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Three observations from Bayern Munich’s 3-1 win vs. Borussia Dortmund

Bayern Munich sealed the Bundesliga title with a 3-1 over Borussia Dortmund in a packed Allianz Arena.

FC Bayern München v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga
Leon Goretzka celebrates yet another Bundesliga title with the fans
Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Bayern Munich survived an initially tricky second half to win a topsy-turvy game against Borussia Dortmund. Here are the observations:

CHAMPIONS —

I am going to keep the observations aside and just congratulate the team on a consistent season in the Bundesliga. It’s been a long and grueling season under new management; the standards haven’t always been met including two underwhelming exits from the cup competitions; however, the season still ends with a record tenth Bundesliga title and with a very good win against a tough opponent.

Questions about the Bayern Munich backline combined with tactical success

Tactically, Bayern Munich was fine; Julian Nagelsmann got it right. That being said, the backline got caught in some transitional and dicey moments. Joshua Kimmich’s rash challenge in the box and a couple of rash challenges by Benjamin Pavard could have led to Bayern Munich waiting longer for the title. Manuel Neuer has had more than his usual number of scuffed passes lately.

Nonetheless, Borussia Dortmund adapted their approach for this game, setting up to cut off spaces as well as to take less risks than they usually do. Bayern used short passing chains to play through the press and countered effectively whenever they could. Overall, the tactics, and Bayern, were effective.

Praise for Jamal Musiala, Leon Goretzka and Julian Nagelsmann

I know I praise Jamal Musiala all the time, but he deserves it. He scored the goal which sealed the title. Bayern Munich has an incredible gem in their ranks, and the team is so lucky to have him. He belongs in this team and that becomes obvious with each passing game.

Leon Goretzka’s injury-induced absence might have led to the drop off in the form of the team in the crucial moments of the season. His presence, ability to glide past defenders despite his size, ability to shield the back-line and move forward whenever needed are the qualities which makes him a starter in this team. Clearly, when he is absent, this team drops down a couple of levels.

As for Julian Nagelsmann, I watched his post match interview with Bastian Schweinsteiger and despite the title win (he is Bavarian after all!), he seemed to be aware of the fact that things will need to improve ahead of next season. Although nobody asked him about the Villarreal games, he brought the games up himself. I don’t ever really give Nagelsmann credit and the jury is still out on the hybrid back three/four — that being said, a mark of a good coach is to reflect on the low points of the season. I hope to see better from Nagelsmann next season. I don’t necessarily think it will work but for now, Nagelsmann deserves a bit of praise.


DEUTSCHER MEISTER!!

I hope you’re taking it all in and as always, thank you for reading!