Three things we learned as Bayern Munich came from behind to punish Borussia Mönchengladbach

Bayern Munich overcame Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-1 at the Allianz Arena to keep the pressure on Bayer Leverkusen ahead of their meeting next Saturday. However, despite applying a considerable amount of pressure to Gladbach’s rearguard during the opening exchanges, a calmly placed Nico Elvedi opening goal stunned the Allianz Arena just after the half-hour mark. Regardless, the hosts’ consistent forays forward would eventually be rewarded just before the break, when Aleksandar Pavlović scored his first home goal for the German champions to level the tie.

It was a strike that also appeared to take the wind out of the visitors’ sails as well, with Bayern continuing to apply the majority of pressure after the interval. Regardless, it would take a mistake from the usually reliable Moritz Nicolas for Harry Kane to poach the German champions in front, before Matthijs de Ligt added a third to put the three points beyond doubt. A performance far from convincing from Bayern, but it will give them confidence for next week’s clash away to Leverkusen. As for Gladbach, failing to take points after scoring first will frustrate Gerardo Seoane once again.

Bayern look like challengers, not champions

Over the past eleven years, Bayern have reigned supreme over the Bundesliga. Failing to be toppled for just over a decade, Der Rekordmeister have left those fortunate enough to be spectating enthralled by their high tempo and relentless style of play. However, under Thomas Tuchel, Bayern have very rarely turned on the style and stunned the opposition.

Once again, against Gladbach, the record champions appeared unable to break down a stubborn backline while looking vulnerable to the quick counterattacks imposed upon them. In contrast to Bayer Leverkusen, who have played like champions all season, Tuchel’s side have, at times, been rather uninspiring.

While they may have boasted 20 shots to the visitors’ eleven, with an average xG of 0.1 per shot, it is clear to see that their failure to create high goalscoring opportunities is troubling them as of late. While they can rely on their record signing Harry Kane to solve their issues, how sustainable Tuchel’s approach is can be questioned, and if they are to continue in a similar manner, then Die Werkslef will undeniably be favourites for the Meisterschale.

Gladbach lack a killer edge

All too often this season, Gladbach have found themselves in the driving seat early on in games. However, they have lacked the killer edge to earn the three points that their first-half performances warranted.

The Foals have lost a total of 17 points after scoring the first goal in matches so far this season, a difference that could have seen them currently occupying fourth place in the Bundesliga. Therefore, it is clear to see that there are issues that plague Gerardo Seoane’s side when they take the lead, and that was clear to see against Bayern.

Having found themselves 1-0 in front yet again, the attacking threat that Bayern struggled to contend with early on faded away to the detriment of Gladbach. Whether it is a confidence issue or a tactical one, Seoane will have to come to the bottom of it; otherwise, questions will be asked of the former Leverkusen head coach.

Joshua Kimmich is no longer needed

When Joshua Kimmich was ruled out through illness when Bayern faced Stuttgart at home prior to the winter break, there were fears that the loss of their midfield maestro would see Die Roten take control on foreign soil. However, that was until the Allianz Arena was able to see the best of youngster Aleksandar Pavlović.

Since then, the 19-year-old has been forcing his way into the Bayern starting XI with phenomenal appearances despite his tender age. With the ability to control the midfield, only Bayern’s back two had more touches of the ball throughout the 90 minutes, while Pavlović was able to boast a 97% pass success rate.

As well as this, in previous weeks, he has also proved to have an eye for goal, with important strikes against Augsburg and Galdbach helping the Rekordmeister to claim six vital points. With Kimmich linked with moves away from Bavaria, it is something that was once thought to be impossible, but as Pavlović continues to shine, it would certainly no longer be an issue for the record champions.

GGFN | Will Shopland

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