Bayern Munich showed no sign of their recent struggles against Borussia Monchengladbach as they romped to a 2-0 victory in the Bundesliga.
Gladbach had been unbeaten in their last four meetings with the league leaders and delayed their title celebrations towards the end of last term, but there was no joy on Saturday.
Instead, it was hosts Bayern celebrating as Arturo Vidal and Douglas Costa took advantage of some sloppy defending to give Carlo Ancelotti’s side a two-goal cushion after half an hour.
Vidal’s powerful header gave Yann Sommer no chance in the Gladbach goal and Costa also netted on his first league start of the season.
Having dominated the opening period, the second half lacked a similar intensity as Bayern cruised to the win, with Andre Hahn having Gladbach’s best attempt only to be denied by the crossbar.
Victory extends Bayern’s lead at the summit to three points from Hertha Berlin – who beat Cologne 2-1 – while Gladbach remain stationed in mid-table.
The lively Arjen Robben posed the greatest threat in the opening exchanges as he glided past defenders when cutting in from the right, although his two attempts were poorly executed.
Full-back Rafinha was also off target after nine minutes when his volley rustled the side-netting after neatly lifting the ball over Jannik Vestergaard inside the penalty area.
Any wastefulness from the hosts was rendered irrelevant in the 16th minute as Vidal ghosted in between Nico Elvedi and Julian Korb to place a bullet header beyond Sommer – the keeper only able to get fingertips to the Chilean’s effort.
Bayern’s lead was doubled just after the half hour as Costa beat Sommer with a low drive, with Gladbach’s defending again far from impressive.
Robben and David Alaba worked an opening on the left before the latter delivered a deep cross that eventually found its way to Costa – Oscar Wendt having slipped when trying to clear – and the Brazilian made no mistake, celebrating the goal by taking a selfie with a fan in the crowd.
Not much changed after the restart as Gladbach gave up a lot of possession to their hosts, limiting their openings to rare counter attacks that failed to even worry Manuel Neuer.
As the hour approached Robben should have got the goal his performance deserved as a low Costa cross found him unmarked inside the penalty area.
However, instead of taking a touch, he shot first time and blazed over.
And Gladbach nearly made them pay after 71 minutes as Hahn rattled the woodwork with an acrobatic effort from Korb’s deep cross – the visitors’ first and only shot to worry Neuer.
It failed to spark a Gladbach recovery, though, as Bayern ended their run of successive draws in the league with a comfortable win – while also being able to bring Costa and Robben off as they continue to make their way back after injury.
Key Opta stats:
– Bayern celebrated their 50th win against Monchengladbach in their 104th competitive meeting (in professional football) with them.
– Monchengladbach have failed to score in three Bundesliga games in a row, which last happened to them in April 2007 (4 games in a row without a goal).
– Thomas Muller appeared in his 365th competitive game for Bayern Munich, drawing level with Hasan Salihamidzic.
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