Borussia Monchengladbach 3-2 Bayern Munich: Hofmann heroics stun Nagelsmann's sorry champions

By Sports Desk February 18, 2023

Bayern Munich had Dayot Upamecano sent off in a 3-2 defeat at Borussia Monchengladbach that dealt a fresh blow to their hopes of winning an 11th consecutive Bundesliga title.

The French defender received his marching orders in the eighth minute for a messy challenge, and goals from Lars Stindl, Jonas Hofmann and Marcus Thuram lifted Gladbach to a deserved win. Hofmann scored one and had two assists in a masterclass.

Daniel Farke's home side had won just one of their past five league games, but they did well here, reasserting themselves in the second half after Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting equalised Stindl's opener before the break. Mathys Tel's late strike for Bayern was scant consolation.

It leaves Bayern in danger of being knocked down to second place when Union Berlin face Schalke on Sunday, while Borussia Dortmund will have the chance to move level on points with Julian Nagelsmann's Bavarians when they host Hertha Berlin.

Bayern made a dreadful start, with Dayot Upamecano ordered off after bringing down Alassane Plea who got goal-side of the centre-back after a hopeful long ball.

The home side snatched a 13th-minute lead when a free-kick on the right was played by Hofmann to captain Stindl on the edge of the penalty area and his low strike found the bottom-right corner, beating Yann Sommer.

Bayern made a tactical change, replacing captain Thomas Muller with defender Joao Cancelo, but Stindl should have had a second goal for Gladbach in the 24th minute when he shot six inches wide after being picked out on the penalty spot by Kouadio Kone.

It was a major let-off and Bayern drew level in the 35th minute when Alphonso Davies dashed down the left and played a low centre that Choupo-Moting drove past Jonas Omlin for his eighth league goal of the season.

Yet it was Gladbach who struck next, in the 55th minute, when Plea's smart pass across goal from the right was calmly slotted in by Hofmann. It was also his eighth goal of the campaign, and Plea's eighth assist.

Ramy Bensebaini rattled the Bayern crossbar moments later, while at the other end Cancelo sent a drive from the edge of the box into the side-netting and Davies shot wildly wide.

Thuram looked to have sealed victory in the 84th minute, turning in a pass from Hofmann, before Tel turned in Bayern's second from close range in stoppage time amid a frantic finish.

What does it mean?

Bayern cannot buy a win when they ship the opening goal on league duty. They have now failed to win their last eight games when conceding first in the Bundesliga, and that is a problem for a champion team.

Great teams find a way, and on the evidence of much of this season, not just this setback, we are possibly not looking at a great Bayern.

Nagelsmann is winless in five games now against Gladbach in all competitions since joining Bayern (D2, L3).

French folly

It was a Frenchman who was the toast of Bayern in the 1-0 win at Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, when Kingsley Coman got the only goal.

Here it was another Frenchman in Upamecano whose clumsy defending proved costly. The red card was his third in the Bundesliga, and first since June 6, 2020, when he was an RB Leipzig player.

It was also the earliest a red card has been shown in the Bundesliga this season.

Gladbach pair at it again

Stindl and Hofmann rarely give Bayern a quiet moment. On this occasion, Stindl's goal was his eighth goal involvement against Bayern in the Bundesliga, while Hofmann's assist was his ninth such involvement against the champions.

Hofmann's 10th involvement came when he fired home to give the hosts a 2-1 lead, and his 11th brought about the hosts' third. Among current Bundesliga players, nobody has been involved in more goals against Bayern, with Marco Reus also on 11 involvements.

What's next?

Bayern will be back on home turf next weekend when they host Union Berlin on the Sunday. Gladbach do not have to wait so long for another Bundesliga game, with a trip to Mainz coming up on Friday.

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