FC Bayern beat Borussia Mönchengladbach 5-1 on Saturday evening. Josip Drmic handed the visitors an early lead, but the champions fought their way back, Sandro Wagner levelling the scores and soon handing Bayern the lead before half-time. The Reds dominated the contest after the interval, Thiago, David Alaba and Robert Lewandowski all finding the net.
The Bavarians started with Sven Ulreich between the sticks and Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Süle, Mats Hummels and Alaba in a back four. Sebastian Rudy anchored a midfield featuring Thomas Müller, Corentin Tolisso, Thiago and Juan Bernat, with Wagner as the sole striker.
Jupp Heynckes shuffled his deck, making seven changes to the XI that saw off Sevilla. Ulreich, Kimmich, Hummels and Müller were the survivors. James replaced Müller at half-time, Lewandowski and Rafinha taking over from Wagner and Alaba midway through the second half.
Sandro turns the tide
The 75,000 capacity crowd at the Allianz Arena saw the champions struggle against the visitors at first. Gladbach were compact and stifled sustained passing combinations with early pressing, taking an early lead when Josip Drmic latched onto a throughball, sidestepped Niklas Süle and crashed the ball inside the far post. Bayern went looking for an answer, Müller connecting with a brilliantly perceptive Thiago pass but firing just wide.
The men from the Lower Rhine increasingly parked the bus, Tolisso testing visiting netminder Yann Sommer from distance before Bayern levelled the scores, Sandro Wagner crowning a brilliant move. Süle's fine pass found Müller on the right, the captain inviting Wagner to tap in. Four minutes later Wagner's fine header from 12 yards handed Bayern the lead before match official Robert Kampka blew for half-time.
Demolition after half-time
The second half started as the first one ended, Rudy testing Sommer before Bayern made it three. Tolisso set up Wagner, who was denied by Sommer, but Thiago was on hand to crash home the rebound. Two minutes later sub James hit the post from 12 yards before a Tolisso effort was blocked. Things started to become awkward for the Foals when Alaba charged down the left, cut inside and crashed home from the edge of the box.
Tolisso miscued from distance, but the final flourish came when a Kimmich cross found Lewandowski, who proved a cool customer, firing past Sommer. The Poland captain almost rounded off his brace, but his effort fizzed wide, and Kampka put the reeling visitors out of their misery.
The result takes Bayern onto 75 points from 30 matches. The Reds are back in action in just three days, when they travel to face Bayer Leverkusen in the DFB Cup last four, and they will surely be buoyed by Saturday's convincing victory.
Live match report for fcbayern.com by Greg Salmen
FC Bayern - Borussia Mönchengladbach 5-1 (H-T: 2-1)
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Ulreich - Kimmich, Süle, Hummels, Alaba (Rafinha 73) - Rudy - Müller (James 46), Tolisso, Thiago, Bernat - Wagner (Lewandowski 70)
Starke, Martínez, Robben, Ribéry
Sommer - Elvedi, Ginter, Vestergaard, Wendt - Hofmann (Cuisance 65), Zakaria (Strobl 81), Kramer, Hazard - Drmic (Grifo 65), Raffael
Sippel, Benes, Jantschke, Mayer
Dr Robert Kampka (Mainz)
0-1 Drmic (9), 1-1 Wagner (37), 2-1 Wagner (4-1), 3-1 Thiago (51), 4-1 Alaba (67), 5-1 Lewandowski (82)
Hummels, Bernat / Kramer