Thiago tames Monchengladbach after Bayern Munich falls behind early

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich recovered from falling a goal behind on Saturday to thrash Borussia Monchengladbach 5-1 courtesy of a quickfire first-half double from Sandro Wagner and second-half goals from Thiago Alcantara, David Alaba and substitute Robert Lewandowski.


Despite fielding a lesser side with the midweek DFB Pokal game in Leverkusen in mind, Treble-seeking Bayern recovered from the shock of falling behind to stretch their lead at the top to 23 points in the 100th Bundesliga meeting in the game formerly known as Der Klassiker.



Manager rating out of 10

9 -- Jupp Heynckes showed absolutely no mercy for his "big love" where he won four Bundesliga titles as a player. By handing out a 5-1 thrashing to the Foals, Heynckes bolstered his side's lead at the top to 23 points and is heading serenely towards another Bundesliga record. Twenty-five is the biggest margin in league history when Jupp's side left Jurgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund trailing in their wake in 2012-13.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Sven Ulreich, 6 -- Could do nothing to prevent the 'Gladbach goal and basically otherwise unemployed.

DF David Alaba, 8 -- Missed both legs of the Champions League tie against Sevilla but now back for the business end of the season after recovering from a back twinge. The Austria international went close with a free kick in the first half, before curling a spectacular goal into the net -- his 18th Bundesliga goal -- but his first ever with his right foot. Alaba even assumed the captaincy in the second half from Muller before being subbed to standing ovations on 73 minutes.

DF Mats Hummels, 7 -- Hardly broke a sweat as 'Gladbach carried little threat after their bright start.

DF Niklas Sule, 6 -- Too easily deceived for the goal but repaired his earlier naivety with a cute pass in the build up to the equaliser.

DF Joshua Kimmich, 7 -- An inch-perfect delivery provided Robert Lewandowski with the final goal of the evening and a 13th assist of the season -- joint-most in the Bundesliga with teammate Muller and Augsburg's Philipp Max .

MF Juan Bernat, 5 -- Toiled industriously but with little end product, only catching the eye with an embarrassing second-half dive in 'Gladbach's penalty box.

MF Sebastian Rudy, 5 -- Unspectacular, other than a shot from distance early in the second half. Rudy will return to the bench in midweek.

MF Corentin Tolisso, 6 -- Tested goalkeeper Yann Sommer in the first half and helped set up the third goal. After otherwise failing to impress (like midfield partner Rudy), Bayern's record signing will probably have to play a substitute's role in the next game.

MF Thiago, 9 -- Pulled the strings in midfield, showing his full array of skills. His cute pass almost played in Muller for a goal, but his perfect dummy allowed Muller to ghost in and cross for the equaliser. His goal, six minutes after half-time settled the game as a contest, while another dummy allowed Alaba the time and space to fire home a collector's item -- a goal with his much weaker right foot.

MF Thomas Muller, 8 -- Captain Muller turned the tide with two quickfire assists -- taking his tally to 13 for the season in the Bundesliga -- before he was subbed at the break with stiffer tasks ahead in mind. The days when Muller was surplus to requirements under Carlo Ancelotti seem a distant memory.

FW Sandro Wagner, 8 -- A swift double-strike fired Bayern ahead, first poking home from close range on 37 minutes. He then squeezed a header past hapless 'Gladbach keeper Sommer for his seventh league goal with Bayern in only his sixth start. Could easily have had a hat trick but Sommer finally made a save. Wagner's stats show he scores a goal every 71 minutes -- even better than Robert Lewandowski -- not bad for a mere a backup striker.


MF James Rodriguez, 8 -- Bayern's signing of the season (grazie Ancelotti) came on for the second half and soon thundered a shot against the post. Producing a stunning pass in the build-up to the third goal for Thiago. The Colombia playmaker will no doubt start in midweek as Bayern aim to reach the cup final with their strongest side all on show.

FW Robert Lewandowski, 7 -- Replaced the two-goal man Wagner on 70 minutes, with still more than enough time to find his 27th goal in 27 games this season, getting on the end of a floated Kimmich cross for the fifth and final goal.

DF Rafinha, N/R -- Replaced Alaba at left-back and also assumed the captaincy from the Austrian for the final 17 minutes, which shows the standing he has gained at the club in recent seasons.