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3rd of March 2019

Javi on-fire as FCB thrash Borussia (1-5)

Javi on-fire as FCB thrash Borussia (1-5)

FC Bayern downed Borussia Mönchengladbach 5-1 on Saturday evening, drawing level on points with Borussia Dortmund. Javi Martínez and Thomas Müller handed Bayern an early two-goal lead, Lars Stindl pulling one back before half-time in a highly entertaining top clash that lived up to its billing. Robert Lewandowski twisted the knife early after the restart, Gnabry adding his name to the scoresheet with a quarter-hour to go and Lewandowski converting from the spot in injury time.

The Bavarians started with Manuel Neuer between the sticks and Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Süle, Jérôme Boateng and Rafinha in a back four. Martínez and Thiago featured in a twin holding role behind Müller, James and Gnabry, with Lewandowski as lone striker. Renato Sanches, Alphonso Davies and Wooyeong Jeong took over from James, Gnabry and Müller in the closing stages.

Early lead

The 46,287 full house in Mönchengladbach saw the Bavarians go straight onto the front foot and take an early lead through Martínez, who glanced a James corner into the roof of the net. Bayern were clinical in the opening stages, their dominance yielding a second goal ten minutes later. A Gnabry cross found Müller, who drew a fine save from Gladbach netminder Yann Sommer, but the native Bavarian was on hand to convert the rebound. The hosts went looking for a reply, Michael Lang firing wide.

The contest was evenly-balaced now, with golden opportunities at either side. Alassane Pléa had the ball in the back of the net but was flagged offside. Sommer, who turned in an impressive display, made a fine save against Lewandowski, who soon fired wide. Gnabry drew two saves from Sommer, but Stindl pulled one back after the half-hour, beating Neuer from tight angle. Martínez and Süle saw their headers saved before match official Felix Zwayer blew for half-time.

Emphatic second half

The second half started as the first one had. James will have been disappointed not to do better from close range seconds after the restart, but Lewandowski soon blasted home from 12 yards. Munich were increasingly content to sit on their lead now, Oscar Wendt miscuing a free-kick before sub Denis Zakaria fired wide.

Bayern upped the ante again in the last 20 minutes, and Lewandowski forced Sommer into yet another fine save, Gnabry capitalising on the following mix-up and smashing home. Sommer proved equal to Jeong, but Bayern were awarded a penalty when Kimmich was upended in the box, Lewandowski proving a cool customer from the spot before referee Zwayer put the hosts out of their misery.

The result means Bayern have 54 points from 24 matches, equal on points with Dortmund, who lost to Augsburg on Friday. The German record champions will be back in action next Saturday, when they entertain Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga.

- Match stats:

Borussia Mönchengladbach: Sommer – Lang (76', Johnson), Ginter, Elvedi, Wendt – Neuhaus (65', Zakaria), Kramer, Hofmann (72' Raffael) – Hazard, Stindl, Pléa

FC Bayern: Neuer – Kimmich, Süle, Boateng, Rafinha – Martínez, Thiago – Müller (86', Jeong), James (80', Sanches), Gnabry (83', Davies) – Lewandowski

Referee: Felix Zwayer (Berlin)

Attendance: 46.287 (Full)

Goals: 0-1 Martínez (2'); 0-2 Müller (11'); 1-2 Stind (37'); 1-3 Lewandowski (47'); 1-4 Gnabry (75').

Bookings: Hofmann, Kramer / Boateng, Thiago

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