Gladbach stun German league leaders Bayern

Borussia Moenchengladbach blew the German league title race wide open on Friday with a stunning 3-1 win over leaders Bayern Munich with rising star Marco Reus dazzling against the Bavarian giants. The 22-year-old Reus, who will join defending champions Borussia Dortmund next season, did his future employers a huge favour as the Bundesliga resumed after the winter break. Reus scored the first goal before winger Patrick Hermann added the second just before half time. The pair then combined with 20 minutes left for the third goal to seal Bayern's defeat which capped a fine team performance before Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger scored a late consolation. Having also stunned Bayern with a 1-0 victory in Munich on the opening game of the season last August, 'Gladbach completed the double. The three points saw 'Gladbach jump from fourth to second in the table and are just a point behind Bayern while both Dortmund, who play Hamburg on Sunday, and Schalke, who host Stuttgart on Saturday, can join Bayern on 37 points. Just three points now separate the league's top four teams. Munich's vastly superior goal difference means they will stay top of the Bundesliga this weekend regardless of other results, but their defeat helps all three of their title rivals. Bayern were missing suspended France wing Franck Ribery, but coach Jupp Heynckes still named a star-studded team. The return of Schweinsteiger after breaking his collarbone in November was eagerly anticipated, but it was Reus who showed exactly why Dortmund are prepared to pay 17.5 millions euros for him. The game was just 11 minutes old when Hermann put pressure on Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and when the German shot-stopper mistimed his clearance kick, Reus pounced on the loose ball and curled his shot home. It was his 11th league goal in 16 games and he is sure to add to his three appearances for Germany later this year with Euro 2012 beckoning. Bayern responded as Dutch winger Arjen Robben curled in a cross but striker Mario Gomez -- the league's top scorer with 16 goals in 17 games -- was denied by a fine save from 'Gladbach's teenage keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Hermann then benefited from a defence-splitting pass from ex-Germany striker Mike Hanke on 41 minutes and the 20-year-old fired home with his team pouring forward on the attack. With 20 minutes left, 'Gladbach counter-attacked down the left flank and Reus played a superb through pass which allowed Hermann to escape the attentions of four defenders, round Neuer and slot home from a tight angle. With a quarter of an hour left, Schweinsteiger netted a consolation goal, but it was too little, too late.

Source: AFP