Plenty to Ponder for Pep Despite Bundesliga Debut Win
FC Bayern Munich 3-1 Borussia Monchengladbach
Goals: 1-0 Robben (12’), 2-0 Mandzukic (15’) 2-1 Dante (40’ own goal) 3-1 Alaba (69’)
Bayern emerged 3-1 victors against a gallant Gladbach side, with the scorers’ familiar in the guise of Arjen Robben and Mario Mandzukic in the opening quarter, and the Austrian David Alaba sealing the three points with a cool penalty with twenty minutes to play.
Bayern started furiously and soon got their lead when Arjen Robben latched onto a through ball to dink past a poorly positioned Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the Gladbach goal. Three minutes later, and the man between the visitors’ sticks spilled a Robben free kick, allowing Mario Mandzukic to tap in the rebound.
As the first half neared its conclusion, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer had to be at his best to deny Max Kruse with a smart reflex save before Dante unnecessarily prodded past his own goalkeeper to give the visitors a lifeline just before half time.
The second half was an end-to-end battle, and although Bayern had 26 shots on goal, the visitors were always a threat on the break. Ter Stegen did his best to keep a number of Bayern efforts at bay, while Gladbach did theirs not to score.
Just when it was getting interesting and only the away fans were audible, Gladbach defender Alvaro Dominguez conceded two penalties in a minute. Ter Stegen remarkably saved the first from Thomas Müller but the Spaniard handled the rebound under pressure from Robben. Alaba slotted home, restoring Bayern’s two-goal cushion and ultimately the three points for Guardiola on his Bundesliga debut.
FC Bayern Munich: Neuer - Lahm, Dante, Alaba, Boateng – Kroos (Martinez 85‘), Schweinsteiger (Kirchhoff 73‘), Robben, T. Müller (Rafinha 77‘), Ribery, Mandzukic
Borussia Moenchengladbach: ter Stegen - Jantschke, Stranzl, Alvaro Dominguez, Daems – Kramer (de Jong 85‘), G. Xhaka – Herrmann (Hrgota 70‘), Arango (Younes 70‘) - Raffael, M. Kruse
Yellows: Kramer, Stranzl, Dominguez - Mandzukic
Referee: Tobias Welz