Borussia Monchengladbach 1 Bayern Munich 5: Kovac's side pull level with Dortmund at summit

Robert Lewandowski scored twice as Bayern Munich made light work of Borussia Monchengladbach.

Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich players celebrate during their 5-1 triumph over Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.   -  Bongarts

Bayern Munich pulled level on points with Borussia Dortmund at the Bundesliga summit after thumping Borussia Monchengladbach 5-1 on Saturday.

Long-time leader Dortmund had opened the door for Niko Kovac's side after suffering a shock 2-1 defeat to Augsburg on Friday and the reigning champion never looked in danger of failing to take advantage as it swatted aside the host, which now sits fourth.

Javi Martinez gave the side a second-minute lead before Thomas Muller's fifth league goal of the campaign doubled the lead nine minutes later.

Lars Stindl pulled one back for the host in the 37th minute, but Robert Lewandowski's glorious finish shortly after the restart extinguished any hopes of a comeback as Bayern – which added two more late on through Serge Gnabry and a Lewandowski penalty – cruised to an 11th win in its last 12 Bundesliga games.

RELATED| Augsburg 2 Borussia Dortmund 1: Bavarians boost neighbour Bayern in Bundesliga title race

Bayern started in devastating fashion, taking the lead inside two minutes Lewandowski's low strike was tipped around the post by Yann Sommer after just 30 seconds, but from the resulting corner Martinez headed into the roof of the net for his second league goal of the campaign.

Bayern's superb start got even better after 11 minutes, Thomas Muller turning in from close range after Sommer had kept out his initial effort.

The Monchengladbach goalkeeper then denied Robert Lewandowski and Gnabry before Stindl clawed the host back into it eight minutes before the interval, the captain fizzing past Manuel Neuer from 15 yards.

Bayern started the second period in similar fashion to the first and restored its two-goal advantage in the 47th minute, Lewandowski collecting Thiago Alcantara's pass, swivelling superbly and clipping a fine finish past Sommer.

Gnabry added a fourth from close range in the 75th minute and Lewandowski scored from the spot in stoppage time after Joshua Kimmich had been tripped in the area to add gloss to a scoreline that sends an emphatic message to Bayern's title rival, which now leads only on goal difference.

What does it mean? Momentum with Kovac's men          

It has been a challenging first season in charge of Bayern for Kovac, but the side is now surely favourite to claim a seventh Bundesliga title in a row.

RELATED| Favre rues Dortmund mistakes with Bayern ready to pounce

The team looks in irresistible form, while the wheels appear to be well and truly falling off for Dortmund – Lucien Favre's side which has won just once in its last five games.

Lewandowski makes amends in style

The Polish striker was twice denied by Sommer in the first half – chances he would have expected to bury – but bounced back with a stunning strike early in the second half. His late penalty means he is now level on 195 goals with Claudio Pizarro as the Bundesliga's all-time top foreign scorer.

James fails to sparkle

Despite a free-flowing attacking display from Bayern, James Rodriguez was strangely subdued. The Colombian has not always looked happy this season and he again cut a forlorn figure when he was replaced by Renato Sanches in the closing stages.

Key Opta facts

- Bayern scored its 12th headed goal of the season. No other Bundesliga team has scored more than eight. In the top five European Leagues, only Tottenham (14) has scored more.
- Lars Stindl scored his 50th goal in the Bundesliga. It was his first goal since November 2018.
- Serge Gnabry netted Bayern's 4.000th Bundesliga goal, becoming the first club to reach that milestone.

 

What's next?

Kovac's side hosts Wolfsburg next Saturday at the same time as Dortmund faces Stuttgart. Monchengladbach, meanwhile, travels to Mainz on the same day.

  Dugout videos