Bayern Munich are not Bundesliga champions yet. The Rekordmeister passed up a chance to clinch their fourth-straight Bundesliga title on Saturday, dropping points to Champions League hopefuls Borussia Mönchengladbach in a 1-1 draw. Due to face Atlético Madrid in an era-defining second leg, Bayern's pragmatic football could not get the three points to give the home crowd an early title celebration.
Playing with five defenders, Bayern were not the same possession-dominating team Pep Guardiola sides are known for. Instead, their play attempted to emulate the physicality Atlético Madrid displayed last week. Serdar Tasci and Sebastian Rode, two squad players rotated into the lineup, disrupted Gladbach's midfield with rough challenges, forcing Daniel Siebert to issue both yellow cards early in the game.
Their conservative approach did not mean Bayern did not have the attacking punch they needed to get the crucial three points. Thomas Müller, who felt slighted after not starting against Atlético Madrid last week, headed in a corner in the sixth minute to give Bayern the early lead. The goal was his 20th of the Bundesliga season, a mark that only Robert Lewandowski (25) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (22) have bested this season.
Bayern were able to rest on the foundation of that early goal, but Gladbach still gave their defensive set-up a lot to handle. André Hahn, who frequently got the best of Tasci and Juan Bernat in the game, forced a save out of Manuel Neuer, getting on the end of an Ibrahima Traoré cross. Granit Xhaka came close as well, dashing through the midfield before firing a shot near-post Neuer had to deflect away from a corner.
Hahn would finally get his chance, providing the fifth-place side with a title-stopping equalizer. Mahmoud Dahoud played a ball through to substitute Lars Stindl, who squared it for Hahn. The former Augsburg midfielder, who had missed most of the season with knee injury, hammered a shot into the back of the net.
The equalizer woke Bayern back up, but it was not enough to provide the league leaders with a winner. The Reds will now have to wait until after the Champions League semifinal to collect their deserved title, with matches against Ingolstadt and Hannover left on the schedule.
Bayern Munich (1-1) Borussia Mönchengladbach
FCB: Thomas Müller (6')
BMG: André Hahn (72')
Bayern XI: Neuer – Boateng (Alaba 68'), Benatia, Tasci (Douglas 77') – Rafinha, Rode, Kimmich, Bernat – Götze (Thiago 61'), Müller, Coman
Gladbach XI: Sommer – Elvedi, Christensen, Nordtveit – Traoré (Hermann 61'), Dahoud, Xhaka, Wendt – Hahn, Raffael (Hofmann 90+1'), Hazard (Stindl 57')