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Bayern 3 Borussia M’gladbach 1

Ribery-inspired Reds off to winning start

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Led by on-fire Franck Ribery, champions Bayern laid down a marker right at the start of the new Bundesliga campaign with a hard-working 3-1 victory over courageous Borussia Mönchengladbach in Friday night’s entertaining 2013/14 season opener. Pep Guardiola’s men showed zeal and appetite in abundance as Bastian Schweinsteiger’s 300th German top flight appearance ended as so many of the preceding 299 have done – in a deserved win for the Reds.

The 71,137 full house at the Allianz Arena saw Arjen Robben open the scoring on 12 minutes from a sublime Franck Ribery pass, before Mario Mandzukic doubled the lead just three minutes later. However, for all the Reds’ dominance, it was not entirely one-way traffic in the first half and the visitors pulled one back after 40 minutes when former Gladbach man Dante put through his own goal.

The game was a knife-edge affair for a spell after the restart, Toni Kroos crashing a shot off the post as FCB looked to make it safe, but it took until the 69th minute before David Alaba tucked away a penalty to make it 3-1, just seconds after Thomas Müller had missed the first of Bayern’s two spot-kicks in as many minutes.

Including the previous season, Bayern are now undefeated in 26 Bundesliga matches, just one short of equalling their own club record. The treble winners have scored in 38 straight Bundesliga fixtures, and also boast a perfect league record at the Allianz Arena in 2013 with nine straight wins.