Bayern vs Dortmund

The Bundesliga champions conceded defeat on home grounds to ‘Der Klassiker’ rivals Borussia Dortmund yesterday. It was a match for Bayern who came in with already a starting XI of injuries and could have done worse (which they did at the end of the game). 

Bundesliga form: Dortmund sit in mid table in the domestic league while Bayern has already won the league with a few games to spare 

Match report and analysis: 

Both teams started in quite solid fashion. Bayern pressing and playing a fast game while Dortmund was comfortable to concede possession to them and sit and pressurise. The stats showed a 51 to 49% possession rate with the former going to the home team however on the pitch Bayern controlled the tempo of the match, often slowing it down and disallowing interceptions from Dortmund. Dortmund played counter attacking football, (as much as they could) when they got the ball they pushed down the flanks, however Bayern’s defense coupled with Manuel Neuer at the back seemed to deter any penetration. 

Dortmund blew a few chances they had – the first big chance of the game when Shinji Kagawa’s attempted pass to put Marco Reus through was blocked and then the counter attacked opened up for Lewandowski to finish nicely.  

Robert Lewandowski put the home team in front by the first half an hour, hitting in a first rebound that he scored, after going one-on-one with Dortmund keeper Mitchell Langerak. 

A penalty call was also ignored by the referee with an obvious handball by Marcel Schmelzer who tried to block Muller’s shot with his hand. 

Through the second half Bayern had multiple chances to put the game to death with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Mueller missing sitters and Langerak saving Dortmund’s blushes exceptionally well. 

Half time also saw the substitution of Henrikh Mkhitaryan for frontman Shinji Kagawa and the latter’s assist led to -about the worst player on the pitch, – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leveling with 15 minutes to go. Then the game really opened up. 

Dortmund were by then in control, and signs of weariness began to creep in, as petty fouls flew around too. 

A troubling sight for Bayern fans was when Arjen Robben was substituted in during the second half, but his comeback was cut short as he was withdrawn in quick time after he seemed to have pulled a calf injury.

With extra time rolling around, nothing much transpired in the course of the thirty minutes and it was down to penalties where the real drama began. 

Bayern’s captain Philipp Lahm, Xabi Alonso and Manuel Neuer missed, of which the first two slipped nearly exactly in the same way and Manuel Neuer hit the crossbar. Langerak continued being on point and saved Gotze’s shot. For Dortmund, Sebastian Kehl and Ilkay Gundogan hit the target with the exception of Mats Hummels penalty being saved by Neuer. 

Bayern thus see themselves out and Dortmund go on to the finals in Berlin for the DFB Pokal cup. 

It would also mark Jurgen Klopp’s last game as their head coach. Klopp could not have wished for a better final match with the team before he leaves his long standing position. 

 ________________________________________________________

Commendations go out to: 
Rafinha for doing a lot of calling for the ball only to get outrun not once by the Dortmund defenders. He seemed to get this and started changing his passing style to long balls up to the wingers. He seemed to get more comfortable on the side as time passed. Hard worker, this one. 

Thiago makes ridiculous passes – like the one to Lewandowski. Thiago came back newly from injury and showed his ability to fit right back in. He was calm and composed even when manmarked by 4 Dortmund players. 

Some game thoughts: 

Stereotypes aren’t true. Mostly not, especially when you go – shouldn’t Germans not miss penalties/save them? 

Also, the team at the top doesn’t always win it all. 

Bayern needs to start worrying. Lewa was brought down by Langerak in a clash and he looked extremely dazed and I wonder if he might have a mild concussion. This is even more worrying as we face Barca in the UCL soon. 

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