Bayern Munich held by Borussia Monchengladbach in Bundesliga opener

Robert Lewandowski helped Bayern come from behind with a 42nd minute goal as it settled for a draw with Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Robert Lewandowski celebrates after scoring against Borussia Moenchengladbach in Moenchengladbach, Germany.   -  AP

Champions Bayern Munich had to work its way back from a goal down in its Bundesliga season opener on Friday as it earned a 1-1 draw at Borussia Moenchengladbach thanks to last season's top scorer Robert Lewandowski.

The Bayern forward, who scored an all-time league record 41 goals last season, but was repeatedly denied by Gladbach keeper Yann Sommer, volleyed in from a corner to level in the 42nd minute after Alassane Plea had put the host in front in the 10th.

Bayern was also lucky not to concede a penalty after Marcus Thuram twice went down in the box after contact with Dayot Upamecano.

"It was a game that was exciting for fans. Obviously you cannot be satisfied with a draw," said new Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann, whose team is hunting a 10th straight league crown.

"It was a bit wild, a bit too open but both teams had good phases.”

"We did not start well and lost possession too often. We did it better and were really strong in the final 20 minutes of the first half when we scored."

There was, however, no time for Nagelsmann and the champions, who had won none of its four pre-season warmup matches, to settle in, with Gladbach instantly pressing high and Patrick Herrmann firing narrowly wide in the fourth minute.

With 23,000 fans allowed in the 60,000-capacity and firing up the home team, Herrmann should have finished a quick break himself a little later, instead of miscuing a pass for Lars Stindl.

With Bayern's backline repeatedly caught out of position or losing possession, Plea did not miss when he latched on to a well-timed through ball from Stindl in the 10th minute to rifle past keeper Manuel Neuer.

Bayern upped the tempo and Lewandowski twice came close to levelling but both times Sommer was in position to deny the striker.

Lewandowski, however, moved quickly to beat his marker three minutes from halftime to volley in the equaliser, and he came close adding a second early in the second half but was denied by yet another superb Sommer save.

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Gladbach's Marcus Thuram also should have done better when he failed to connect with the ball in front of goal late in the game. He then twice protested for a penalty after the challenges by Bayern's Upamecano.

"You could see there was contact," said Gladbach coach Adi Huetter.

"But it makes no sense complaining now. A penalty was not given."

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