Bayern Munich slumped to yet another defeat at the hands of Borussia Monchengladbach despite a valiant effort from Jamal Musiala.

Bayern Munich’s curse against Borussia Monchengladbach continues as they began 2022 with a 2-1 defeat at the Allianz Arena. The loss should have no immediate effect on the league table, but it could allow Borussia Dortmund the opportunity to bridge the gap at the top to six points when they face off against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

With 13 first-team players ruled out either due to COVID-19 or injuries, it was always going to be a difficult task for Bayern to claim points on Friday night. Yet, they started the game well, creating some early chances and dominating Gladbach. They were rewarded for their efforts as well, with Robert Lewandowski scoring the opener in the 18th minute.

But things soon started to turn sour for Bayern, as Gladbach pulled one back in the 27th minute, seemingly out of nowhere. Florian Neuhaus was the beneficiary of a sloppy piece of defending from the hosts, with the German international making no mistake in putting the ball past Sven Ulreich.

Moments later, Gladbach capitalised on a corner from Luca Netz to take the lead through Stefan Lainer’s headed effort. The goal quickly changed the complexion of the game as Bayern found it difficult to dominate possession, while they also struggled to get out of their own half at times.

It was a similar story in the second half, with the Foals defence remaining resolute enough to help their team sustain the slender one-goal advantage. The visitors even had the opportunity to extend their lead, but the end product was missing, as the contest ended 2-1 in favour of Adi Hutter’s side.

Here at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Bayern Munich players after their disappointing defeat to Gladbach this Friday.

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Sven Ulreich: 6.5/10

Sven Ulreich should have done much better to keep out the first goal from Neuhaus as the attempt went straight at him. Deputising for the COVID-infected Manuel Neuer, the former HSV goalkeeper was much more alert in the second half, making a couple of brilliant saves to prevent Gladbach from extending their lead.

Benjamin Pavard: 3/10

Benjamin Pavard was by far the worst-performing defender for Bayern Munich on the night. He was simply not competent enough to deal with the Gladbach counter-attacks, getting beaten way too easily. It allowed the Foals the opportunity to test Ulreich on multiple occasions, two of which found the back of the net.

Joshua Kimmich: 4/10

Making his return after a long spell on the sidelines, the sheer amount of unavailable players in the Bayern Munich camp meant Joshua Kimmich had to play at right-back. It didn’t work out too well for him as it restricted his influence in the attacking half of the pitch. Even his offensive passes or deliveries from set-pieces didn’t cause too many issues for the Gladbach backline.

Niklas Sule: 4.5/10

Niklas Sule looked much more resolute than Pavard at the heart of the Bavarian defence. He even made a crucial block to deny Alassane Plea in the second half. However, the centre-back wasn’t faultless on the night, notably showing signs of weaknesses when the opposition attacked on the counter.

Marc Roca: 5/10

Marc Roca started the game very well. He looked confident in possession, whereas his positioning sense helped Bayern Munich dominate the proceedings. But he was a victim of the game’s sudden change of flow, with the midfielder’s influence diminishing due to Bayern’s struggles. He was subbed off late in the proceedings.

Jamal Musiala: 7/10

Jamal Musiala was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dire evening for the home side. Despite being only 18, the youngster showcased immense maturity and intelligence to not only create chances but also prevail in one-on-one challenges or win loose balls in the middle of the park. The young German international certainly has the talent to become one of Europe’s very best.

Serge Gnabry: 5/10

Serge Gnabry had a mixed outing. As the only recognised winger in the Bayern Munich setup, his pace and trickery were essential in taking on the Gladbach defence. But the former Arsenal prodigy looked very sloppy at times and lacked the sharpness to truly make a difference in the final third.

Marcel Sabitzer: 3/10

Marcel Sabitzer was among the worst performers on the night at the Allianz Arena. Initially starting at left-back, the former RB Leipzig midfielder looked way too passive in his defensive game, allowing the likes of Breel Embolo and Stefan Lainer to breeze past him on multiple occasions. His offensive game was underwhelming as well, with the player struggling to create any meaningful opportunities.

Malik Tillman: 4/10

Malik Tillman couldn’t really make full use of his rare start, often struggling to get himself involved in the proceedings. His decision making also needs to improve if the youngster wants to follow in the footsteps of Musiala.

Thomas Muller: 6/10

Thomas Muller had a quiet game as well, by his lofty standards. He did register the assist for Lewandowski’s opener but lacked the incision and aggression that makes him such a dangerous attacker.

Robert Lewandowski: 6.5/10

Robert Lewandowski enjoyed an excellent start to the game, scoring a majestic opener inside the first quarter of the proceedings. But Gladbach’s impressive comeback saw him struggle due to the lack of supply. The forward was also unlucky, hitting the post twice while being denied by an inspired Yann Sommer on multiple occasions.

Substitutes

Paul Wanner: 6.5/10

Paul Wanner made history by becoming the second-youngest player to ever appear in the Bundesliga, at the age of just 16 years and 15 days. He didn’t disappoint either, making some exquisite movements and creating a couple of promising openings in the final third. It won’t be surprising to see him receive more opportunities in the future.

Lucas Copado: 6/10

Lucas Copado wasn’t as impressive as Wanner, but he did provide the aggression and willingness to make things happen in the final third.

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