Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-4 FC Bayern München | Recap

Juergen Schwarz

With only records to pursue, Bayern played possibly their most exciting match of the season on the league's final day.

The final tune-up before next week's Finale saw Bayern field their strongest-possible lineup away to Gladbach against a Borussia team that usually has Bayern's number. Regardless of position in the table, in recent seasons Gladbach has routinely beaten or at least taken a point away from this fixture, and this match began like they would take all three.

The staunch, record-breaking Bayern defense made two uncharacteristically poor mistakes in the first seven minutes to fall behind 2-0 within the first five minutes of play.

The first was a product of poor setpiece defense from the entire back line but especially Dante, who allowed Martin Stranzl to get behind what looked like a botched offside trap to head in the 1-0.

The second was more directly Dante's fault. He made two mistakes, the first being either a heavy touch or a failed pass that went straight to Branimir Hrgota who drew Dante to the Brazilian's right before splitting what remained of the FCB defense with a perfect pass around the left side of the Bayern center back. The pass was received by Mike Hanke, who pounded the 2-0 home past Neuer to the far post.

Bayern would get one back through Javi Martinez. The Spaniard got his third of the campaign by taking his chance like a striker after being on the receiving end of a brilliant one-touch pass from Ribery.

To end the most action-filled ten minutes of league play Bayern have had in several seasons, Havard Nordtveit capitalized on a square ball in front of goal from Patrick Herrmann after a break away in which Gladbach had numbers going forward.

Only eight minutes later, Thomas Müller took up space at the bottom of the box and found Ribery after taking only one touch. Ribery managed to beat ter Stegen to his near post to pull Bayern back to within one, for the fifth goal of the match a little more than a quarter of an hour into the domestic season finale.

The match calmed down somewhat going into the half as each team began settling for chances from distance.

Only eight minutes after the teams entered the pitch for the second half, Lahm sent what appeared to be a mishit cross to the top of the box. However, Ribery was waiting, unmarked for the lofted ball, and made perfect contact with his left foot back across the box into the upper-right corner of the net to level the match at 3-3. Certainly a goal of the season candidate for the club that has had so many.

A handfull of minutes later and Bayern had completed the comeback, again through Franck Ribery, who found Arjen Robben with a cross. The Dutchman used his strong foot to beat ter Stegen to the near post and put the Reds on top for good.

Both teams would threaten goal over the final thirty minutes of play, to no avail.

This was Jupp Heynckes' final match in the Bundesliga, a league he has spent the majority of his career in as a player and then coach. Away to Gladbach was probably the most fitting way wrap up a lifetime of remarkable achievements in his home country; the Mönchengladbach native netted 292 goals for his home club, and managed them twice for nearly ten seasons combined.

Next up is the Champions League Final, and opponents Dortmund hosted previously relegation-bound 1899 Hoffenheim at home today. A few red cards and penalties later, Hoffenheim beat BVB 1-2 and secured their place in the relegation playoff. Not without drama though, as what would have been a last-second stoppage time equalizer was awarded and then called off, a decision that saved Hoffenheim's Bundesliga hopes. BVB played a strong lineup, but after a knock picked up today, Mats Hummels is in doubt for the Final, as is previously-injured Mario Götze.

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