Bayern beat Gladbach to climb to third

* Badstuber grabs winner for Bayern

* Gomez scores for third straight league match

(updates with detail, quotes)

BERLIN, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Bayern Munich squeezed past Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1 on Friday to climb to third in the Bundesliga, three points off the top.

Defender Holger Badstuber grabbed the winner with a dipping free kick in the 75th minute to end Gladbach's five-match unbeaten run and give Bayern 27 points from 15 matches.

The Bavarians have now won three matches in a row including last week's 1-0 victory over Maccabi Haifa in the Champions League. Gladbach are 11th on 18 points.

Leaders Bayer Leverkusen travel to Hanover 96 on Saturday while second-placed Werder Bremen, also on 27 points, visit Cologne on Sunday.

"Gladbach played a very good match and in the first half they were better than us," Bayern coach Louis van Gaal told reporters.

"We are playing as we did before but the big difference is we are now scoring goals."


Bayern striker Mario Gomez fired the hosts into the lead after 19 minutes with a low left-footed drive from 18 metres.

The Germany international, who has been battling for a starting spot all season, has now scored in three straight league matches.

Gladbach surged forward but missed several scoring opportunities.

Bayern keeper Hans-Joerg Butt spectacularly denied the visitors when he palmed away a Juan Arango shot in the 27th minute.

He was powerless, though, a minute later when defender Roel Brouwers scored from close range after combining well with American Michael Bradley.

Arango tested Butt again on the stroke of halftime when the Venezuelan fired a thunderous drive from the edge of the box that the keeper finger-tipped wide.

(Writing by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Tony Jimenez. To query or comment on this story email

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