The record champions triumph in the Bundesliga hit at BVB. Only very small differences were decisive for FC Bayern – although the hosts were able to fix a weakness. The analysis.
Bayern Munich managed to win the prestigious game with Borussia Dortmund again. But BVB showed a significant improvement in their 3-2 loss compared to previous games. There was a tactical and playful exchange of blows in which nuances made the difference.
In terms of tactical formations, both coaches were not surprising. The FC Bayern team started with the best possible line-up. At Dortmund, the main question for coach Lucien Favre was who he would raise in central midfield. The Swiss chose a defensive variant with Axel Witsel and Thomas Delaney.
Photo series with 15 photos
This choice was also evident in the early stages of the game. Witsel and Delaney showed little presence in the offensive, so BVB played in a 4-2-4 and focused strongly on fast attacks rather than gently pushing the ball through midfield.
The basic formations of both teams.
Photo series with 15 photos
Long balls against possession dominance
In the last duels with Bayern, since Hansi Flick was in charge there, Dortmund always had problems overcoming the aggressive pressure and gaining space. BVB was mostly nailed to its own half and gradually worn out. Favre responded to this new threatening scenario by letting his team play a relatively vertical and spacious football.
Dortmund often grabbed the long ball on the four high-ranking attackers around striker Erling Haaland. Mostly the left side was played where Bayern mobilized their new right back Bouna Sarr. BVB had some success due to the pace advantages of Haaland and Co., but initially failed to score, which was sometimes due to Manuel Neuer’s well-timed run-out.
Bayern could not be disturbed by Dortmund’s tactical direction. If you owned the ball, the ball would run through your own rows as usual, looking for the decisive gaps in BVB’s defensive network. One trick was to pull the two wingers Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman to the center and thus push BVB’s line of defense together. This left holes for the advancing fullbacks or even the advancing David Alaba.
Bayern pushed Dortmund’s defenses together and created space for the second wave.
Unstoppable lines of attack
The five goals that fell during the 90 minutes and reflected the exchange of blows between the two teams on the scoreboard also came about as both defending rows could only partially withstand the attacking stars. Haaland or Gio Reyna were just too fast for the Bayern defenders and repeatedly had the upper hand in ongoing duels.
On the other side of the field, it was Bayern’s flawless and fluid passing play that Dortmund couldn’t get a hold of. Attacker Robert Lewandowski did the rest in the penalty area, for example when he beat Mats Hummels several times. Overall, the attack ranks were great entertainment.
Dortmund with more presence, Bavaria more direct
After Bayern managed to score 2-1 early in the second half via Lewandowski, Dortmund followed the deficit from that moment on. Favre decided to stick to the basic order they chose, but changed details. So after his substitution for Delaney, Jude Bellingham made sure that the teams were better connected.
The young Englishman moved between penalty areas with great dedication, while Joshua Kimmich’s injury-related loss made itself felt at Bayern. Because normally Kimmich would have been someone who could have attacked Bellingham.
Raphaël Guerreiro’s range also expanded in the second half, giving Dortmund more weight in midfield. With a score of 2: 1 for Bayern, it was noticeably the leader of the table playing more and more direct and looking for quick space gains through the fast Coman, Gnabry and later Leroy Sané.
In this regard, both teams switched roles a bit over the course of the second half, further underlining how strong the two best teams in the Bundesliga are on the offensive. Yesterday’s game was an impressive proof of that.