Bayern Munich were unbeaten in the Bundesliga this season. That comes with the important statement of they played solid defense, they played aggressive offense, and had coherent tactical gameplans. None of that was on display in the second half of today's game as Borussia Mönchengladbach torched them to the tune of three goals in the space of 15 minutes
The first half of today's match against Borussia Mönchengladbach featured two of those features, namely the aggressive offense and coherent tactical gameplans, but they looked defensively suspect. That stemmed from the space Bayern Munich allowed Gladbach between the midfield of Arturo Vidal and Xabi Alonso and their backline. The first half was end to end as both sides stretched each other to the point where both bent to their limits but neither broke. Kingsley Coman hit the bar, Yann Sommer made some outstanding saves and the Bayern defense did just enough to cover and recover their positioning as Gladbach danced around inside their half aggressively.
It was a game that had all the makings of a highlight match of the season.
The second half was an absolutely disgrace as Lars Stindl ran circles around Xabi Alonso, the Gladbach midfield of Xhaka and Dahoud took apart the Bayern Munich attack and defense time and again. The space that Gladbach utilized in the first half become their happy zone and they used it to bury a tired Bayern Munich defense that committed a disastrous amount of errors for nearly 25 minutes. Gladbach didn't score just once, but three times from Oscar Wendt, Lars Stindl and Fabian Johnson, running away with the game.
Bayern was able to right the ship with the introduction of Sebastian Rode. They even were able to compile together sustained attacking pressure in the second half, but it was too little too late. Even Franck Ribery's introduction, despite his brilliantly worked goal, were not enough to save Bayern.
- This was the worst defensive performance from Bayern Munich in recent memory. Xabi Alonso was nowhere to be found in defense, and Vidal was either rock solid in position or floundering around wildly with no clue as to where he was. Their collective failures exposed Bayern's backline to countless Gladbach attacks that destroyed the team's defensive integrity.
- After today's showing Sebastian Rode really deserves a long and serious look in this midfield. He doesn't have the skill and flash of Xabi Alonso, or the ability to totally dominate games like Arturo Vidal, but what he does have is consistency. That's something you can build around.
- It's very nice to have Franck Ribery back. It's very nice to see he really hasn't changed that much. Next week against Ingolstadt at the Allianz Arena should be a ton of fun.