Bayern Munich started 2022 with a defeat after Borussia Monchengladbach clinched a 2-1 comeback victory, riding on goals from Florian Neuhaus and Stefan Lainer in the curtain raiser to the second half of the season.
The German giants started perfectly as Robert Lewandowski tested Borussia's goalkeeper Yann Sommer from 14 metres with 14 minutes gone on Friday night. Four minutes later, Sommer was hapless though as Lewandowski benefitted on Thomas Muller's good build-up work before hammering the ball into the top right corner.
Bayern's lead didn't last long as Neuhaus restored parity with the visitors' first chance after volleying a poor clearance attempt from Joshua Kimmich past Bayern custodian Sven Ulreich with 27 minutes played.
Monchengladbach gained momentum and completed their comeback at the half-hour mark as Luca Netz's corner kick found Lainer, who beat Ulreich with a header from central position, Xinhua reports. Bayern responded well but the inside of the post denied Lewandowski the leveller from tight angle just before the break.
After the restart, Bayern pressed frenetically for the equaliser, but Sommer was equal to Jamal Musiala's dangerous shot from 14 metres in the 56th minute before Lewandowski rattled the woodwork once again six minutes later.
As the match progressed, Monchengladbach defended well and kept the German record champions at an arm's length. The "Foals" should have killed the game in the 84th minute but Alassane Plea missed the target from a promising position.
Bayern controlled possession but for all that Monchengladbach's defence stood firm and protected the vital win.
"We dominated the opening stages then Borussia levelled out of the blue before taking the lead. We completed controlled the second half and created many chances while Borussia defended deep and focussed on counterattacks. I think it is an undeserved loss for us," Bayern Munich's head coach Julian Nagelsmann said.
"The victory feels great. It is an unexpected win after a winless run, but the team fully implemented our strategy. Compliments to my team," Borussia Monchengladbach's head coach Adi Hutter said.
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