Borussia Moenchengladbach threatened to throw an unlikely spanner in the works for Bayern Munich and their Bundesliga title procession in Saturday night’s entertaining clash, before Leon Goretzka grabbed a late winner in an entertaining 2-1 win.
Borussia Dortmund’s had earlier used their get out of jail card to claim an injury-time victory over lowly Fortuna Dusseldorf to keep their dwindling title hopes alive.
Then an out-of-sorts Bayern, who could have claimed the title had Dortmund lost, were the ones sweating as their guests almost caused an upset at the Allianz Arena. A relieved Bayern remain seven points clear of Dortmund with only three matches remaining.
Bayern and Gladbach were both in generous mood as they gifted each other goals in a first half of errors.
Bayern looked like making things a little more interesting as they were decidedly out of sorts without their two-pronged attack of Thomas Mueller and Robert Lewandowski. The in-form goalscoring pair were watching from home as they were both suspended — and a concerned-looking coach Hansi Flick was thanking the VAR officials for ruling out an early Gladbach strike for offside.
Both defences looked shaky in an empty Allianz Arena and Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer laid the opener on a plate for Joshua Zirzkee. Sommer collected a simple backpass from Matthias Ginter and for some reason he squared it straight to the Bayern man, who gleefully fired home.
Rather than settle the nerves, Bayern continued to wobble and Gladbach were soon level.
With the visitors pushing forward, Benjamin Pavard could only put Patrick Herrmann’s cross into his own net past Manuel Neuer.
Maybe that late Dortmund goal earlier in the day unsettled Flick’s men, knowing they could not win the league this weekend.
It was Gladbach who looked like the champions in waiting as it was more of the same after the break, with Neuer making a string of world-class saves to keep Bayern level with the home defence all at sea.
With 20 minutes to go and Flick screaming instructions from the touchline, Bayern finally found another gear and began pushing their guests deeper into their own half. Just as a draw looked likely, the pressure finally told and Goretzka got on the end of a Pavard cross to take their winning streak to 13 games and take them one step closer to their eighth consecutive title.
Win in any fashion over Werder Bremen on Tuesday night and it is all over.
Earlier, Dortmund substitute Erling Haaland came to the rescue deep into injury time to steal all three points and a 1-0 victory at Fortuna Duesseldorf to keep their slim Bundesliga title hopes alive.
Wolfsburg 2 Freiburg 2
Dusseldorf 0 Dortmund 1
Hertha 1 Eintracht 4
Cologne 1 Union Berlin 2
Paderborn 1 Werder Bremen 5
Bayern 2 Gladbach 1