Late Tel goal takes Bayern past stubborn Gladbach

Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso has the side purring since joining in October 2022 (CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU)
Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso has the side purring since joining in October 2022 (CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU)

A goal from French teenager Mathys Tel with three minutes remaining took Bayern Munich to a 2-1 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday.

The victory took Bayern level on nine points with leaders Bayer Leverkusen at the top of the Bundesliga.

A first-half strike from Kou Itakura had Gladbach looking like keeping their recent hoodoo over Bayern alive, before Leroy Sane pulled one back midway through the second half.

With the clock winding down, Bayern's Joshua Kimmich curled in a corner and Tel found himself unmarked, with Gladbach's defence focusing their energies on Harry Kane.

Tel headed in, sending the visiting fans into raptures and grabbing the three points for the visitors.

Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel said his side's "second half was maybe the best we've played this year" telling Sky "we fully deserved to win. We didn't lose our nerve and we showed our energy."

Gladbach have become Bayern's bogey side over the past decade, despite the Bavarians winning the last 11 Bundesliga titles.

Bayern had won only one of their past seven against Gladbach, a run which included a 5-0 German Cup thumping in 2021, their biggest loss since the 1970s.

Despite scoring seven goals in their first two league games, Bayern had few chances early, Gladbach marking striker Kane out of the game.

The home side broke the deadlock after 30 minutes, Itakura heading in a rebound from a corner to give his side the lead.

After the match, Bayern veteran Thomas Mueller told Sky "when that goal went in, I thought 'oh no, not again, I'm in the wrong movie."

With Kane receiving Gladbach's attention, Sane found space and looked the most likely, rattling the crossbar five minutes from half-time.

The former Man City winger eventually got his side on the board in the second half, pivoting after collecting a Kimmich chip and sliding the ball into goal with the studs of his boot.

Tel, 18, came off the bench in the 81st minute and scored just six minutes later to snare the three points for Bayern.

- Boniface brace -

Nigeria striker Victor Boniface scored in each half to help Bayer Leverkusen to a 5-1 victory over promoted Darmstadt.

Boniface, 22, who arrived from Belgian side Union Saint-Gilloise in the summer, opened the scoring with a superb solo effort, slicing through the Darmstadt defence before elegantly chipping the goalkeeper.

Yet to claim a point in two matches after returning to the top division this season, Darmstadt equalised shortly after, Oscar Vilhelmsson tapping in from close range.

Argentina World Cup winner Exequiel Palacios scored straight after half-time, his shot taking two fortunate deflections on the way to goal.

Leverkusen then put the game to bed with two goals in six minutes -- another for Boniface and one for Germany winger Jonas Hofmann, his first for his new club since moving from Borussia Moenchengladbach.

A late Adam Hlozek goal sealed the clinical victory, which continues Leverkusen's stunning form under manager Xabi Alonso, who took over in October 2022.

After the match, Alonso said the victory was "important for the team, for Boniface, for Jonas and also for me".

"We want to build on that but also stay focused."

Leverkusen's next match after the international break is at Bayern.

Stuttgart continued their good early season home form, beating local rivals Freiburg 5-0, the same scoreline as their opening win over Bochum.

Chris Fuehrich and Serhou Guirassy bagged doubles and Enzo Millot scored a late goal, helping Stuttgart rebound from last week's 5-1 thrashing by Leipzig.

Guirassy now has five goals in three games for a side which needed to win a two-legged playoff against second-division Hamburg last season to avoid relegation.

Elsewhere, Werder Bremen put the departure of star striker Niclas Fuellkrug behind them, putting four goals past a hapless and scoreless Mainz at home.

Goalless in their opening two games, Bremen had four different players on the scoresheet as they claimed their first points of the season.

Hoffenheim came from behind to beat Wolfsburg 3-1 at home, John Brooks, Maximilian Beier and Robert Skov getting on the scoresheet after visiting striker Tiago Tomas opened the scoring.

In central Bavaria, Augsburg led twice but were pegged back both times by goals from Bochum's Takuma Asano as the sides played out a 2-2 draw.

dwi/dj