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Three observations from Bayern Munich’s uncomfortable 3-2 victory over Borussia Dortmund

It wasn’t pretty at the Signal Iduna Park; Bayern Munich won but there is work to be done.

Borussia Dortmund v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga
Julian Nagelsmann had a stressful evening.
Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images

A decision or two swung the way of Bayern Munich; I am not sure Bayern Munich deserved to win, but Bayern knows how to win deciders and has done so time and time again.

The stats say the defense is better; I don’t agree

I know I shouldn’t give Dayot Upamecano a hard time for struggling against Erling Haaland or for slipping at an inopportune moment — it happens. But, with Upamecano, it happens every single time there is a big and physical striker up against him whether it be Breel Embolo or Marcus Thuram or Haaland. The problem Julian Nagelsmann has is that there are more big and tough strikers out there — Upamecano is not the defender to deal with them.

Also, I don’t necessarily think the back three/four hybrid is a bad idea. I don’t think it hurts the team. I don’t think it helps either — it’s unnecessary. Overall, this Bayern team is less fatigued than the one last year and yet, I can’t shake the feeling that there will be a blunder whenever the opposition attacks.

Borussia Dortmund got it right; Mats Hummels did not

Needless to say, Hummels had a bad night. Dortmund’s game plan was right; they pushed up Julian Brandt, taking advantage of his recent good form and used Erling Haaland as the main outlet as we expected they would. They could have perhaps even won this one; yet, mistakes at the back cost them. All three of Bayern’s goals were results of direct Dortmund errors.

Injuries aside; there is work to be done for Julian Nagelsmann

The first ten minutes felt like Hansi Flick’s Bayern. This Bayern has scored more but, whether due to congestion in the box or lack of sharpness or lack of selfishness, whichever way you look at it, from forward players, there is a bit of a drop in quality in the box lately. The team overall does not look as sharp at either end; Lewandowski’s goals are covering that for now. Bayern scores a lot; this is not to say the offense is poor — this is simply to say there is a slight drop in quality that is a noticeable.


By the way, we happen to have a podcast on all things Bayern Munich, where we discussed the outcome of this game in great detail. Why not check out our postgame show below or at this link?