Bayern Munich climbed back to the top of the Bundesliga table after edging in Der Klassiker yesterday. The Bavarians are now unbeaten in their last 4 games against their arch-rivals, following a narrow 3-2 victory at Signal Iduna Park.
After starting off well, Dortmund opened the scoring in the 45th minute. Raphael Guerreiro delivered a low cross and Marco Reus slotted it into the back of the net. Bayern Munich equalised shortly after Dortmund’s goal from a David Alaba free-kick, which also took a slight deflection.
Bayern resumed the second half with a much higher intensity. They got their reward early on. Robert Lewandowski gave the treble winners the lead by scoring a brilliant header from Lucas Hernandez’s cross.
Leroy Sane was brought on in the 69th minute by Hansi Flick. The former Schalke and Manchester City winger scored in the 80th minute to increase Bayern’s lead by 2 goals.
Young striker Erling Haaland pulled one back for Dortmund 3 minutes after Sane’s goal. The Norwegian dribbled past Manuel Neuer and scored a great goal. Guerreiro’s exquisite long ball also deserves a pat on the back.
Borussia Dortmund went with the 4-2-3-1 formation. Lucien Favre made three changes following Dortmund’s 3-0 win against Club Brugge in the Champions League. Mats Hummels, Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho retained their place in the starting eleven. They replaced Mahmoud Dahoud, Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard.
Bayern Munich, too, went with the same formation. Two changes were made by Hansi Flick. Bouna Sarr took Benjamin Pavard’s right-back spot and Leon Goretzka replaced Corentin Tolisso in the midfield.
Bayern’s high defensive line being exploited
Hansi Flick is known for playing attacking football with a very high intensity. The German manager also prefers a high defensive line and a very high pressing system.
Throughout the game, Dortmund took advantage of Bayern Munich’s high backline. The men in red did press them to win the ball back, but Dortmund could manage to break the press and hit Bayern on the counter.
Erling Haaland was very instrumental whilst carrying the ball forward. His physicality made him hold the ball very easily. The Dortmund fullbacks were also a great help as they were always ready to bomb forward whenever possible.
It’s a shame Dortmund failed to convert their chances when it mattered the most. They could’ve easily won the game if they were successful in that regard.
Haaland: A performance of hits and misses
Although Erling Haaland did score one of Dortmund’s two goals, his performance was more of a roller coaster ride.
Whilst the Norwegian striker played an important role in orchestrating Dortmund’s chances, he also failed to capitalise on the chances he got.
Haaland could have easily netted a hat-trick yesterday if it weren’t for the sitters he missed. For instance, his clear-cut goal-scoring opportunities in the 21st minute and the 47th minute were easily convertible. They definitely must have come back to haunt him after the final whistle.
The 20-year-old admitted in an interview that he was wasteful yesterday.
“I have to score more goals. If we don’t put our chances away at this level, then we won’t win. Bayern are the best team in the world and we have to work harder to take the next step to be as good as them.”Haaland on his performance
An unlucky day for Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski was very prolific in front of goal yesterday (he always is). The Polish striker scored an exquisite header from a brilliant cross by Lucas Hernandez in the 48th minute.
Despite his great performance, the VAR disallowed two of his goals. The first disallowed goal was in the 24th minute. Lewandowski scored when Serge Gnabry squared the ball into the box. It was ruled offside, but it was pretty close and the decision can be debatable.
His second disallowed goal was just a couple of minutes before the referee blew the full time whistle. Gnabry’s shot was blocked by Hummels. The rebound fell to Lewandowski and he scored. But he was in an offside position once again and the goal had to be ruled out.
Lewandowski could’ve scored a hat-trick too, but unfortunately for the Video Assistant Referee.
You either capitalise on your opportunities or you get punished for failing to do so. That’s what we learned from Borussia Dortmund’s performance yesterday.
There was absolutely nothing wrong with the way Dortmund played, but their missed chances came back to bite them. Bayern were clinical in front of goal, and they ended up with 3 points in the bag.
Bayern Munich head back where they belong – top of the league. The gap is still pretty narrow with Leipzig below them by just 2 points. But the treble winners have always been a force to reckon with. This might just be the beginning of Bayern’s ruthless rule after an average start to the league.