Bayern’s Dominance Over BVB Continues
Heading into Saturday, Dortmund already had things going against them due to their current injury situation which saw Reina, Sancho and Guerreiro all miss out on the match. Bayern meanwhile have had a recent boost in returns from injury and are now only missing a few players with Pavard expected to return soon.
However, this match would start about as badly as it could have for Bayern. Just 2 minutes in, Kimmich would be forced into a turnover and a quick pass to Haaland saw the striker turn and hit a hard shot that deflected off of Boateng and into the corner to make it 0-1. Dortmund pressured the Bavarians very intensely for the following phase and just seven minutes later, they passed their way easily through the Bayern defense and Haaland was there to put away another to make it 0-2.
However, not long after that period, Dortmund took their foot off the gas. Bayern started to wake up a bit. The passing got better and coupled with BVB sitting a little further back, it seemed like a matter of time before the Munich side would get on the score board.
In the 26th minute, Sané would get the ball in the upper corner of the box, dribble pass a helpless Schultz and send in a perfectly placed pass to Lewandowski to make it 1-2. Then just before the end of the half, Coman was brought down just inside the box and a penalty was given. Lewandowski again stepped up and cooly put it past Hitz to make it 2-2.
The second half would be dominated by Bayern. BVB were forced to take off their talisman Haaland in the 60th minute due to injury and any hope that schwarz-gelb supporters might have had of a win appeared to vanish entirely. Unfortunately, Bayern also picked up a serious looking injury ten minutes later as Jerome Boateng would appear to pick up a nasty hamstring injury lunging to clear a through ball.
Ultimately, it would take Bayern till the 88th minute to finally get their winner. Dortmund had been playing very compact in the box and made it difficult for Bayern to score but finally they broke through with a nice volley from Goretzka found the lower left corner of the net making it 3-2. Just a minute or so later, Lewandowski got the ball just out side the box and finished off his hat trick, the scoring and the match with a low shot into the same corner to make it 4-2.
Slow starts have been an issue for Bayern all season. This match looked like it could be the culmination of that as they were pinged twice in the first ten minutes and looked awful doing so. Dortmund certainly is a good enough side on paper to give Bayern a beating and I think most Munich supporters were a little concerned it might finally happen after that start.
However, yet again they dug themselves out of that pit and took home three points. A lof the credit certainly should go to the players for not panicking and fighting their way back. However, this is another example of mental block that Dortmund have currently when facing Bayern.
There simply seems to be no belief in themselves at the first sign of adversity. It also seems like Bayern are aware of this and is part of the reason that there is no panic when they do go down. However, they cannot continue in this vein when playing better more confident sides, especially in the Champions League.
I was hopeful after seeing the Lazio match that most of the slow starts were lack of focus against perceived lesser sides, however this match proved that this might not be the case. The players need to find a way to come out consistently from the start with energy and urgency. If they can’t figure out a way to make that happen, they very well may end this season with one or possibly even zero trophies to show for their efforts.
Having said all of that, the response from the Bayern players really was fantastic. Leroy Sané had a very impressive first 45 minutes. He absolutely tortured Schultz on the right and created a multitude of dangerous chances for Bayern with his assist to Lewandowski clearly being the high.
Süle also had a very good match overall. The makeshift right back is certainly not the offensive threat that Pavard or Kimmich are in that position but his improvement in this area is dramatic. He seems to have gained confidence in recent weeks and is making more of those dribbling runs through opposing defenders. More importantly, there is often a decent pass or cross at the end of those runs. While Boateng’s injury and Pavard’s near return most likely means Süle will return to center back, it does seem as though the big defender is starting to regain some confidence and form at the right time.
In reality, the team as a whole looked pretty good following the second goal. Kimmich didn’t have the greatest match of his life but fought and worked as hard as you would expect. Goretzka had a nice match which saw him net the winner in spectacular fashion. Coman created havoc on the left, especially in the second half, terrorizing the BVB defenders with some wonderful dribbling efforts.
But then there’s Lewandowski. The striker who has been unquestionably the best player in the world over the last year plus was in excellent form today. He was active and dangerous the whole match. He and Sané were really on the same page all match and combined for several dangerous chances before the first goal.
While I don’t think it was the best performance from Müller, you do also feel like his return helped to open up the striker just a little bit more as well. When Lewandowski is up for a match and in the form he was tonight, he is unstoppable. Those three goals also feel huge in terms of the chase for Gerd Müller’s Bundesliga record. While I thought he had a chance coming into tonight, I didn’t expect that he would pick up three more goals in this one. A record that many thought was untouchable is starting to feel not only possible at this point but downright likely.
Bayern have another full week to prepare for their matchup with Werder Bremen. These weeks of full recovery feel very important to a side that has had a grueling schedule and really needed a break. Lets hope they use this time to recover and mentally prepare to dominate from the first whistle next weekend.