Douglas Costa and Benjamin Pavard disappointed big time as Bayern Munich succumbed to a narrow 3-2 defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach.
Bayern Munich face the risk of losing their place at the top of the Bundesliga table following a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Borussia Monchengladbach at the Borussia Park on Friday night.
The Bavarians initially had a slow start to the proceedings and were aided by an unnecessary handball from Florian Neuhaus that saw them receive a penalty. Robert Lewandowski made no mistake in converting the spot-kick, breaking the deadlock. And it was looking like a walk in the park for the visitors, especially when Leon Goretzka doubled Bayern’s lead with a majestic strike in the 26th minute.
To Gladbach’s credit, however, they refused to change their style of play and were eventually rewarded with a goal in the 35th minute that was scored by Jonas Hofmann. The former Borussia Dortmund star then doubled his tally just before half-time with a well-timed run, thus restoring parity going into the interval.
The Foals looked even more charged up in the second half, and it was reflected by an early goal from Neuhaus. The screamer from outside the box gave the hosts the incentive to adopt a more defensive approach, although Marco Rose still maintained their build-up from the back. As for Bayern, they struggled to break the shackles of the opposition in the second half, ultimately succumbing to a disappointing defeat.
And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Bavarians over their 3-2 loss at Borussia Park this Friday.
Manuel Neuer: 6.5/10
Manuel Neuer could have done a bit better in denying at least one of the three goals scored by Borussia Monchengladbach this evening. However, the goalkeeper made amends with his remarkable positioning and ability to clear the ball. It became quite useful for the high Bayern backline which inspired Gladbach to opt for multiple long balls over the top.
Benjamin Pavard: 3/10
It was surprising to see Benjamin Pavard start in the first place. And the Frenchman once again struggled to repay the faith put in by Hansi Flick by producing yet another underwhelming defensive display. In fact, the ex-Stuttgart defender was completely rattled by Hofmann for the most part of the game and even provided the sloppy pass that led to the Gladbach counter-attack for their first goal of the night.
Niklas Sule: 5/10
Niklas Sule was given quite a run for his money by Breel Embolo this evening. The Gladbach striker used his pace and physicality to rattle the Bayern Munich centre-back, who is clearly out of form at the moment.
David Alaba: 5/10
Another Bayern Munich defender who was below par, David Alaba’s experience and intelligence were not enough to help Bayern Munich remain solid at the back. Although the defender wasn’t exactly awful, his lack of responsibility and leadership in the backline allowed the Foals to make an extraordinary comeback.
Alphonso Davies: 4/10
Marco Rose’ masterstroke of deploying both Denis Zakaria and Stefan Lainer on the right flank saw Alphonso Davies’ influence getting hugely minimised this evening. In fact, the young full-back couldn’t camp himself in the opposition half due to constant pressure, especially from Zakaria. A genius tactical move by the Gladbach coach.
Joshua Kimmich: 6/10
It was a bad day at the office for Joshua Kimmich, who was hurried and hassled by the Gladbach players throughout the course of the game. They were also unusually rough in dealing with the German international, which did play a key role in preventing him from settling into the match.
Leon Goretzka: 6.5/10
Leon Goretzka was one of the best players for Bayern Munich in the first half. The German international acted in a defensive role, just ahead of the backline. But, it was his goal that gave the Bavarians a two-goal cushion. Unfortunately for him, however, he simply couldn’t manage to replicate his first-half performance after the break.
I cannot wait to see this on Goretzka’s LinkedIn. 🚀 pic.twitter.com/ByM2Y2i0Kt
— Richie O'Reilly (@richieoreillyIV) January 8, 2021
Leroy Sane: 7/10
Leroy Sane was one of the bright sparks in an otherwise dire attacking performance from FC Bayern Munich this evening. The new signing from Manchester City looked lively right from the start. His willingness to make things happen and dangerous drifts into the central areas of the pitch caused a lot of trouble for the opposing centre-backs, though they dealt with it well.
Thomas Muller: 6/10
Thomas Muller had a disappointing game in the final third. The German international wasn’t able to act as a proper Ramdeuter due to Bayern’s struggles in dominating their opposition. He often had to drift into a wider role but that didn’t work either.
Douglas Costa: 4/10
Douglas Costa was by far the least effective Bayern attacker in this game. He was barely involved in the game, especially during the first half and his lack of penetration made it difficult for Flick’s men to put pressure on the opposing defence. The Bavarians certainly missed the services of Serge Gnabry in this fixture.
Robert Lewandowski: 6.5/10
Robert Lewandowski’s early goal set the tone perfectly for him to produce yet another masterclass. Unfortunately for him, Gladbach had other plans as the Foals barely let him have any time or space with the ball. He even had to drop deep at times to receive possession but couldn’t do much to make any difference to the proceedings.
Robert Lewandowski is the first player in Europe's top five leagues to hit 20+ goals this season.
It took him just 14 games?! 🤯 pic.twitter.com/Eyfz4M8sew
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 8, 2021
Kingsley Coman: 7.5/10
Back from a brief spell on the sidelines, Kingsley Coman showed why he is one of the most in-form players in the Bundesliga with yet another influential display in the final third. Indeed, the Frenchman was a menace for Gladbach on the flanks, using his footwork to deceive the defenders and whipping in dangerous crosses into the box. He should have been introduced much earlier, though.