The top of the table clash between FC Bayern and Borussia Mönchengladbach would prove to be just that – with both sides slugging it out but unable to provide a knockout blow in ninety minutes of pulsating football. This was a game that proved that a 0-0 stalemate can be exciting, and in a well-balanced encounter a draw was arguably the right result.
Both teams would come into this Spitzenspiel on the back of big European wins in midweek – with Bayern thrashing AS Roma 7-1 and Gladbach registering a 5-0 win over Cypriot side Apollon Limassol. Bayern coach Pep Guardiola would again make changes to the starting eleven that had triumphed in Rome, with the biggest change being the rested Arjen Robben. Brazilian Rafinha meanwhile would come into the back four for Jérome Boateng.
The first half would be an even affair, and Bayern would come close to taking the lead on the ten minute mark when an almost perfect strike from David Alaba was smartly deflected onto the woodwork by Foals’ Swiss ‘keeper Yann Sommer. As usual Die Roten would boss the possession and passing stats – dominating their opponents with seventy-five percent of the ball – but the home side would repeatedly threaten on the counterattack. One such move from André Hahn would set up Max Kruse, but Bayern ‘keeper Manuel Neuer would position himself brilliantly to deny the Gladbach striker.
Bayern would come close courtesy of a deflected Robert Lewandowski effort four minutes before half-time, but overall compared to the previous goal fests against Bremen and Roma it had been a severe test against well-drilled and disciplined opponents.
The second half would see little from the Bayern front line in spite of their continued possession, and Lucien Favre’s side would create the better chances – only to come up against the in-form Neuer. Kruse would be denied again after fifty-two minutes, and just six minutes later the Bayern ‘keeper would be on hand to keep out an effort from Patrick Herrmann. Juan Bernat would hit the side netting from a tight angle as the play quickly switched to the other end, and with twelve minutes left on the clock Neuer would be called into action yet again to keep out a shot from Brazilian Raffael.
Bayern had ‘keeper Manuel Neuer to thank for producing a series of excellent saves
Bayern would continue to chase hard until the end with Claudio Pizarro almost creating a dramatic winner, but the final moments of the game would largely be remembered for a frustrated Guardiola’s almost comedic attempts to curry favour with fourth official Bibiana Steinhaus.
The result takes Bayern onto twenty-one points from their nine games – maintaining their four-point advantage over Gladbach who were joined on seventeen points by VfL Wolfsburg and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
1. Bundesliga, Week 9
Borussia-Park, Mönchengladbach, 26.10.2014
Borussia Mönchengladbach 0:0 (0:0) FC Bayern
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Mönchengladbach: Sommer – Korb, Stranzl (c), Alvaro Dominguez, Wendt – Kramer, Xhaka – Hahn (81. Traoré), Herrmann (81. Johnson) – Raffael (90. Hazard) – Kruse
FC Bayern: Neuer – Rafinha (66. Ribéry), Benatia, Dante, Bernat – Alonso – Lahm (c), Alaba – Götze (83. Shaqiri) – Müller (75. Pizarro), Lewandowski
Yellow Cards: Wendt / Götze, Dante, Benatia