Julian Nagelsmann was without a number of key players on Friday evening, with Kingsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso, Manuel Neuer, Alphonso Davies, Leroy Sane, Lucas Hernandez, Dayot Upamecano and Tanguy Nianzou all missing the match after testing positive for COVID-19.
The Bavarians actually took the lead after 18 minutes
Bayern Munich allowed Borussia Dortmund back into a position of strength in the Bundesliga title race, with the leaders slipping to a 2-1 home defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday. Julian Nagelsmann was without a number of key players on Friday evening, with Kingsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso, Manuel Neuer, Alphonso Davies, Leroy Sane, Lucas Hernandez, Dayot Upamecano and Tanguy Nianzou all missing the match after testing positive for COVID-19. Leon Goretzka’s continued absence caused further problems for the former RB Leipzig coach, with the German international still struggling with a hip ailment. Despite these absences, Bayern Munich actually took the lead after 18 minutes, with Robert Lewandowski responding to news he had made the FIFA shortlist for The Best award by firing a powerful shot just inside the right post.
For Gladbach, the victory fires them into 11th place
With no fans present to celebrate as Germany continues to battle against the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus, Borussia Monchengladbach launched a battle of their own. The visitors are braced for Denis Zakaria to leave the club, and he wasn’t even in the squad on Friday. Yet, a midfield of Florian Neuhaus, Christoph Kramer and Luca Netz managed to complete an unlikely turnaround. Gladbach hit the equaliser less than 10 minutes after falling behind as Neuhaus shot home from close range after falling to a rebound which Bayern Munich failed to clear. In the blink of an eye, it was 2-1 to Borussia Monchengladbach when Stefan Lainer jumped high above all the surrounding defenders to nod the ball into the corner of the net and put the visitors ahead.
The Bavarian giants will kick themselves for the chances they missed before the full-time whistle, with Thomas Muller hitting a shot straight at a prone defender just before the break, whilst Lewandowski spurned a one-on-one in injury time of the first half. Jamal Musiala was denied spectacularly on the hour, with Yann Sommer making a spectacular save, turning the ball behind for a corner. Bayern’s lead at the summit of the Bundesliga table is now nine points, although they have left Borussia Dortmund with a game in hand, meaning it could be down to six by the end of the weekend. For Monchengladbach, the victory fires them into 11th place, but crucially they are now five points adrift of the drop zone, giving the team a degree of breathing space as we head into the coldest part of winter.