Before the last international match break, the signs were diametrically opposed. Bayern had just given away consecutive two-goal leads, while Dortmund were leading the table. This time, with a three-point lead and odds in their favor, the Bavarians entered the eternal duel with Dortmund.
3 Things We Noticed
1. Cold as Bavarian ice
You could easily tell that this match wanted to be a top game. Both teams initially acted with extreme caution, Dortmund even reluctant for their standards. It has always distinguished FC Bayern under Jupp Heynckes, and during the triple-winning season in particular, that they don’t need many chances to score. It was the same this time. The first chance immediately led to the opener scored by Robben. The now more aggressive BVB, however, was able to gain opportunities, but did not manage to equalize. Bayern on the other hand, used their third shot to score the second goal.
xG map for Dortmund – Bayern. So, yeah, I thought Dortmund were pretty good today besides the not scoring. pic.twitter.com/uTWQFca1y8
— Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) 4. November 2017
In the second half, the Bavarians managed to calm down the game at least partially, to not allow Dortmund to dictate the game entirely. Even though this was not entirely successful and Peter Bosz's team had a lot of chances, in the end it was enough. Even if the clear win was a lucky one, as can be seen in the "expected goals" values.
2. Bad counter-defense
Bayern managed to hold Dortmund at a relatively low number of shots. At halftime, there were only four BVB shots taken, all of which however were must-scores. The lead gave the Reds only limited control. Sometimes it was a simple mistake, like for Yarmolenko’s first chance, when Martinez lost the ball in midfield, sometimes it was a structural issue of the team being positioned too high up the pitch. With a 1-0 lead, Heynckes’ team should not see their corner kick turned into a counterattack. Not only the counterattacks themselves were problematic, but the poor defending of them as well. Too easily did the Bayern players let themselves be forced into an action, allowing Pulisic or Kagawa to react. This caused large gaps. The lead was thanks to Sven Ulreich, who kept them on the winning track.
Martinez and Thiago did not always succeed in providing the necessary stability. BVB were able to free themselves from Bayern’s often only semi-serious pressing by using Pulisic in the half-spaces. He was able to run towards the back-four at high speed, creating several dangerous situations. This was also due to the fact that the record champions did not consistently move along for their own counterattacks. This resulted in huge gaps in midfield, which Dortmund were able to make good use of. Especially in the phase between minute 30 and 60.
3. Still searching for a coach
Yes, Bayern has once again moved in the right direction under Jupp Heynckes. The victories prove him right. The success proves him right. It makes the search for a successor both easier and more difficult. Easier in the sense that peace and calmness have returned to the Bayern surroundings. More difficult because a successor may see himself be judged by the success of Heynckes.
At the same time, the current success, which is largely due to the weakness of the domestic competition, should not obscure the fact that a change is imminent. This has to be addressed early enough and a solution has to be sought with the players. Here, all those responsible have to pull together, otherwise the same situation will arise as it did in early autumn. Back then, they only talked about each other, but not with each other. In the next few weeks, the direction should be set here.
|Borussia Dortmund – FC Bayern München 1:3 (0:2)|
|Borussia Dortmund||Bürki – Bartra, Sokratis (42. Toljan), Toprak, Schmelzer – Weigl, Castro, Kagawa (68. Götze) – Yarmolenko (80. Sancho), Aubameyang, Pulisic|
|Subs||Weidenfeller, Guerreiro, Sahin, Schürrle|
|FC Bayern||Ulreich – Kimmich, Süle, Hummels, Alaba (74. Rafinha) – Martinez (81. Rudy), Thiago, James (84. Vidal) – Robben, Lewandowski, Coman|
|Subs||Starke, Boateng, Tolisso, Wriedt|
|Goals||0:1 Robben (17.), 0:2 Lewandowski (37.), 0:3 Alaba (67.), 1:3 Bartra (88.)|
|Cards||Yellow: Alaba (65.), Martinez (75.) / Schmelzer (9.), Toprak (58.)|
|Referee||Tobias Stieler (Hamburg)|
|Attendance||81.360 (sold out)|