We’ve seen some brilliant games under Hansi Flick, and we decided to make a series showcasing the top 10 matches that the legendary coach gave us. These reviews will look at the buildup, the match itself, the match’s significance, and the aftermath. Enjoy!
Episode 1. FC Bayern 4-0 Borussia Dortmund
Bundesliga Matchday 11
November 9, 2019
Allianz Arena, Munich
Lineup: Neuer — Pavard, Martinez, Alaba, Davies — Kimmich, Goretzka (Thiago 72) — Gnabry (Coutinho 70), Muller, Coman (Perisic 75) — Lewandowski
Goal scorers: Lewandowski 17’, 76’; Gnabry 46’; Hummels 80’(OG)/None
Hansi Flick could not have asked for a bigger curtain raiser for his Bayern Munich tenure. Despite having defeated Olympiacos 2-0 in his first game after taking over for ex-coach Niko Kovac, Flick had not done much to convince his doubters and prove that he would be a worthy replacement for the Croat.
Just a few days after the victory over the Greeks, title rivals Borussia Dortmund loomed in Flick’s first Bundesliga game in charge. With team morale already down after a humbling 1-5 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt a week ago, it was a do-or-die game for Flick and his men. A game that would shape the rest of the season. How would Bayern cope?
Despite early concerns that Bayern would find Dortmund difficult, the home side was mostly in control straight from kickoff, and Robert Lewandowski soon opened the scoring by heading in a cross from Benjamin Pavard.
Serge Gnabry also found the net but got his goal chalked off for offside. That call couldn’t keep Gnabry off the scoresheet for long, though, as the German international connected with a Thomas Muller cross to double the score just after halftime.
With the score already leaning heavily in Bayern’s favor, Dortmund mustered a few chances but didn’t make any use of them, with Paco Alcacer fluffing their best effort wide of the post. The Black and Yellows paid the price for their lack of goals a quarter of an hour before full time, when Lewandowski and Muller played a lovely one-two for the former to score his second goal of the game.
The situation only worsened for Dortmund as Mats Hummels, who had transferred to Dortmund from Bayern that summer, put the ball in his own net four minutes later. Ironically enough, Hummels’ last goal for Bayern before his transfer came against Dortmund. Perhaps he got the two sides mixed up?
And that was it. A 4-0 blowout win to the Bavarians, who salvaged some much needed pride.
Why was this match special?
Although this match technically was not Hansi Flick’s first game, it was nonetheless significant. It showed the Bundesliga that Bayern were not defending champions for no reason, and that they were still a force to be reckoned with despite a shaky start to the season.
It also signaled a welcome return to ‘Bayern-like’ play. Hard pressing, fluid and rapid attacks, efficient moves, it was a style that had been lost at the club ever since the departure of Jupp Heynckes. It was a style that had won Bayern a treble, and would win them so much more later on. Bayern were playing like the team that everyone feared back in 2013, and it was a return to a way of football that was almost synonymous with them.
Flick silenced a lot of his doubters with this game alone, and impressed quite a few neutrals as well. Considering how much damage the team had taken under Kovac, it was a surprisingly quick turnaround, and Bayern never looked back from then on.
Bayern were still lying in third even after this win, but that would soon change. Flick’s next game also ended in a 4-0 win, this time against Fortuna Dusseldorf, and although his team suffered back-to-back defeats against Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach, three straight wins in the last three league games of the year put Bayern on course to reenter the title race.