Bayern Munich 0-2 Borussia Monchengladbach: Raffael double stuns champions

The Bavarians suffered a shock defeat at the Allianz Arena as the Brazilian scored twice to stun Pep Guardiola’s side on Sunday

Bayern Munich lost Arjen Robben to injury as two goals from Raffael condemned them to a 2-0 defeat at home to Borussia Monchengladbach.

Despite dominating throughout, Bayern lacked fluency on Sunday after their top scorer’s withdrawal, and two goals from Brazilian striker handed them a first loss at the Allianz Arena since April 2014. 

Robben caught the eye during his time on the pitch, before a collision with Gladbach right-back Tony Jantschke resulted in him hobbling off just 24 minutes in to his comeback from a minor back problem.

And within a few minutes, Gladbach were ahead, as Manuel Neuer failed to keep out Raffael’s effort.

The visitors remained solid at the back after the break and they almost extended their lead when Andre Hahn struck the right-hand post 20 minutes from time.

Bayern failed to heed that warning, however, and Gladbach made sure of a famous win 13 minutes from time, Raffael netting again as Bayern suffered only their second defeat at the Allianz Arena in 41 Bundesliga matches.

The champions began the contest full of urgency, piling pressure on Gladbach from the start, with Robben looking particularly lively.

The Dutch star was involved in the game’s first real opportunity in the seventh minute, heading Juan Bernat’s left-wing delivery straight at Yann Sommer.

Despite the home side’s dominance, Gladbach’s numbers at the back proved difficult to break down, while they also contained Robert Lewandowski to good effect.

However, the blow of seeing Robben forced off with an apparent hip injury was a pivotal one for Bayern, with Thomas Muller taking his place.

Within six minutes, they were trailing, as Raffael met Patrick Herrmann’s precise cut-back with a low drive from 18 yards which Neuer inexplicably allowed to squirm over the goalline.

Having taken the lead, the visitors became even more compact at the back and, besides a Muller header that was played across goal and cleared by Martin Stranzl in the 42nd minute, Bayern crafted little before the break.

The second half followed a similar pattern, as Gladbach absorbed Bayern’s pressure brilliantly, preventing Pep Guardiola’s men from creating a single opportunity in the 15 minutes that followed the interval.

Bayern’s first chance of the second period arrived in the 63rd minute, as Muller met Rafinha’s cross and sent a volley at Sommer.

Despite sitting back, Gladbach still looked a threat on the break and they almost scored a second in the 70th minute, but Hahn could only hit the post as he raced past Holger Badstuber.

They were not to be denied next time, though, as Christoph Kramer raided up the right flank and crossed into the centre, where Raffael was waiting to squeeze a first-time effort under Neuer, moving Lucien Favre’s men up to third.

Rummenigge confident Guardiola will stay at Bayern

The German champions’ chairman sees no reason the Spaniard will not extend his contract with the club and says he is a crucial part of their current success

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge remains confident that Pep Guardiola will extend his stay at the club, insisting the coach is pivotal to their success.

Rummenigge revealed in February that he had spoken with Guardiola about a renewal to his current deal at Bayern, which will expire in June 2016, but that the former Barcelona boss was unwilling to discuss a new contract during the season.

With the campaign in Germany just two months away from finishing, Rummenigge has now re-addressed speculation about Guardiola’s future and says the 44-year-old and his family are happy with life in Munich.

“I know that Pep and his family are feeling very well in Munich,” Rummenigge said. “There is nothing to suggest he will not remain our coach after 2016.

“He is key to the successful period we are going through at the moment.”

Guardiola and his Bayern team will attempt to maintain their 11-point over second-placed Wolfsburg with a win against Borussia Monchengladbach on Sunday, with Dieter Hecking’s side taking on Mainz.

Bayern: Robben’s like an F1 engine

Club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt says the extra medical attention the Dutchman receives in Bavaria is to thank for condemning his injury woes to the past

Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben must be treated like the engine of a Formula 1 car, according to the club’s doctor.

The 31-year-old Dutchman suffered a number of injury problems earlier on in his career, which he says stunted his development during three years with Chelsea between 2004 and 2007, before his fortunes changed after he took up regular sessions with an osteopath while at Real Madrid in 2009.

“Arjen is comparable to a Formula 1 engine,” said club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt.

“He will be inspected prior to each game. And when he gets the okay – off he goes.”

Robben has started 19 of Bayern’s 25 league games so far this season, and seven of their eight Champions League fixtures.

And Muller-Wohlfahrt went on to say that the biggest thanks his medical team received arrived in 2012, when Robben cited them among the reasons for him extending his contract with Bundesliga giants.

“When it came to the contract extension, Arjen has said that he would remain in Bavaria for the medical care. He had good deals [to go elsewhere]. This is the biggest and best compliment.”

Bayern Munich – Borussia Monchengladbach Preview: Favre not afraid of runaway leaders

With a Champions League spot very much up for grabs, the 57-year-old is determined to get a result at the Allianz Arena

Lucien Favre says Borussia Monchengladbach are not scared of visiting Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

Bayern have romped to the title in each of the last two seasons and look set to do so again in 2014-15 as they enjoy an 11-point lead over Wolfsburg with nine matches remaining.

Monchengladbach, who finished sixth last term, have improved on that this time around and occupy third, the final automatic Champions League qualification spot. 

Favre’s men have lost just once in their past eight league outings and are in confident mood ahead of the trip to the Allianz Arena.

“Bayern’s clear advantage at the top isn’t by chance,” he said. “Their team is full of quality.

“We aren’t scared of them. We’re also a good team and we’ve shown that frequently this season.

“If we put in a good performance, picking up points in Munich is possible. It’s certainly going to be an interesting match; we’re looking forward to it.

“We need to play intelligently and defend strongly. We need to react quickly when we lose the ball and be ready for anything they throw at us.

“I will have a look at how the lads perform in training but my instincts will also come into play. The best team will start the game.”

Favre has Julian Korb and Havard Nordtveit available after they missed the 2-0 win against Hannover last time out, while Roel Brouwers has overcome a bout of illness.

Despite Favre’s confidence, Monchengladbach must attempt to topple a Bayern side that have lost just one home Bundesliga game in their last 41 outings.

Bayern’s record this season at the Allianz Arena reads 11 wins and a draw from 12 games. However, the visitors can take heart from being one of only two sides to keep a clean sheet against Bayern in the Bundesliga this season, after a goalless draw in the reverse fixture back in October.

Pep Guardiola, whose side were drawn against Porto in the last eight of the Champions League on Friday, has a fully fit squad to choose from after the return of Philipp Lahm in the 4-0 thumping of Werder Bremen last weekend.

Monchengladbach lost 3-1 on their last visit to the Allianz Arena, but that is one of only three Bayern victories in the past eight meetings between these two sides.

Muller: Porto? It could've been worse

The Bayern Munich forward was pleased with his side’s Champions League quarter-final draw, but team-mate Manuel Neuer is expecting a real test for the German champions

Thomas Muller says it “could have been worse” for Bayern Munich after Friday’s Champions League quarter-final draw saw his side paired with Porto.

The Bavarians, who eliminated Shakhtar Donetsk to book their place in the last eight, avoided the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Italian champions Juventus.

Bayern overcame Porto in the 1990/91 and 1999/2000 quarter-finals, but went down 2-1 to the Portuguese club in the 1987 European Cup final.

“We are satisfied with the draw,” said Muller. “It could have been worse. But we need to pay attention.”

Porto are the only unbeaten side remaining in the competition, however, and Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is expecting a real test when they visit the Dragao.

“The atmosphere in Porto is very heated,” said Neuer. 

“I witnessed the Porto fans during the 2004 Champions League final against Monaco. The atmosphere was amazing. 

“With these fans it won’t be easy for us, but we have played in many different stadiums with varying atmospheres and we will know what to expect.”

Bayern coach Pep Guardiola added: “The draw is the draw. All teams have a special quality. 

“Porto and Shakhtar were in the same group, so we have already watched a few of their matches. Porto have a great team and a beautiful stadium. 

“They are very strong physically and attack with a lot of pace, but in the quarter-finals you can’t expect an easy match.”

The first leg will take place in Porto on April 15, with the return clash to take place at the Allianz Arena six days later.