Anniversary man Mueller on target as Bayern beat Gladbach
BERLIN (Reuters) - Thomas Mueller scored in his 250th Bundesliga match on Sunday to give runaway leaders Bayern Munich a deserved 1-0 victory at Borussia Moenchengladbach that sent them a staggering 13 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.
The Germany international, who has had an unusually barren league season so far with just two goals, beautifully controlled a Thiago Alcantara chip in the box to score the winner in the 63rd minute for Bayern's fourth straight league win.
The Bavarians, chasing a treble of titles and facing Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals next month, are on 62 points, 13 ahead of second-placed RB Leipzig, who lost 3-0 at Werder Bremen on Saturday.
"I know what I can do. I wanted to score today and you could see it from my celebration," Mueller told reporters. "It was not your typical Mueller today as I scored a goal," he joked.
"The huge lead we have now is great. We may have not played our best at times but we wanted to win."
Fans in the Borussia Park enjoyed a galloping start from both teams, with Tony Jantschke coming close for the hosts and Mueller seeing the ball cleared at the last moment as he was about to slot in from a long cross.
Bayern forward Robert Lewandowski could have added to his 21 league goals but failed to beat Yann Sommer in a one-on-one, firing his shot at the charging Gladbach keeper.
Bayern kept knocking on the door, upping the pressure as Gladbach dropped deep into their own half, defending desperately.
Arjen Robben's signature move to cut in from the right saw his curled shot bounce off the crossbar and Sommer then denied Lewandowski once more with his rebound point-blank diving header.
It was a similar story after the break with Bayern pressing and Gladbach working extremely hard to keep a clean sheet with a rare Raffael shot the hosts' best chance.
Mueller then timed his run perfectly to control Thiago's superb assist, beating Sommer and snatching victory for the Bavarians.
Earlier on Sunday, Schalke 04 edged past Mainz 05 1-0 with a goal from Sead Kolasinac to keep alive their hopes of European football next season, moving up to ninth on 33.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Clare Fallon)