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Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Bayern Munich: Initial reactions and random observations

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Despite taking the lead twice, Bayern just couldn’t keep Dortmund at bay.

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Photo by A. Pretty/Getty Images for FC Bayern

Full time: Borussia Dortmund beat Bayern Munich 3-2. It was a tremendous performance from a resurgent Dortmund in the second half. Here are some observations to tide you over until our post-game articles:

  • Manuel Neuer made a few costly errors. He lacked confidence coming off of his line and Dortmund made him pay.
  • Paco Alcacer, Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho ran circles around the Bayern defense in the second half. Not only did the center backs struggle to cut off passing lanes and mark the trio, the midfield, specifically Javi Martinez, seemed lost and hung the back line out to dry during the final 45’.
  • The Bayern attack were bereft of ideas, resorting to thumping balls into the box in the hopes of equalizing.
  • Lucien Favre demonstrated his tactical superiority. Bayern were dominant in the first half while BVB absorbed pressure and looked to hit them on the break. Favre made a few key substitutions and took the brakes off of the attack, which spurred the black and yellows to a dominating second half display. Niko Kovac was unable to cope with these tactical adjustments and Die Roten’s organization decayed into chaos.
  • Dortmund are title favorites.

Full Time— Dortmund 3-2 Bayern.


90+5’—No Goal! Cross from Kimmich finished by Lewy. Ruled offside.


90+4’—Yellow card for Hitz. Time-wasting.


90+2’—Beautiful out-swinging ball from Sanches into the box. Just beyond the reach of a few Bayern attackers.


90’—5 minutes of added time.


87’— Yellow card for Sule. Tough challenge on Alcacer.


82’—Substitution: Delaney on for Brunn-Larsen. Dortmund’s final substitution.


82’—Substitution: Wagner on for Muller. Bayern’s final substitution.


77’— Kimmich whipped ball into the box from a free kick deflects off of Reus and just wide.


73’—Substitution: Sanches on for Gnabry.


73’— Goal Dortmund. BVB dissect the Bayern defense on the counter attack. Witsel finds Alcacer all alone and he finishes in the bottom left corner with a composed chip. Dortmund 3-2 Bayern.


67’— Goal Dortmund. Marco Reus finds space at the top of the box and hammers the ball into the bottom corner.


65’—Substitution: Hummels off for Sule. May be injured.


65’—Another chance for Dortmund. Reus sends shot from center of the box high and wide.


62’—After a scramble in the box, Bayern make desperation clearance! Jerome Boateng came up with a huge tackle to block Alcacer.


60’—Lewandowski goal disallowed. Offside.


60’— Substition: Alcacer on for Gotze. Watch this space.


59’—Reus denied on the doorstep! Kimmich clears the ball off the line.


52’—GOAL! Lewandowski! Following a scramble in the box, Kimmich finds Lewandowski on the back post to put the Bavarians ahead.


49’—Goal for Dortmund. Marco Reus levels the score from the spot.


47’—Penalty for Dortmund! Neuer comes off his line and clips Reus.


45’— One change for BVB. Mahmoud Dahoud on for Julian Weigl. Favre looking to provide more attacking flair in the midfield.


45’— The second half is underway in the Ruhr Valley!


Halftime—Bayern Munich have been defiant on the road at the Westfalenstadion, going into the half with a 1-0 lead. The Bavarians have put on a vintage display, dominating possession and and coping with the Dortmund counter. Here are a few observations from the first half:

  • Bayern have dominated possession and shown a creativity in the final third that has been lacking of late. Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski have been giving the Dortmund defense fits.
  • BVB have sat back and absorbed pressure throughout the match.
  • Expect this to change with Pulisic and Alcacer waiting on the bench.
  • Bayern have coped with the counter well, but Dortmund have been dangerous. Defensive discipline will be key for the second half.
  • Franck Ribery is doing well so far. Somewhat vintage performance from him.
  • David Alaba has arguably been the man of the first half. His challenges and passes have been crisp.

45+1’— Yellow Card! Sloppy challenge from Franck Ribery on Jadon Sancho.


38’— Yellow card! Aggressive challenge from Hummels on Gotze results in a free kick from a dangerous position. Reus whips ball into the box. Cleared by Lewandowski.


36’—Yellow for Akanji for a late challenge on Lewandowski.


30’—Dangerous cross from Hakimi blocked by Alaba. Dortmund dangerous on the counter.


29’— Yellow card for Weigl for harsh challenge.


26’— GOALLLLLL! LEWANDOWSKI! A pinpoint cross from Serge Gnabry finds the head of Robert Lewandowski who buries it in the top corner. 1-0 Bayern.


24’— Ribery finds himself one on one in acres of space. Shot deflected wide by Akanji.


23’— Another probing ball from Kimmich to Lewandowski intercepted by Witsel.


18’—A one-two from Lewandowski to Gnabry sends Gnabry through on goal. Valiant defending from Dortmund, blocking Gnabry’s effort at the last second.


17’— Wide left! A beautiful cross from Joshua Kimmich finds Franck Ribery, who sends the volley just outside.


15’— Another opportunity for Dortmund on the break. Neuer intercepts a ball to Jadon Sancho.


11’— Lewandowski goes down in the box. No penalty!


10’ — Save Neuer! Neuer denies Marco Reus on the counterattack.


3’ — Bayern Munich earn an early corner with great passing and movement through the Dortmund lines. Corner cleared easily by Borussia Dortmund.


1’ — AND WE’RE UNDERWAY IN THE FIRST KLASSIKER OF THE SEASON!


One hour before kickoff: Lineups are out! While James does indeed ride the bench, Franck Ribery keeps starting.


Two and a half hours before kickoff: A report by Bild says that James Rodriguez has been benched. Leon Goretzka will start alongside Thomas Muller in midfield.


Der Klassiker is finally here, folks! A palpable sense of foreboding exists as Bayern Munich visit the Westfalenstadion this Saturday. For the first time in many, many years, a Klassiker is taking place where Borussia Dortmund sits ahead of the Bavarians in the table, that too with a comfortable lead of 4 points. This being the last game before another wretched international break, can Niko Kovac and his men close the gap?

Well, the football gods certainly haven’t made it easy. Bayern will have to play without Kingsley Coman, Thiago Alcantara, Corentin Tolisso, and Arjen Robben. Losing any one of those players would be a blow even at the best of times, but all four of them? That too when the team is already low on confidence? That’s catastrophic. Luckily Kovac still has James Rodriguez, who has recovered from his calf injury and traveled with the team to Dortmund. Hopefully we’ll see him play with Thomas Muller for a change, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Dortmund have confirmed that Marcel Schmelzer will be out for the game, and goalkeeper Roman Burki is doubtful due to injury. However, the quartet of Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho, Christian Pulisic, and Paco Alcacer are all fit and firing, and they’re backed up by Axel Witsel, arguably the best midfielder BVB have had in years. It’s going to be a hard game, the hardest we’ve had in years. Can Niko Kovac and the team rise to the occasion?

It’s Bayern time.


Match Info

Location: Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany

Time: 6:30 pm local time, 12:30 pm EST

TV/streaming: Fubo.tv, Find Your Country

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