FC Bayern finished the first half of the season in first place, picking up a point at home vs. Borussia Monchengladbach. It was a somewhat disappointing performance, as Bayern had several chances to win and couldn't find a way past 'Gladbach GK Marc-Andre ter Stegen. But Bayern fans will be mostly satisfied with the way the club played (minus a few hiccups in finishing), as Die Roten dominated possession and were clearly the better side.
In the early going, FC Bayern's superiority was on display. Several early attempts put 'Gladbach on notice, with Mueller's header coming closest. ter Stegen was the difference in the first 10 or 12 minutes, as Bayern would probably have had a lead against most Bundesliga teams after this kind of start.
But ... (come on, we've seen this before) ... BMG took the lead against the run of play. Jerome Boateng was justly called for a handball after tring to spin away from a shot, and Marx buried the resultant penalty in the right side:
It felt much like last season's 2d 'Gladbach match at this point, especially with Neuer repeatedly venturing outside his area. But Bayern stiffened up and fought back, with Shaqiri coming on when Martinez took a shot to the head and was unable to continue.
In the 2d half, Bayern had a few good chances, but good 'keeping from ter Stegen and a moment of hesitation from Mueller kept us from breaking through. Finally, Shaqiri put us back on level terms with a nice dribble-and-shoot move from the left side:
From this point on, it was just a question of whether Bayern would get the break-through (with the exception of one dangerous counter where Dante had to scramble over to clear). Gomez and Ribery both had chances to level, and Bayern must have had at least 6 or 7 corners in the last half hour of the match. But 'Gladbach held firm, and our best chance (a looping free kick just from the right channel) sailed just over the bar. Even in the closing seconds, Bayern almost got a winner, but BMG's 7 guys in the box managed to clear the ball.
Some other thoughts:
- Haven't heard any update on Martinez. He was clearly walking OK, he might have just had a slight concussion. We didn't appear to lose too much with Kroos moving back into the double-6 and Shaq coming on. We almost looked like we were running a 4-1-4-1 for a few minutes, with Bastian playing deep as the lone CDM.
- In the last 20 minutes or so, Pizarro and Gomez played next to each other, with Mueller coming off. This was an interesting move that could pay dividends under the right circumstances, but 'Gladbach was in such an "all defense" mode that there wasn't much room to operate.
- With the single point, Bayern misses out on a chance for the first-half points record. Still, we're currently on 42 with half the season gone, and with a 12 point advantage over Leverkusen. Depending on how tomorrow's matches go, we will probably be in a position where we can win 12 of our last 17 and be in good shape to win the league.
Back with more later. If you're going to post pics or .gifs, please limit them to ONE at a time. As always, try to keep it clean in the comment section. Thanks for reading.