Analysis: DFB cup final FC Bayern – Borussia Dortmund 0-0 (4-3 pens)

Christopher Separator May 22, 2016

Before the game the media attention was centred on Pep Guardiola and Mats Hummels who will return to Bayern after the season. Unfortunately the tactical aspects were rendered unimportant, but in the end dominated the actual game over large parts.

FC Bayern vs. Borussia Dortmund, 21 . May 2016 basic formations FC Bayern vs. Borussia Dortmund, starting formations


0-1 Kagawa scores centrally
1-1 Vidal scores left
1-1 Bender misses centrally against Neuer
2-1 Lewandowski scores left
2-1 Sokratis misses left
2-1 Kimmich misses centrally against Bürki
2-2 Aubameyang scores centrally
3-2 Müller scores left
3-3 Reus scores left
4-3 Costa scores right

(Bild: ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
FC Bayern celebrate their victory after winning on penalties
(Bild: ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Bayern Munich won on penalties and celebrated the DFB cup win against Borussia Dortmund. The images after the game should not go unmentioned: Pep Guardiola in tears, who emotionally thanked each player. A great farewell of a great coach.

3 things we noticed

1. Defence wins titles

Both teams shied away from big risk. BVB, as the game progressed, certainly more than Bayern, but both teams did not go full throttle. Tuchel’s back five took Bayern’s focus on the wings out of the game over long periods. Bayern created only few chances. The flexible interpretation of Sokratis and Bender generated defensive overloads in the important areas in the risky situations. Sokratis won 59% of his duels and convinced in the decisive scenes. If his penalty would have went on the right side of the goal post, the Greeks would most likely have become man of the match.

On the opposite side were Kimmich and Boateng who interacted seamlessly in their first game together. Both cleared the tricky situations when the other had made a mistake. Furthermore Kimmich won 73% of his duels and Jerome Boateng even 100%. Bayern managed to hold the best offense of the league to just two chances in 120 minutes. Overall, BVB had only nine shots. Impressive numbers – for Bayern. And again: If Kimmich converts his penalty, he would have become man of the match.

The game was under the famous slogan: “Offensive wins games, defence wins titles”. In the end both teams could not create gaps in the opposition defence lines and thus the game had to be decided once again on penalties. With 0.8-0.7 the “expected goals” were slightly in favour of Bayern. Even this metric indicates what this game was focused upon.

2. Nerves of steel for the penalties

The history of Bayern and the penalties is a special one. Not only because of the Champions League final in 2001, but also before and after. Unlike the last encounter against the BVB in the semi-finals in 2015 the team of Pep Guardiola had particularly strong nerves. Only Kimmich fell out of line. The remaining shooters converted confidently. Especially Thomas Müller’s penalty was remarkable, since he had received some criticism for his miss against Atletico Madrid. It was interesting to see Bürki waiting for a long time against Müller, as if the “delay tactic” of Bayern’s standard penalty take in recent years would have been figured out. In this tight final, the confidently converted penalties by the Bayern players were the difference in the end. The team that Pep Guardiola leaves behind has reached a new level: outstanding dominant football, cojones and strong nerves.

3. Willpower and moral

After 60 minutes the game was less dominated by tactics, but rather by willpower and moral. Over long periods Bayern tirelessly attack, although the counterattack danger was always present. Pep Guardiola urged his team to extremes. The substitution of Ribery is a good representation. Costa, Müller and said Ribery attacked again and again to find the gap in the BVB center.

However, BVB suffered from this ‘battle of attrition’. Hummels and Schmelzer had to leave the pitch early and Aubameyang, Reus and Mkhitaryan suffered noticeably from the many defensive duties. Attacks could no longer be carried forward with full intensity. It is idle to speculate whether a more rested Aubameyang would have scored a goal in the 85th minute, or if Mkhitaryan would have made converted more calmly in extra time.

Bayern pulled themselves together after exiting the Champions League against Atlético Madrid and won another domestic double. It was the climax of a season that has been outstanding very long stretches.

FC Bayern Neuer – Lahm, Kimmich, Boateng, Alaba – Vidal, Thiago – Costa, Müller, Ribéry (108. Coman) – Lewandowski
Bench Ulreich, Benatia, Rafinha, Alonso, Bernat, Rode
BVB Bürki – Piszczek, Sokratis, Bender, Hummels (78. Ginter), Schmelzer (70. Durm) – Weigl – Castro (106. Kagawa), Mkhitaryan – Reus, Aubameyang
Bench Weidenfeller, Pulisic, Sahin, Ramos
Goals Penaltys- 0-1 Kagawa, 1-1 Vidal, Bender verschießt, 2-1 Lewandowski, Sokratis verschießt, Kimmich verschießt, 2-2 Aubameyang, 3-2 Müller, 3-3 Reus, 4-3 Costa
Cards Yellow: Ribéry, Kimmich, Vidal, Müller / Castro, Hummels
Referee Marco Fritz (Korb)
Attendance 74.322 (sold-out)

»Eier, wir brauchen Eier!«

— Oliver Kahn

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