Bayern Munich 1 – Borussia Moenchengladbach 1

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Switzerland international XHERDAN SHAQIRI of Bayern Munich, the versatile 21-year-old midfielder who arrived this past summer after transferring from Swiss champion FC Basel for a fee of 9.0 million Euros, dribbles away from Borussia Moenchengladbach’s Norway international midfielder HAVARD NORDTVEIT (16), the 22-year-old who was bought by die Fohlen from English Premier League club FC Arsenal of London at the cost of 900,000 Euros over the Winterpause of the 2010/11 campaign, during the Bundesliga match at the always sold-out Allianz Arena in southern Germany.
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12/14/12
Bundesliga
Spieltag # 17

1 – BAYERN MUNICH ———————————– Shaqiri 59′
1 – BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH ——— Marx pen 21′

A first half penalty from the visitors was canceled out by a second half equalizer from an emergency replacement and a stellar performance from the guest’s goalkeeper made sure there would be no winner on this day as hosting record German champion BAYERN MUNICH and longtime nemisis BORUSSIA MOENCHENGLADBACH drew 1-1 to close out the first half of this historic 50th Bundesliga campaign.

Although the Bavarians began to control play from the opening kick-off, it was the visitors from North Rhine-Westphalia who took the lead in only the 21st minute of the match. A left wing cross from youthful Borussia Moenchengladbach midfielder TOLGA CIGERCI, the 20-year-old out on loan from Vfl Wolfsburg did, in fact, strike a leaping Germany international defender JEROME BOATENG on the arm. THORBEN MARX, the 31-year-old veteran midfielder who has been with die Fohlen since leaving Arminia Bielefeld in the summer of 2009, slotted the ball past Bayern Munich goalkeeper MANUEL NEUER, the current first choice for Germany, into the far corner with absolutely no problem.

Bayern Munich sought to fight back immediately but would find themselves facing a very much in-form netminder standing between the sticks for die Fohlen all throughout the entire match in MARC-ANDRE TER STEGEN, the talented and still only 20-year-old who has already made a pair of appearances for the senior national team of Germany.

Truth be told, Bayern Munich were lucky to have not gone down by two goals in the first half after Cigerci got around Neuer — Brazilian centerback DANTE, the 29-year-old veteran who had spent the last three and a half years in the Bundesliga with Borussia Moenchengladbach after transferring from Belgian club Standard Liege before moving only this past summer to Bayern Munich for the price of 4.7 million Euros, saved the day by clearing off the line.

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Bayern Munich continued their relentless pursuit of an equalizer immediately after the re-start but ter Stegen made a fabulous save from Germany international midfielder BASTIAN SCHWEINSTEIGER; the Brazilian centerback Dante, who had seen a first half header land on the roof of Borussia Moenchengladbach’s net, watched as another one of his headers only missed by inches.

Finally, the hosts drew level after the Borussia goal-scorer Marx, himself, made an ill-advised pass at the top of his own penalty area just before the hour. Sweeping in to intercept this defeadful mistake was Switzerland international XHERDAN SHAQIRI, the opportunistic midfielder who had come on as a first half substitute for the injured Spain international JAVIER MARTINEZ not so long before the break. A low, left-footed blast from the little Swiss tank squeezed between ter Stegen and the near post to bring Shaqiri, who has already netted for Bayern Munich in the D.F.B Pokal (German Cup) as well as the UEFA Champions League this term, a very first career goal on his 12th appearance in the vaunted Bundesliga, itself, this season.

The runaway Bundesliga leaders this term now sought to bag all three points with great vigor but to no avail. France World Cup winger FRANCK RIBERY, the Bayern goal-scorer Shaqiri, Schweinsteiger as well as Germany international midfielder TONI KROOS would all have potential Bavarian match-winners kept out by the impressive ter Stegen.

Still, Bayern Munich concluded the very successful first half of the 2012/13 Bundesliga season with the magnificent record of thirteen wins against but a solitary loss and three drawn matches. The team directed by trainer JUPP HEYNCKES, which boasts a fabulous +37 goal-differential in the Bundesliga this term, holds a nine-point lead over the nearest competitor, that being Bayer Leverkusen, heading into the annual winter break. The defending champions, Borussia Dortmund, are a dozen points off the pace as Christmas approaches.

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Borussia Monechengladbach goalkeeper MARC-ANDRE TER STEGEN (1), the young Germany international who made a strong case for Man-of-the-Match honors in this final Bundesliga game for both sides before the annual Winterpause, grabs the ball in front of his former teammate and Bayern Munich’s current Brazilian centerback, DANTE, during the Bundesliga match watched by 71,000 spectators at the sold-out Allianz Arena in Bavaria.
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BAYERN MUNICH : Neuer – Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba – Martinez (Shaqiri 38′), Schweinsteiger – Mueller (Pizarro 80′), Kroos, Ribery – Mandzukic (Gomez 57′)

BORUSSIA MOENCHENGLADBACH : ter Stegen – Jantschke, Stranzl, Brouwers, Wendt – Marx – Hermann (Rupp 79′), Nordtveit, Cigerci (Xhaka 76′), Arango – Hanke (de Camargo 75′)

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