League leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach got the better of Bayern Munich in dramatic fashion. The result keeps Marco Rose's side top of the table, and opens up a thrilling title race in the Bundesliga.
Gladbach 2-1 Bayern Munich, Borussia Park
(Bensebaini 60', 90+2' pen. - Perisic 49')
There's a common cliche in football that football is a game of two halves. That is of course always true, but in Mönchengladbach the story of this game really was how different the two halves were.
Bayern Munich dominated the first, but thanks to saves by Yann Sommer, including one that stopped Joshua Kimmich's strike millimeters short of crossing the line, the visitors had nothing to show for their dominance.
Ivan Perisic's fierce strike powered its way past Sommer, and suddenly the home side looked beaten. Step forward Ramy Bensebaini. The Algerian left back, newly signed this summer, smashed in a header from a set piece to level the scores.
Gladbach were buoyed and in stoppage time secured a dramatic win. Javi Martinez was sent off (second yellow) for bringing Marcus Thuram down in the box and Bensebaini rammed home the penalty. It was the first time in his career he had scored twice in a game, and it was a goal that kept Gladbach seven points clear of Bayern Munich.
As it happened:
Gladbach have done it! Despite being outplayed in the first half, a second-half turnaround led by their Algerian left back! Marco Rose's side stay top of the league, albeit by just one point over RB Leipzig. More importantly, they are seven points clear of Bayern. Seven!
90+4' Bayern running out of time here and the hosts have it...
90+2' GOAL! 2-1 Gladbach (Bensebaini) The first goalscorer steps up and curls it into the bottom corner. Neuer goes the right way but he has no chance. Wow! What a moment!
90' PENALTY GLADBACH! RED CARD! Oh my word! Javi Martinez is late on Thuram in the box, and it's close but referee Marco Fritz has no choice. That's a second yellow and a penalty for the hosts. What drama here!
88' Another yellow, this time for Zakaria as he sends Müller tumbling. He'll miss next week as a result. That's six yellows today.
85' Stindl makes way for Raffael. Maybe the Brazilian has some magic he can conjure up here.
82' Martinez is booked for a tackle with Stindl. Looked 50-50 to me. I feel like this game has one more chance left in it, and it'll likely be for Bayern.
80' CHANCE! Embolo gets in behind Thiago, ships it across to Patrick Herrmann. The winger draws the defender in and then sends Stindl through on the overlap. His low drive is aimed towards the far corner but it goes just wide. What a moment that would have been.
79' Coman is furious that Elvedi's elbow isn't seen. To be honest, I don't think he knows where his elbow is going. On we go, and that seems the right call.
75' Breath is being drawn before the final push, at least I hope so because the last seven minutes have ticked by with a lot in midfield.
68' Boateng, on a yellow, makes way for Martinez. Sensible, especially as the former World Cup winner looked a little uncomfortable after making a strong challenge moments ago. Müller is late on Thuram, no card but plenty of roars in the crowd. Heating up again this one.
65' Game on now. The home crowd have sensed a change here and the noise has gone up a notch. Now a test of the mental strength of Flick's team.
60' GOAL! 1-1 Gladbach (Bensebaini) Out of nowhere, Gladbach are level! Just what Rose ordered. A corner comes in and Ramy Bensebaini absolutely smashes a header in from close range. No chance for Neuer and, as it so often can, the set-piece saves the side under pressure.
58' Rose reacts. Benes comes off, Embolo comes on. He knows he needs his attackers to provide him with something in the final half an hour.
53' For all of the good work Gladbach did in the first half holding Bayern to difficult shot locations, allowing Bayern too many shots will eventually be problematic. For those interested in what this does to the table, quite a lot. With Leipzig 2-0 up against Hoffenheim (Timo Werner brace) and Dortmund also leading (Reus), the top four looks like this at the moment:
1. Leipzig - 30
2. Gladbach - 28
3. Bayern - 27
4. Dortmund - 26
49' GOAL! 1-0 Bayern Munich (Perisic) The lead Bayern deserve! Lewandowski gets the ball out to Perisic on the break and at first it looks like Bayern overcook it, passing left and right, but when it does come back to Perisic he turns on the spot to fire the bouncing ball goalwards. It's at a good height for Sommer, but just struck too hard. The ball hits the palms of the Swiss before bouncing in. Tough for the keeper, who had played so well, but that is the goal Bayern's dominance merits.
46' Gladbach get us restarted. No changes during the break.
The first half ends with Thuram breaking into the box on the left and picking the wrong pass. Before that, Denis Zakaria has his arm up in the box to block a Perisic strike but his arm is closed onto his body so the lack of a call out of the VAR room looks a good one. That sums up the half really. Gladbach rarely attacking and Bayern unlucky in their efforts.
42' Bayern really should be ahead. Goretzka the latest to fire over. This has been a testament to how Flick has them playing now, but there's not much he can do about the lack of luck. As for Marco Rose and the home side, it's time for a rethink because they have not really been in this game so far.
36' CHANCE! Oh Ivan. I think the Croatian wants this one back. Lewandowski crosses to him and he has lots of time to chest it down, but he sends the volley over. On target and it's a goal, I think. Hofmann clipped his boot on the way through, which must have made it extra painful for Perisic.
34' The game is drifting again. No game can be up tempo all the time and in truth, the home side probably need a spell of the game to pass without much incident. Bayern have looked more likely to score all half.
27' CHANCE! Wow! Kimmich gets the corner after a short routine, drives towards theedge of the box and gets the shot away. It squirms under Sommer's knee and trickles over the line but Sommer's outstretched finger just gets it back. It looked a goal in real time but goal-line technology shows, moments later, that Sommer saved it just in time. Bayern millimeters from the lead there!
26' CHANCE! Ask and you shall receive! Müller gets to the ball at the top of the box and curls a low effort goalwards that Sommer does really well to parry for a corner. The set-piece eventually ends in another corner for Bayern, this time on the other side...
24' Davies is playing well. He beats Lainer and hangs up a cross but it doesn't come to anything. Then Thuram faces Boateng on the left-hand side of the box. The Frenchman tries to go past the defender but ends up just going down. He gets nothing, possession is recycled and on we go. This game has sparked a bit but it is far from the spectacle many, myself inculded, were hoping for.
18' CHANCE! Lewandowski fires another one just wide. Gladbach have been warned, but pivotally are still very much in this one. That last two passes are missing. Thiago goes down holding his hamstring. Not great news for the Frenchman. Lots of clenched fist motions from him and the medical staff. His day is over. He looks frustrated. Ivan Perisic comes on for him.
14' CHANCE! Lewandowski curls wide, with a lovely low effort that nearly clips the far post. Bayern slowly looking more and more dangerous.
12' The game has become niggly earlier than expected. Tackles flying in a bit. Davies gets one back on Benes. Play is broken up again, which has slowed the flow of this one.
8' CHANCE! Bayern should be 1-0 up. Great work by Davies and then Coman down the left sees the cross get to Lewandowski at the front post. He lifts it up and over, for Goretzka, who draws the defender before setting up Tolisso. The Frenchman tries to place it and all it needs is a touch from Müller and Bayern are ahead. He doesn't get to it though and the chance is gone. It sounds complicated, but it was a smooth move.
5' Bayern look a little nervy in the opening five as Gladbach press well. Benes is booked for a high foot on Davies and on the replay it looks bad. Studs were up and it was knee height. Lucky to get away with just a yellow there, I think. Davies is ok to continue. Gladbach keep trying to suffocate Bayern when the visitors have the ball.
1' Bayern get us underway! Excited for this one. Let's hope it delivers.
— For those wondering, this photo comes from the 1974-75 season when Bayern got a 2-1 win away from home. A classic game. A good stat for you, Gladbach are ahead of Bayern going into a Bundesliga game for the first time in 22 years. Quite a while for such a classic encounter. The scarves are out at Borussia Park. It's nearly time.
— Hansi Flick said before this one: "Since my childhood Gladbach against Bayern was always a classic game. In the Flick house, it was a classic as well, my brother was a Gladbach fan, I'm a Bayern fan." Today, Flick will have another chance to show just how much he knows this team. After the loss at Leverkusen, a game that Bayern dominated, he and his side will be keen to get back to what Bayern do best: winning.
— DW's Matt Ford is in Mönchengladbach for us today. He's already made a brave start. Do give him a follow for all the latest, and beforehand it's also worth giving his piece on Germany's original Klassiker a read.
— TEAMS! Matthias Ginter, Jonas Hofmann, Lars Stindl and Alassane Plea return for the home side, with the in-form Breel Embolo and Florian Neuhaus. All three attackers start as Marco Rose goes for gold at home. A big surprise from Hansi Flick, who drops Serge Gnabry, Javi Martinez, Benjamin Pavard and Philippe Coutinho to the bench. Only one central defender starts and it looks like Joshua Kimmich is at right back. Big calls, but there are few people who know football better than him.
Gladbach XI: Sommer - Bensebaini, Ginter, Elvedi, Lainer - Benes, Zakaria - Hofmann - Plea, Stindl, Thuram
Bayern XI: Neuer - Davies, Boateng, Alaba, Kimmich - Thiago, Tolisso - Coman, Müller, Goretzka - Lewandowski
— Good afternoon! This is one of the great Bundesliga fixtures. Bayern are fourth and this time, Gladbach are top of the table. The last time they met in Mönchengladbach, Bayern sealed a 5-1 win. Let's not forget Gladbach's 3-0 win in Munich in October 2018. There have been plenty of thrillers in recent years, and December 2019 promises another.