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German Cup: Gladbach inflict 5-0 defeat on Bayern

October 27, 2021

For the second year in a row, Bayern Munich have been knocked out of the German Cup in the second round. The Bavarians weren't just beaten by Borussia Mönchengladbach; they suffered a defeat of historic proportions.

Thomas Müller in Borussia Mönchengladbach v Bayern Munich
Not Bayern's night. Müller and Bayern have struggled to create anything.Image: Lars Baron/Getty Images

Borussia Mönchengladbach 5-0 Bayern Munich
(Kone 2', Bensebaini 15' 21' pen, Embolo 51' 57')

Bayern Munich suffered their heaviest ever German Cup defeat as they were hammered 5-0 by Borussia Mönchengladbach, going out of the competition in the second round for the second season in a row.

Gladbach striker Breel Embolo was unplayable, dominating Bayern centerbacks Dayot Upamecano and Lucas Hernandez to assist two goals in the first half and score two more himself in the second, as Bayern lost for only the second time this season.

"Auf Wiedersehen! You can go home now!" sang the jubilant home fans in the direction their Bayern counterparts, 5-0 up and still with half an hour to play.

And Bayern head coach Julian Nagelsmann, watching from home for the third game in a row as he recovers from a COVID-19 infection in isolation, could have been forgiven for turning off his television there and then.

It was the first time Bayern had conceded five goals in this competition since the 5-2 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the 2012 final. Before that, there was a 5-1 defeat to Cologne in a 1972 quarterfinal replay. And it continued the Bavarians' poor run of form at Borussia Park: they have now failed to win on their any of their last five visits to this part of the Rhineland.

"You dream of nights like this from time to time but you never really think it could be reality," said Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl at full-time. "Tonight will go down in the club's history."

DFB Cup I Borussia Moenchengladbach v Bayern München
Historic: Bayern Munich suffered their biggest ever cup defeatImage: Wolfgang Rattay/REUTERS

Bayern's 'collective blackout'

Eberl's Bayern counterpart, Hasan Salihamidzic, spoke of a "collective blackout," telling broadcaster ARD: "We're shocked, we just didn't turn up. I don't think we won a single tackle in the first half, and every ball just bounced away from us. I can't explain it. We know it's hard to come here, we know how well Gladbach press, but everything went wrong tonight which could go wrong."

Given the two teams' recent form, there was little to suggest that such an upset was on the cards, let alone one of such historic proportions. Since losing to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga earlier this month, Bayern had seemed entirely unaffected by Nagelsmann's absence in quarantine, brushing aside Bayer Leverkusen, Benfica and Hoffenheim with assistant coach Dino Toppmöller on the sideline.

Gladbach, on the other hand, came into the game on the back of poor performances against Hertha Berlin and Stuttgart but, just like in the Bundesliga meeting the two teams back in August, the Foals came flying out of the blocks, creating a string of early chances. And this time, they took them mercilessly.

Kouadio Kone gave them the lead after just two minutes before Ramy Bensebaini added a second, and then a third from the penalty spot. Three goals in 21 minutes, and it could well have been more.

"The first 30 minutes were a frenzy," said Eberl. "We completely outplayed Bayern and showed that they, too, are only human."

The Breel Embolo show

Then came the Embolo show. The Swiss hitman had already set-up Kone's opener and won Bensebaini's penalty, but he took center-stage after half-time, bullying and beating Upamecano and Hernandez with his movement, physicality and precise finishing to make it four and then five.

"We haven't rewarded ourselves in recent games and we wanted to show what we can do," the 24-year-old told ARD. "We haven't been clinical enough but now we can see, when we stay cool, we can beat anyone, even perhaps the best team in the world."

With Bayern once again out of the competition, the German Cup now looks wide open for the second year in a row. Last season, Borussia Dortmund capitalized on the Bavarians' absence to win their first silverware since 2017.

Borussia Mönchengladbach have been waiting since 1995 but, on this form, they will feel they can beat anyone.

Jubel I Breel Embolo I Borussia Mönchengladbach - Bayern München
Breel Embolo was outstanding for Gladbach, scoring two goalsImage: Martin Meissner/AP/picture alliance

As it happened:

Borussia Mönchengladbach 5-0 Bayern Munich, Borussia-Park
(Koné 2', Bensebaini 15', 21' pen, Embolo 51', 57')

90' Borussia Mönchengladbach 5-0 Bayern Munich (FT)

What an astonishing result. Borussia Mönchengladbach were exceptionally efficient in front of goal and picked off Bayern time and time again, producing on of Europe's most astonishing scorelines tonight. Bayern were terrible, Borussia exceptional. 

84' Gladbach coasting

Not much more to add. Gladbach coasting to one of their biggest wins for years.

77' Hütter hitting the right notes

The fans are loving this. And so is their coach, Adi Hütter, who perhaps deserves more of a mention. What a night for him, he's got his tactical decisions spot on, and he's guided Gladbach to their best night in a long time, certainly since Marco Rose's departure as coach.

75' Nagelsmann absence 

Even for Bayern, this is over. 5-0 is too much for them, and this will be a defeat, a heavy defeat, without Julian Nagelsmann on the sidelines as the coach recovers from COVID-19. It may prove to be better for Nagelsmann reputation if he isn't there tonight, unassociated with this bereft display.

70' Exhibition of finishing

If you're just joining us, firstly: why? Secondly, you have missed an exhibition of finishing from Borussia Mönchengladbach, who have swept Bayern Munich away. The point of the game we're at now is that Bayern have all of the ball, with Gladbach just defending and waiting to pick them off for a sixth.

57' GOAL! Borussia Mönchengladbach 5-0 Bayern Munich — Embolo again!

Speechless now. These numbers must be approaching historic proportions now. We'll check that and get back to you, but it's another relatively easy goal for Gladbach, as Breel Embolo powers a run between Süle and Pavard — you could drive a truck through that gap — and finishes past Neuer.

Bayern Munich getting thrashed by Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Goal after goal after goal. Bayern getting thrashed by Borussia Mönchengladbach.Image: Revierfoto/imago images

51' GOAL! Borussia Mönchengladbach 4-0 Bayern Munich — Embolo scores!

This is really crazy. Embolo gets on the scoreline, smashing the ball in after a mistake by, yes Upamecano. Gladbach dreaming, Bayern crushed. A truly amazing scoreline.

46' Upamecano yellow.

It's worth mentioning, because this is a live text commentary and I am the commentator, that Dayot Upamecano has been awful tonight. Like, really bad. Cannot settle against the movement Gladbach have up front, and then he gets a yellow for hacking Embolo down. 

45' Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-0 Bayern Munich (HT)

What a performance by Gladbach, you have to give it to them. An amazing performance in which everything has gone right. Bayern struggling a lit bit, still looking dangerous in places, but they seem preoccupied, hesitant, and off their game. What a sensational scoreline.

44' Drama.

Wow, a lot to unpack here. Firstly, Lewandowksi should have been sent off for a late, high, studs up challenge on Kone. Bayern then get the ball up to Sane, via Goretzka, but Sane somehow fails to get a great contact on the ball. Borussia fans livid that Lewandowski has escaped punishment. Could have been 3-1, could have been a red card, in the end it was neither.

40' Bayern kept at bay

Bayern are seeing a lot more of the ball heading into the break. A few minutes ago, Serge Gnabry and Thomas Müller combined, with Gnabry poking the ball towards goal, without much conviction. Borussia containing them so far.

27' Rattled.

Bayern are getting bullied here tonight, you don't see it very often. Just beaten to every ball, no ideas, no opportunity to settle, a few mistakes, boom — they look out of the game. But the one thing about Bayern, they're rarely out of the game.

Ramy Bensebaini slams the ball in for Gladbach's second.
Floored: Ramy Bensebaini slams the ball in for Gladbach's second.Image: WOLFGANG RATTAY/REUTERS

21' GOAL! Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-0 Bayern Munich — Ramy Bensebaini! (penalty)

And now they have a goal. Bensebaini gives Neuer the eyes from 11 metres — or 12 yards — to put the ball into the net. Gladbach's third was quite fortunate, you feel a bit for Bayern. Nah, not really. 

20' Penalty! Gladbach have a penalty.

Embolo fouled, not really a foul to be honest, but it's given and...

15' GOAL! Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-0 Bayern Munich — Ramy Bensebaini!

Oh my days, what is happening? Gladbach are two up against Bayern. Jonas Hofmann gets into a great position, cuts it back for Bensebaini, who drills a beautiful low shot past Neuer. It's brilliant, and Bayern are getting hammered.

8' Drums, please.

Thr atmosphere is bouncing in Mönchengladbach. I think we might hear 'Sweet Caroline' soon. Set to a consistent drumbass. Not an annoying one, just a consistent one.

2' GOAL! Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-0 Bayern Munich — Kouadio Koné!

Oh wow, what a start in Mönchengladbach. A loose pass by Alphonso Davies is seized upon by Breel Embolo, who finds Kouadio Koné, who steers the ball in from close range. He checks the flag for offside but he's not, Borussia lead Bayern after one minute and 20 seconds. 

Kick off!

We're underway on a chilly night in Mönchengladbach.



Hernandez avoids jail

A bit of Bayern news the morning before the game: Lucas Hernandez will not go to a Spanish jail for violating a restraining order in 2017 after a Madrid court on Wednesday accepted an appeal by the French player. 

"We consider that the appeal should be upheld and the order to enter prison suspended," the court said in a statement. More on that one here.

Previous meetings

This is the eighth German Cup tie between Gladbach and Bayern, who have never lost to the Foals. Five of the seven matches have gone to extra time including their most recent clash in the 2011/12 semifinals which Bayern won 4-2 on penalties.  

Fun fact

Bayern have dominated German football over the course of the last decade, but Gladbach have proven a regular thorn in their side. Of the most recent 21 league meetings, the record champions have only won nine times, drawing four matches and losing eight. No other Bundesliga team has beaten FCB more than five times during this period.

Gladbach team members celebrate a goal
Gladbach have won three of their last five home games against BayernImage: Moritz Müller/imago images

From the coaches' mouth: Adi Hütter

"Bayern are a different caliber to Hertha. They're in great form, but I know my team is capable of showing a reaction. Having our fans behind us is a game changer. Bayern are favorites, but we'll see what we can do from the underdog role."

From the sporting director's mouth: Hasan Salihamidzic

"We're in very good physical condition. The boys have gained a lot of confidence. We have a very good team with a lot of quality. The coaches have done a very good job managing the busy schedule and workload. We want to continue like this and try and play the next games as well as we have done the last few." 

Fun fact

Borussia Mönchengladbach have been knocked out by a fellow Bundesliga team in each of the last six cup campaigns, including twice by Borussia Dortmund in each of the last two seasons (2019/20 in the second round, 2020/21 in the quarterfinals).

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs FC Bayern Munich
Lewandowski has 17 goals in 13 games in all competitionsImage: Revierfoto/dpa/picture alliance

Player focus: Robert Lewandowski

The FIFA Ballon d'Or nominee scored the equalizer in the 1-1 draw when these sides met in the opening fixture of the 2021/22 Bundesliga campaign.

On Saturday, he moved onto double digits for the 11th straight season with a goal in the 4-0 win against Hoffenheim. The question is, can Gladbach stop the prolific Pole?

Player focus: Jonas Hofmann

The Germany international was not a happy bunny after Gladbach's 1-0 loss to Hertha Berlin on Saturday. "Overall it was a poor performance by our standards," he told reporters. "In the first half we were clearly the better team and dominated, but to concede a goal from a throw in by the corner flag is laughable."

Fun fact

Last season, Bayern were knocked out before the round of 16 for the first time since 2000/01,falling to Holstein Kiel in the second round despite taking the lead twice. The second-tier side won on penalties. It was the first trophy that Hansi Flick failed to win in charge of Bayern. 

Possible lineups

Gladbach: Sommer - Ginter, Elvedi, Beyer - Scally, Zakaria, Neuhaus, Bensebaini - Hofmann, Stindl - Embolo

Bayern: Neuer - Stanisic, Upamecano, Süle, Richards - Sabitzer, Kimmich - Sane, Musiala, Coman - Lewandowski