Harry Kane scored the go-ahead goal to help Bayern Munich to a 3-1 comeback home win over Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday, keeping hot on the heels of leaders Bayer Leverkusen, who won 2-0 at Darmstadt. Bayern stay just two points behind Xabi Alonso’s unbeaten side, with the two facing off next Saturday in Leverkusen. The big game is coming. We wanted to show our fans something,” Leverkusen midfielder Granit Xhaka said after the match.
But while Leverkusen secured a comfortable win at last-placed Darmstadt thanks to a brace from England-born Nigeria winger Nathan Tella, Bayern were once again bailed out by Kane, who now has 24 goals in 20 league games this season.
Gladbach travelled to Munich boasting a brilliant recent record against the perennial German champions, with Bayern winning just one of their past six matches.
Bayern conceded early after a horror pass from Manuel Neuer allowed Gladbach to waltz through the penalty box, with Nico Elvedi tapping in from close range. Bayern youth product Aleksandar Pavlovic drew the home side level just before halftime when he slid through the Gladbach defence and drilled in the equaliser.
Gladbach were courageous against an injury-hit Munich side who have lacked confidence and fluency since the winter break. Kane however stepped up with 20 minutes remaining, heading in after a mistake from Gladbach ‘keeper Moritz Nicolas.
Kane’s 24th league goal of the season keeps him on track for the all-time record of 41 goals in a Bundesliga season, set by his Bayern predecessor Robert Lewandowski. Leverkusen’s win ensured they would go into next week’s clash with Bayern atop the table.
Making his first league start since moving to Leverkusen from Southampton at the start of the season, Tella put Leverkusen ahead after half an hour, shedding his marker to head in a looping chip from Alex Grimaldo.
Tella doubled up early in the second half, blasting in from close range past the helpless Darmstadt ‘keeper.
Stuttgart took advantage of Borussia Dortmund’s 0-0 draw at Heidenheim on Friday, winning 3-1 away against a 10-man Freiburg to go three points clear in third place.
Brighton loanee Deniz Undav gave Stuttgart the lead after just three minutes, with Germany winger Chris Fuehrich added another just four minutes later. Freiburg lost Merlin Roehl to a straight red card for an ugly studs-up tackle after just 18 minutes, but they would be the next to score when Lucas Kuebler found the goal late in the first half. With Freiburg pushing for an unlikely draw, Maximilian Mittelstaedt scored for Stuttgart with 15 minutes remaining to seal victory.
Elsewhere, Augsburg scored a penalty in injury time to snatch a point in a 1-1 draw at Bochum. Werder Bremen scored after just two minutes through Marvin Ducksch to win 1-0 at lowly Mainz. In Saturday’s late game, struggling Cologne host Eintracht Frankfurt.
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