2021-22 German Bundesliga
  • Alassane Pléa (10')
  • Robert Lewandowski (42')

Bayern need Lewandowski goal to earn draw at Gladbach in Bundesliga opener

Lewandowski's goal levels it for Bayern (0:39)

Robert Lewandowski hits his first goal of the season to pull Bayern even with Gladbach. (0:39)

Champions Bayern Munich had to work their way back from a goal down in their Bundesliga season opener on Friday as they earned a 1-1 draw at Borussia Monchengladbach thanks to last season's top scorer Robert Lewandowski.

The Bayern forward, who scored an all-time league record 41 goals last season, volleyed in from a corner to level in the 42nd minute after Alassane Plea had put the hosts in front in the 10th.

- ESPN+ viewers' guide: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, FA Cup, more
- Replay: Bayern held to draw as Bundesliga returns (U.S. only)

There was no time for new Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann and the champions, who had won none of their four preseason warmup matches, to settle in, with Gladbach instantly pressing high and Patrick Herrmann firing narrowly wide in the fourth minute.

"It was a game that was exciting for fans. Obviously you cannot be satisfied with a draw," said Nagelsmann, whose team is hunting a 10th straight league crown.

"It was a bit wild, a bit too open but both teams had good phases.

"We did not start well and lost possession too often. We did it better and were really strong in the final 20 minutes of the first half when we scored."

With 23,000 fans allowed in the 60,000-capacity and firing up the home team, Herrmann should have finished a quick break himself a little later, instead of miscuing a pass for Lars Stindl.

With Bayern's backline repeatedly caught out of position, Plea did not miss when he latched on to a well-timed through ball from Stindl in the 10th minute to rifle past keeper Manuel Neuer.

Bayern upped the tempo and Lewandowski twice came close to levelling but both times Yann Sommer was in position to deny the striker.

Lewandowski, however, moved quickly to beat his marker three minutes from halftime to volley in the equaliser, and he came close adding a second early in the second half but was denied by yet another superb Sommer save.

Gladbach's Marcus Thuram also should have done better when he failed to connect with the ball in front of goal late in the game. He then twice protested for a penalty after going down inside the box following challenges by Bayern defender Dayot Upamecano.

German Bundesliga Standings

1 Bayern Munich 19 +43 46
2 Borussia Dortmund 19 +20 40
3 Bayer Leverkusen 19 +13 32
4 TSG Hoffenheim 19 +10 31
5 1. FC Union Berlin 19 +3 31
6 SC Freiburg 19 +8 30
7 RB Leipzig 19 +13 28
8 Eintracht Frankfurt 19 +2 28
9 FC Cologne 19 -2 28
10 Mainz 19 +6 27
11 VfL Bochum 19 -10 23
12 Borussia Monchengladbach 19 -10 22
13 Hertha Berlin 19 -17 22
14 VfL Wolfsburg 19 -13 21
15 FC Augsburg 19 -11 19
16 Arminia Bielefeld 19 -8 18
17 VfB Stuttgart 19 -11 18
18 SpVgg Greuther Furth 19 -36 7