Der Klassiker- An Analysis
A win for the home side this weekend against Borussia Dortmund in this season’s first “Der Klassiker” (German Classico) is of the highest necessity for the players and their current interim manager, Hans Dieter Flick. Although, a midweek two nil win against Olympiacos in the Champions League may have boosted the morale heading into this weekend’s game. Following on from last weekend’s 5-1 hammering against Eintracht Frankfurt, a win against ‘The Black & Yellows’ for the home side will more than likely elevate their confidence levels, whilst moving them into third place above Hoffenheim and Borussia Dortmund.
On the other hand, Borussia Dortmund were definitely striding into Saturday’s Der Klassiker with higher levels of confidence, especially after last week’s 3 nil home victory against Wolfsburg. Moreover, a midweek win in the Champions League against Inter Milan would have maintained their excitement after they came from two nil down to win 3-2 at home.
Players to watch out for
Bayern Munich: In form striker Robert Lewandowski will surely be looking to add to his current tally of 14 goals in the league. Which has also placed him in pole position for the golden boot. Whilst not forgetting that he has scored 10 goals in his last 8 league matches, which will most definitely make him a cause for concern for the away team’s defense.
Borussia Dortmund: The man behind adding to Borussia Dortmund’s goal scoring success is Thorgan Hazard. The 26-year-old came into Saturday's game in the top spot for the most assists in the league with 6 assists. His ability to pick out a quality pass with the addition of a young and continually flourishing Jadon Sancho who has 5 assists this season, enables for the production of attacking chances and goals to be shared across the attacking line of the team.
With a fairly messy but cagey start to the game, the home side looked the more confident side as opposed to their opponents. It was Bayern Munich who seemed to gain a stronger foothold with their passing and movement with or without the ball. However, Borussia Dortmund had a handful of attacking opportunities, but failed to capitalize on those chances.
Until the first goal, which came the 17th minute.
A ball played over the top which was dealt with by Borussia Dortmund central midfielder Axel Witsel. Nevertheless, a short pass to his teammate Jadon Sancho (19) was intercepted by Thomas Muller. A short stint of pinball-like football outside of Borussia Dortmund’s 18-yard area resulted in a volleyed cross from Bayern’s right-sided fullback, Benjamin Pavard. With the ball being met by none other than Bayern Munich striker, Robert Lewandowski who fortunately had a free header and therefore resulted in the first goal of the game in the 17th minute.
One nil Bayern along with goal number 15 in the league for the Polish number nine, Robert Lewandowski.
Struggling to create chances and not being able to string a handful of passes together, Borussia Dortmund narrowly escaped conceding a second goal with Serge Gnabry being in an offside position after striking the ball as a result of Robert Lewandowski’s miss hit.
Furthermore, the opening 45 minutes ended with a stark difference in quality being evident in the first half statistics:
Goals: Bayern (1) vs (0) Dortmund
Possession: Bayern (62%) vs Dortmund (38%)
Shots: Bayern (8 shorts with 3 on target) vs Dortmund (1 shot with 0 on target)
Passes: Bayern (339) vs Dortmund (209)
The home side didn’t disappoint the onlooking supporters with an extremely fast start to the second half.
A quick buildup from the Bayern Munich defense, which was started by their left-sided central defender David Alaba. A quick pass from Alaba to Joshua Kimmich who played a killer pass between Borussia Dortmund’s midfield and defensive lines to Thomas Müller. Although he played a low cross across the box which rolled under the legs of Robert Lewandowski, the ball was subsequently tucked into the net by Serge Gnabry to make the score-line 2-0 inside the first 2 minutes of the second half.
Regardless of VAR (Video Assistant Referee) being utilized to contest Robert Lewandowski’s offside starting position in the lead up to the goal, it was overruled and the goal was given. Two nil Bayern Munich in the 47th minute.
The following 20 minutes had been fairly even between both sides. Dortmund had struggled to produce opportunities, but a driving run followed by a cross from fullback Achraf Hakimi was met by the underside of Paco Alcácer’sboot. The ball however was hit just left of the goal, with this being their best chance on goal throughout the entire game.
Minute 74 rolls through with a long goal-kick from Bayern’s keeper, Manuel Neuer. A headed flick-on from substitute Ivan Perišić to Robert Lewandowski led to a one-two pass from Lewandowski to Thomas Müller, back to Lewandowski. With the Dortmund defence in disarray, Bayern’s number 9 had time to take the ball down and calmly slot the ball in the back of the net. The score-line being three nil and the game consequently being out of reach for Borussia Dortmund.
Five minutes quickly pass on, with the ball being fizzed across the turf to Ivan Perišić who had only been on the pitch for four minutes. At this stage, the home side were oozing with confidence. Perišić calmly produced two step-overs with a low cross into the box which unfortunately was knocked into the net by Borussia Dortmund central defender, Mats Hummels.
In this game, Borussia Dortmund looked disheveled, lost & dejected whereas last weekend they played with optimism and charisma. Whereas, this Bayern Munich side against Borussia Dortmund played with bundles of confidence, tenacity and hunger to beat their opponents. A pressing game from the start of the match from the home side left tonight’s Borussia Dortmund side discombobulated and struggling to produce any kind of reply to Bayern Munich’s onslaught of goals. With the best player from the away side being Mats Hummels in the defensive line, a disappointing own goal summed up the demotivated performance of this young Borussia Dortmund side.
Therefore, Bayern Munich seemed to have come into this game with a point to prove in striving to close the gap between them and Borussia Mönchengladbach, who hold the top spot in the league with 25 points to Bayern’s 21 points (3rd place).
End Game stats
Goals: Bayern (4) vs (0) Dortmund
Possession: Bayern (60%) vs Dortmund (40%)
Total Shots: Bayern (17 shorts with 5 on target) vs Dortmund (2 shot with 0 on target)
Passes: Bayern (639) vs Dortmund (428)