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2016/2017 German Bundesliga
  • Thomas Müller (63')

Thomas Muller boosts Bayern beyond Borussia Monchengladbach

Thomas Muller and Franck Ribery celebrate Bayern's win on Sunday. PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images

Bayern Munich opened up a 13-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga as Thomas Muller's second-half goal secured a 1-0 win at Borussia Monchengladbach.

RB Leipzig's 3-0 defeat at Werder Bremen on Saturday gave the German champions the chance to extend their commanding advantage before the international break.

For over an hour, Bayern were frustrated by a combination of some shoddy finishing and the inspired form of Monchengladbach's Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer.

But Muller finally broke the Foals' resistance after 63 minutes, beating Jannik Vestergaard to Thiago Alcantara's lofted pass and finishing in clinical fashion.

Surprisingly, it was only Muller's second goal in the Bundesliga this season, with his previous effort coming against Wolfsburg in early December.

Mid-table Monchengladbach were penned back for long periods and often seemed non-existent as an attacking force.

But they came close to grabbing a fifth-minute lead when Tony Jantschke almost squeezed the ball home at the near post after some sloppy Bayern defending.

That was Monchengladbach's only opportunity in a one-sided first half in which Bayern somehow failed to take one of the many chances they created.

Robert Lewandowski was the main culprit as the Poland striker had a rare off-day in front of goal.

Lewandowski headed over Franck Ribery's cross, which was just too high for him, before Sommer smothered his shot when he seemed certain to score.

Home defenders were putting their bodies on the line in a brave defensive display, and Arjen Robben saw his fierce goalbound drive blocked by Vestergaard.

Robben then cut inside on his favourite left foot in trademark style to lash a shot against the angle of post and crossbar.

Lewandowski seemed set to bulge the net with a follow-up header, but Sommer was again equal to the task with a fine diving stop.

The pattern remained the same after the interval with Bayern on top and pushing men forward.

But Lewandowski enjoyed no better fortune as he slid Muller's cross wide from six yards out.

Bayern's profligacy was almost punished when Raffael fired just wide, but Muller finally gave the visitors the lead a minute later.

Monchengladbach finished strongly as substitute Thorgan Hazard tested Manuel Neuer at his near post and Tobias Strobl headed over from six yards.

But the Bayern defence held firm for a 17th win in 19 games in all competitions, taking another step towards retaining their domestic title.

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