat, but he holds on to it for slightly too long before side-footing his shot straight into the chest of the goalkeeper.
22' Chance for Mats Hummels! The corner is swung towards the edge of the six-yard box and finds Hummels in a good position, but he's put under pressure by Andreas Christensen and ends up sending his glancing header a few yards wide of the far post.
21' A mistake by Herrmann gifts the ball to Ribery, who then pokes a clever pass into the penalty area and towards Alaba. The full-back is in a great position and looks set to tee up Lewandowski, but Herrmann does really well to dart back and concede a corner with a much-needed sliding tackle.
19' Bayern are dominating possession at the moment but they're struggling to do much with it. This time it's Lahm who swings a cross into the Gladbach box as he attempts to set up Lewandowski, but, not for the first time this afternoon, it's overhit and underwhelming.
17' Excellent opportunity for Lewandowski! The striker holds up the ball well midway inside the Gladbach half of the pitch before spinning and finding Muller. The latter charges down the right wing and picks out Ribery with a smart cross, allowing the Frenchman to then chip the ball back over to Lewandowski. The Poland international is in a great position in front of goal and only has Sommer to beat, but, slightly off balance, he can only send his headed effort looping over the top of the crossbar.
15' Another patient Bayern attack sees Robben and Lahm link up well deep down the right flank before the Dutchman swings a dangerous cross into the heart of the Gladbach penalty area. It's unable to find Lewandowski in front of goal, however, as the ball misses the Polish striker by a yard or so.
13' Vital tackle by Thiago Alcantara! Gladbach break forward on another dangerous counter-attack after bringing a Bayern attacking move to an end, with Hofmann leading the way. He flies through the middle of the pitch on a marauding run before looking to shoot from the edge of the penalty area, but just as he's about to do so, he's dispossessed from behind by an excellent interception from Thiago.
11' Robben jogs down the right wing as he waits for Muller, and he then pulls off a great through-ball to find the German. He's alone in a pocket of space and has a great opportunity to set up Franck Ribery with a low cross over to the left-hand side of the box, but Patrick Herrmann sticks out a foot to beat the Frenchman to the ball.
9' Hofmann darts forward on a great run as he weaves his way towards the Bayern box. He then picks out Raffael, who quickly spins round his marker before teeing up Wendt over on the left wing, but the full-back's cross into the middle of the penalty area is poor and fails to find a white and black shirt.
7' A patient passing move from Bayern ends with Philipp Lahm, who then whips a dangerous cross into the Gladbach penalty area. It looks set to find Robert Lewandowski in front of goal, but Jannik Vestergaard sticks out a foot to make sure it doesn't.
5' More nervy moments for Bayern! The corner causes all sorts of problems for the visitors, who are unable to clear the danger from their own penalty area. The ball pinballs around in front of goal before falling to Jantschke, but just as he's about to shoot, the midfielder is eventually closed down by Javi Martinez.
4' Another good opportunity for Gladbach! A low cross from Oscar Wendt isn't dealt with well enough by the Bayern defence, allowing it to bounce out to Jonas Hofmann, who takes a quick touch before shooting. The effort is closed down and loops over to Tony Jantschke, who then fires a cross off David Alaba and out for a corner.
3' After dealing with another dangerous attacking move from Bayern, Gladbach are able to push forward on their first attack of the game. Andre Hahn gets himself into a good position just outside of the visitors' penalty area and tries to muscle his way towards goal, but he's crowded out by red shirts and is quickly dispossessed.
2' Early chance for Bayern! Thomas Muller causes plenty of problems for the Gladbach defence as he bursts into the box and shoots. He's unable to hit the target but the ball bounces back to Arjen Robben, who unleashes a strike of his own that's well saved by Yann Sommer at the near post.
1' We're off! Bayern get us underway, attacking from right to left.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
Meanwhile, Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti has made just two alterations to the team that featured in their last outing, with Arturo Vidal and Douglas Costa making way for Xabi Alonso and Franck Ribery.
Dieter Hecking has decided to make four changes to the Gladbach side that started the draw against Schalke during the week, with Nico Elvedi, Tobias Strobl, Jonas Hofmann and Andre Hahn coming into the starting line-up to replace Mahmoud Dahoud, Christoph Kramer, Fabian Johnson and Josip Drmic, respectively.
Bayern Munich substitutes: Ulreich, Rafinha, Bernat, Boateng, Sanches, Kimmich, Coman.
Bayern Munich XI: Neuer; Lahn, Martinez, Hummels, Alaba; Thiago, Alonso; Robben, Muller, Ribery; Lewandowski.
Borussia Monchengladbach substitutes: Sippel, Kolodziejczak, Benes, Schulz, Korb, Hazard, Drmic.
Borussia Monchengladbach XI (4-4-2): Sommer; Elvedi, Christensen, Vestergaard, Wendt; Herrmann, Jantschke, Strobl, Hofmann; Hahn, Raffael.
There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this afternoon...
Despite winning eight of their previous nine games whilst also being unbeaten since November, Bayern have traditionally struggled against Gladbach whenever the two teams meet. They won the last meeting between the sides back in November but hadn’t previously beaten their opponents in a competitive game since January 2014, with today’s hosts winning 3-1 in last season’s corresponding fixture.
As for Bayern, they’ll be aiming to take advantage of a potentially tired Gladbach side to extend their lead at the top of the table to 13 points. Out-of-form RB Leipzig, the reigning champion’s only serious challengers, lost again yesterday, meaning that another victory here today would all but guarantee that the league title will be returning to Munich.
Gladbach’s tiring recent schedule could cause them problems today in what will be their fourth game in just under a week and a half. A slightly shaky performance against Hamburg in their last Bundesliga clash resulted in them losing 2-1 away to the struggling side, and all of their next six league games will see them take on teams that currently sit above them in the table.
After suffering a disappointing first half of the season, Gladbach are slowly but surely dragging themselves back up the Bundesliga table under the watchful eye of new boss Dieter Hecking. The former Wolfsburg manager has lost just twice in the league since taking charge of the Foals, although a disappointing night against Schalke on Thursday saw them crash out of the Europa League on away goals.
Good afternoon and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s Bundesliga game between Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayern Munich at the Borussia-Park.