#1: It doesn’t seem to matter who starts right now.
Jupp Heynckes is pushing all of the right buttons and the team has responded. The vaunted and true depth of Bayern Munich’s roster has finally started to hit all cylinders under Heynckes’ German engineering. The squad’s versatility and unselfish play has created an environment where any one of a number of players can be the deciding factor in a given game. Wednesday, it was Jerome Boateng with the timely header and Thomas Müller with the deft lift over Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Bürki for what would be the game-winner among the many Reds who elevated their play.
#2: The first 11 minutes decimated Dortmund’s confidence until it was too late.
Bayern thoroughly dominated Dortmund in the first 11 minutes until the visitors finally caved. After Arturo Vidal, James Rodriguez, Robert Lewandowski, Franck Ribéry, and Niklas Süle all missed golden opportunities, Boateng capitalized with a header to put Bayern up 1-0. The pace and constant pressure clearly put Dortmund on its heels until Die Schwarzgelben eventually broke through on Andriy Yarmolenko’s goal in the 77th minute.
#3: If Müller and Lewandowski continue to play this well together, it’s bad news...well, for everyone other than Bayern.
Müller found the back of the net for the second consecutive game off a beautiful feed from Lewandowski and the two appear to be trending toward world-class collaboration — again. The constant chatter about Müller’s regression has been overblown to say the least. Simply put, Müller is still a force despite what his detractors say. His relationship with Lewandowski and how they thrive off each other makes the Bayern attack infinitely more dangerous. If the duo can continue to create this much havoc, it could mean a formidable run in the Champions League, not to mention a runaway in the Bundesliga.
#4: Ribéry put in 60 minutes of ‘bat out of hell’ play
Ribéry was a menace for his hour on the pitch. While his “advanced age” of 34 might lead some to think he cannot play at such a demanding pace, the Frenchman was a dynamic force that required the attention of the Dortmund back line despite not appearing on the score sheet. For a man who is supposed to be in the twilight of his career, Ribéry once again proved that his presence on the pitch requires attention.
#5: Even with a convincing early performance, no lead was safe in Der Klassiker.
For all of the fine work Bayern turned it, Dortmund was not going to bow out of the DFB-Pokal easily. Yarmolenko may have provided the scoring for Dortmund, but Christian Pulisic was a threat any time he has the ball. Pulisic’s dynamic play helped keep Dortmund hanging around long enough to make the final 25 minutes or so a toss up. In addition, Alexander Isak nearly tied the game in stoppage time, which once again proved why you should never turn away from Der Klassiker until the final whistle sounds.