Bayern held but still end year well clear of rivals


Sun, Dec 16, 2012 - Page 19

Runaway leaders Bayern Munich needed a second-half equalizer to snatch a point in a 1-1 draw at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach on Friday in their final Bundesliga match of the year.

The draw left Bayern 12 points clear of the chasing pack while ’Gladbach moved up to sixth.

After ’Gladbach claimed a half-time lead through a Thorben Marx penalty, Bayern battered their visitors’ goal and the torrent of chances finally paid off when Swiss star Xherdan Shaqiri equalized with half an hour left.

’Gladbach took the lead when Bayern’s Jerome Boateng leapt to block a cross from Tolga Cigerci and the ball struck his hand.

Referee Tobias Welz pointed to the spot, despite furious protests from Boateng, and Marx slammed home the 21st-minute penalty.

The goal came against the run of play and took the wind out of Bayern’s sails. Things refused to go the hosts’ way in the first-half as Dante headed over while Franck Ribery had a shot saved.

Adding injury to insult, defensive midfielder Javi Martinez went off with a facial injury from a stray elbow as ’Gladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen pulled off a string of superb saves.

The ’Gladbach defense was finally beaten following a mistake by Cigerci. His badly timed pass was snapped up by Shaqiri, who leveled on 59 minutes.