Guardiola: Missed chances cost Bayern against Gladbach

The German champions slipped to their first Bundesliga defeat of the season and their coach has explained why he feels they lost

Pep Guardiola bemoaned Bayern Munich’s inability to convert a host of first-half chances after their 3-1 Bundesliga defeat at Borussia Monchengladbach.

Yann Sommer made good saves from Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski, before Kingsley Coman hit the woodwork as the visitors controlled the opening period at Borussia Park.

However, Monchengladbach stunned Guardiola’s men with second-half goals from Oscar Wendt, Lars Stindl and Fabian Johnson to register their second straight win over the Bavarian giants.

The result represented the defending champions’ first league defeat of the season, having previously won 13 of their 14 top-flight matches.

“We played a very strong first half and created plenty of chances,” Guardiola told a news conference. “Unfortunately we couldn’t find a goalscorer.

“After the [Monchengladbach] goals we lost our shape a little bit.”

The return of Franck Ribery after nine months out with an ankle injury was a rare positive for Bayern on a dismal day, and the winger found the net for a late consolation.

“We are pleased for him, that he is after the long injury available again,” added the Bayern coach.

Borussia Monchengladbach 3-1 Bayern Munich: Guardiola's men stunned by clinical hosts

Goals from Oscar Wendt, Lars Stindl and Fabian Johnson gave Borussia Monchengladbach a shock 3-1 win over Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Franck Ribery rose from the bench to make his comeback in the second-half and pulled a goal back for Pep Guardiola’s side, though Gladbach stood firm to take all three points.

The result comes as a major shock given Bayern’s early-season form, with the reigning champions having avoided defeat in all of their domestic fixtures prior to their humbling trip to Borussia Park.

More to follow…

Mancini: Could Guardiola succeed with a mid-table club?

The Inter boss is not convinced the two-time Champions League winning coach’s approach would work at a club outside of Europe’s elite

Inter boss Roberto Mancini says he is not convinced Pep Guardiola’s methods would work at a mid-table club.

Guardiola enjoyed huge success at Barcelona, winning two Champions League titles before joining Bayern Munich, where he has lifted consecutive Bundesliga crowns and a Club World Cup.

His Bayern side are dominating again in Germany this season, establishing an eight-point lead at the top of the table after 14 games, and are seen as one of the favourites to win the Champions League this term.

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Mancini, however, is intrigued to see whether Guardiola’s possession-based approach would work at a team not challenging for honours.

He told Sky Sport Austria : “He is doing well and his style of football works for teams like Bayern Munich and Barca, but I’d like to see him work at a mid-table side.

“Regardless of that, Pep has some good ideas and is a very good coach.”

Serie A’s status as the strongest in Europe has waned in recent years and Mancini is not convinced the infrastructure, or personnel, are in place for that situation to be reversed.

He added: “In previous years Serie A was the best league in the world with lots of foreign players who wanted to come here. That was certainly a wonderful period, then things changed, above all due to the financial crisis in the country.

“Then there’s a problem with the stadiums, as there hasn’t been enough investment. Perhaps it’s necessary to change those at the top, as I’m not convinced the people governing Italian football are the right ones.”

Borussia Monchengladbach – Bayern Munich Preview: Nordtveit seeks to halt champions' run

The resurgent Foals will face their sternest test of the season so far when they welcome the runaway leaders to Borussia Partk on Saturday

Borussia Monchengladbach defender Havard Nordtveit is quietly confident that his in-form side can end Bayern Munich’s unbeaten run when the two meet in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Coach Andre Schubert has overseen a dramatic upturn in the club’s fortunes since succeeding Lucien Favre in late September, with the hosts having lost only one of their last 14 games in all competitions.

But champions Bayern have set a new Bundesliga record by remaining unbeaten since the start of the season and Nordtveit is aware that his side will have to be at their best to bring that astonishing run to an end at Borussia-Park.

“It is always an honour and an enjoyable experience playing against Bayern Munich,” he said.

“They are one of the best teams in Europe, if not in the world and particularly going forward, they are incredibly strong.

“If you want to pick up points against Bayern, then you have to defend intelligently. 

“Many teams adopt a highly defensive setup, but this is often ineffective due to the fact that Bayern tend to eventually find a hole. 

“We will not only concentrate on our defence, but will look to play forward. 

“I hope that we are able to create chances and score goals, just like we have done in recent matches.”

Bayern will be wary of the threat posed by their opponents, against whom they dropped five points last season.

Indeed, the Bavarian giants have won on only two of their last nine league visits to Borussia-Park and will need to improve upon last weekend’s rather lacklustre display against Hertha Berlin if they are maintain their eight-point buffer at the top of the table.

Pep Guardiola’s men were boosted this week by the return to training of Franck Ribery, who has been sidelined since March with a chronic ankle injury.

The France international will not feature this weekend, but could be back in action before the mid-season break.

In further good news for the visitors, Thomas Muller has hinted that he is keen to sign a new contract with and teenage striker Kingsley Coman has insisted that he would prefer to stay at Bayern rather than return to parent club Juventus once his two-year loan deal expires. 

Brazil forward Douglas Costa is a major doubt as he struggles to overcome a thigh problem, while Thiago Alcantara is facing at least a further fortnight on the sidelines after re-injuring his problematic right knee.

For the fourth-placed home side, a thigh injury is expected to rule out Austrian defender Martin Stranzl and, although he has returned to training, the game will come too early for midfielder Ibrahima Traore.

Monchengladbach’s main goal threat will be provided by Brazilian forward Raffael, who has scored six league goals this term, while defender Fabian Johnson will look to continue his unlikely hot streak in front of goal having scored three times in the last two games.

Key Opta stats:

– Borussia Monchengladbach claimed four points from Bayern Munich last term – more than any other Bundesliga side. They were also the only side not to concede a goal against Bayern in 2014-15.

– Bayern have conceded more goals away to Monchengladbach (76) than against any other Bundesliga side. 

– Since Andre Schubert took job, only Bayern (25) have claimed more points than Monchengladbach (23). 

– Monchengladbach have netted 26 Bundesliga goals under Schubert – only Bayern have netted more frequently in that time (27).

– Schubert’s men were bottom after matchday five, but are fourth nine games later – a feat which has never previously been managed.