Borussia Dortmund: Bürki, Piszczek (Götze 80’), Hummels, Akanji, Hakimi, Delaney (Can 45’), Dahoud (Witsel 85’), Guerreiro, Hazard, Haaland (Reyna 72’), Brandt (Sancho 45’)
Bayern Munich: Neuer, Pavard, Boateng (Hernandez 85’), Alaba, Davies, Kimmich, Goretzka, Coman (Perisic 73’), Muller, Gnabry (Martinez 87’), Lewandowski
Borussia Dortmund’s lack of impetus and drive cost them the game against title-holders Bayern Munich. Dortmund created limited clear-cut chances, with most of their efforts on goal coming long range. Bayern took the lead towards the end of the first half, and their experience and game management skills helped them hold on to their narrow lead, as the game ended 1-0 to Bayern Munich.
End-to-end football is what we love the Bundesliga for, and that is exactly what the first half of the Der Klassiker delivered. When out of possession, neither team gave their opposition a minute to breathe. This had two apparent effects on the game. First, there were plenty of mistakes made by the back line of both teams. Second, while attacking, the forwards had to be quick-minded and decisive with the ball.
Unfortunately for Borussia Dortmund, we made plenty of mistakes at the back, and showed very little decisiveness in the front end of the pitch. Dortmund’s clumsiness at the back gave Bayern the ball in dangerous areas who forced Dortmund to resort to last-ditch defending. The standout chance that fell to Bayern in the first 20 minutes was Serge Gnabry’s shot, which was cleared off the line by Lukasz Piszczek.
Erling Haaland had a couple of great openings created for him by his teammates, however, he didn’t seem to be at his sharpest. His easiest chance was when he was pretty much one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but he took too long to sort his feet out, letting Alphonso Davies make a brilliant tackle after a rapid recovery run.
A few minutes before the break, Bayern took the lead. Joshua Kimmich’s audacious dink from right outside the box looped over Roman Bürki in goal, who really should have done better with his attempt to save the 20-yard chip. Bürki tried to drag the ball back into play rather than tip it over the crossbar. This mistake by the Polish International proved to be detrimental to Dortmund as the game panned out.
The second half was largely similar to the first half in terms of the tempo of the game. Dortmund kept much of the ball, but lacked a killer pass when needed or an exquisite finish from a distance. Jadon Sancho came off the bench in the second half, but he offered no inspiration to the team with insignificant movement off the ball. Despite the lack of precision in Dortmund’s play, we had one glorious opportunity in the second forty-five, which rather obviously fell to Haaland. This time Jerome Boateng’s arm blocked his shot. This wasn’t given as a penalty by the referee, neither was it reviewed by VAR, causing quite a stir on social media, and groans in the houses of Dortmund supporters.
Mahmoud Dahoud was Dortmund’s sole spark in the Der Klassiker, and it’s a shame that he too could not find a goal after a couple of stinging long shots at Manuel Neuer’s goal. The game ended Borussia Dortmund’s scoring run at the Signal Iduna Park. Today was the first time since January 2018 that we have failed to score at home. Lucien Favre will have plenty to ponder about the attacking options he should use in the remaining games of the season, as Dortmund’s title hopes are all but gone…