Bundesliga

Bayern returns with win at Gladbach

Bayern Munich's Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara (L) and Bayern Munich's midfielder Thomas Mueller celebrate
Bayern Munich stretched its league unbeaten run to 42 games on Friday night.
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BERLIN (AP)

TOWERS OF STRENGTH

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Bayern Munich won 2-0 at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Friday as the Bundesliga resumed after a five-week winter break.

Mario Goetze opened the scoring in the seventh minute, when he was left in space to dispatch the ball first time inside the far post after Thomas Mueller's cut-back from the right.

Goetze had grazed the outside of the post just a minute before, when he did well to flick the ball over a defender.

Mueller made it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the 54th, after Granit Xhaka was penalized for using his arm in a goalmouth scramble. Marc-Andre ter Stegen had just pulled off two fine reflex saves to deny Goetze.

Moenchengladbach, previously unbeaten at home, twice struck the post - through Max Kruse in the 40th after a quick throw-in, and then in the 64th, when Patrick Herrmann let fly from a difficult angle.

''Bayern were simply better than we were today,'' said Ter Stegen, who had more touches of the ball than any other Moenchengladbach player. ''When things are going well for Bayern it's nearly impossible.''

Bayern stretched its league record unbeaten run to 42 games, and opened up a 10-point lead over Bayer Leverkusen ahead of the rest of the weekend's games.

Bayern, the defending champion, still has to play its game in hand at Stuttgart on Wednesday.

''If we keep playing like this we'll be German champions,'' Bayern president Uli Hoeness said.

Mario Mandzukic was left out the visitors' squad. Sporting director Matthias Sammer said before the game that the Croatian striker hadn't been training well enough.

''I heard he wasn't training well, but I hope it's behind us next week, because we need Mario for the important games this season,'' said Hoeness, who said he didn't know if Robert Lewandowski's signing from Borussia Dortmund for next season had had an effect.

Guardiola wouldn't be drawn on Mandzukic's omission.

''What happens in the team I discuss in the training room, not with the media,'' Guardiola said.

Franck Ribery and Javi Martinez had also been left out, with back and ankle problems respectively.

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