A last minute penalty secured a dramatic victory for Borussia Monchengladbach against Bayern Munich as Die Fohlen remained top of the Bundesliga table, while Bayern slipped to sixth.
The game started intensely, with both sides looking strong in the tackle and pressing high up the pitch. Bayern had the better of the opening exchanges with the in-form Robert Lewandowski firing two shots just past the post inside the first 15 minutes.
The away side continued to dominate proceedings and Joshua Kimmich came within millimeters of scoring after Yann Sommer nearly spilled his shot over the line – only for the Swiss keeper to claw it back to safety with his fingertip.
It was a similar story after the break and it was no surprise when Bayern eventually opened the scoring, some hesitant defending from Gladbach allowing Ivan Perisic the time to turn and fire a shot past Sommer to make it 1-0.
The goal provoked a reaction from the home side and they grabbed an equaliser on the hour mark courtesy of Ramy Bensebaini. Slack Bayern marking from a corner afforded Bensebaini a free header and the Algerian made no mistake, powerfully nodding it past Manuel Neuer.
Gladbach continued to test the visitors in the closing stages and there was late drama when they were awarded a penalty after Javi Martinez brought committed a dangerous tackle in the box. Martinez was given his marching orders and Bensebaini converted from the spot to secure an incredible win for the home side.
It was a big occasion for Marco Rose’s team this afternoon, and their win over Bayern could be the result that transforms them from plucky underdogs into genuine title contenders.
With a point to prove, Gladbach began the game with an intensive high press that has characterised their surprise success this season.
Laszlo Benes picked up an yellow card less than ten minutes in card for a forceful challenge on Alphonso Davies – an early indication that the hosts were trying to disrupt the reigning Bundesliga champions’ rhythm.
This early intensity rarely wavered throughout the game and Die Fohlen’s equaliser saw Borussia-Park erupt into manic celebration.
The equaliser sparked a revival and the hosts pushed Bayern right to the end – getting a deserved rewards through Bensebaini’s late penalty. A result like this means it’s time to take Gladbach seriously as title contenders.
Starting XI: Sommer (6); Lainer (6), Ginter (7), Elvedi (7), Bensebaini (9*); Zakaria (7), Hofmann (6), Benes (5), Stindl (6); Plea (6), Thuram (7)
Substitutes: Embolo (7), Raffael (6), Hermann (6)
Any kids reading this: if you want to learn how to head a ball, watch Bensebaini’s goal from this afternoon on repeat.
Peeling off from his maker expertly, the left-back generated a scary amount of power to grab a vital equaliser for his side. He also defended gallantly throughout the game, justifying his record of being the most expensive Algerian defender of all time.
Bensebaini’s fine performance was capped off when he showed nerves of steel to convert the penalty that earned Gladbach one of the most famous wins in their recent history.
After losing Constantin Tolisso 20 minutes in, Hansi Flick was forced to re-jig his predominantly industrious midfield, moving Thomas Muller into the centre and bringing on Ivan Perisic out wide. His injury would prove to be a blessing in disguise, with the Croatian’s introduction leading to Bayern to vastly improve going forward.
Perisic tendency to tuck inside gave free rein to Alphonso Davies down the left wing, while dropping Muller into midfield increased their goal threat and creativity in central areas. This led to Flick’s side dominating the first half in terms of chances created – they just lacked that finishing touch.
Although they did get grab a deserved goal through Persic early in the second half, Bayern were made to rue their missed chances when the hosts drew level and then scored a late penalty to condemn them to a shocking defeat.
They suffered from similarly poor finishing last weekend against Bayer Leverkusen and Die Roten must start taking their chances if they are to have any hope of retaining the Bundesliga title.
Starting XI: Neuer (6); Kimmich (6), Boateng (7), Alaba (6), Davies (7); Goretzka (7), Thiago (6), Tolisso (6); Muller (5), Lewandowski (6), Coman (5)
Substitutes: Perisic (8*), Martinez (4).
Perisic has had a slightly underwhelming start to his Bayern career, and he came out with a point to prove from his manager after replacing the injured Tolisso 20 minutes in.
Despite having a limited warm up, the Croatian was involved from the outset and linked up well with Davies down the left-hand side. Expect to see the 30-year-old afforded more playing time over the next few weeks.
Next up, Gladbach host Turkish side Basaksehir in their final Europa League group game. Die Fohlen are separated from Roma by goal difference in Group J, while just one point separates them from their opponents on Thursday – making it a three way playoff for the two available qualification spots.
Bayern are also in action in Europe. They face José Mourinho’s Tottenham in a fairly meaningless game, with both sides already securing their places in the Champions League last 16.