It was Bayern Munich's final match before the Bundesliga's winter break, and a win would have given them the record for most points in the first half. But Gladbach's keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen played Scrooge.
Borussia Mönchengladbach have two people to thank that they were able to come away with a 1-1 against Bayern Munich on Friday. The first was their stalwart keeper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen (pictured above), who was especially effective in the second half in blocking wave after wave of aggressive Bayern attacks.
The other man Gladbach have to thank for their point in their final match before the winter break is Bayern defender Jerome Boateng. His handball in the 21st minute led to a penalty, which Thorben Marx converted into Gladbach's first and only goal.
It took Bayern until the 59th minute to equalize the score, and unfortunately for Gladbach, Marx turned from hero to scapegoat when he made a bad pass in his own area to give Bayern's Xherdan Shaqiri a one-on-one against ter Stegen. Even on his best night - which this may have been - ter Stegen didn't have a chance to save that one.
Man of the match
But, thanks to him, the damage was contained. Ter Stegen made great saves against Shaqiri again in the 69th minute, Toni Kroos in the 72nd and the 89th, and David Alaba and Mario Gomez in the 78th. Franck Ribery was mere inches away from the go-ahead goal in the 82nd minute, but this game was destined to end in a draw.
"Ter Stegen was phenomenal," said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes after the match. "We couldn't get that 2-1 to fall despite many chances."
Gladbach's trainer Lucien Favre said he was "extremely satisfied" with the single point, adding that "the team functioned well."
The draw meant that Bayern fell just shy of their own first-round points record, which they set in during the 2005/06 season. Bayern go into the winter break with 42 points, easily wrapping up Germany's unofficial title of 'Fall Champion' a few weeks ago. They will go into the break with at least a nine-point lead over second place Bayer Leverkusen, who take on Hamburg on Saturday.
Joining Leverkusen in the Saturday afternoon games will be Wolfsburg against Frankfurt, Mainz against Stuttgart, Greuther Fürth against Augsburg, and Fortuna Düsseldorf against Hannover.
The late game on Saturday pits Schalke against Freiburg.
Sunday's early match is Hoffenheim at home against Borussia Dortmund, and the very last Bundesliga match of 2012 features Nuremburg on the road against Bremen.
After the break, the first Bundesliga match of the New Year is between Schalke and Hannover on January 18.
mz/ch (dpa, sid)