Bayern Munich dismantled Borussia Dortmund 4-0 in a one-sided Der Klassiker to keep the pressure on Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen. Despite the Westfalenstadion in full voice prior to kick-off, it would be the sound of the travelling Bavarian’s booming across the North Rhine-Westphalia after ten minutes as Die Rekordmeister raced into a 2-0 lead. Goals from Dayot Upamecano and Harry Kane were expertly set up by the in-form Leroy Sané. Dortmund looked stunned, and Bayern were in control with chances to extend their lead. However, the game would remain 2-0 heading into the break, as Donyell Malen failed to convert Die Schwarzgelben’s best chance of the half in injury time.
After the interval, Bayern would show glimpses that they were ready to finish the game off with a third goal. However, they would come unstuck as Dortmund grew into the contest. Chances would arise for the hosts, and Manuel Neuer would prevent Niclas Füllkrug from finding BvB a route into the game with a tremendous save from close range. Nevertheless, as Dortmund kept poking, their resistance would fade. Two opportunities led to two goals for Kane with 20 minutes left, as his hattrick provided Bayern with a resounding three points to ensure they bounced back after disappointment in the Pokal. As for Dortmund, a seven-point gap away from league leaders Leverkusen appears too much to make up as their title ambitions appear to be over.
Bayern Munich respond emphatically.
It has certainly been a peculiar start to the season for Bayern Munich. Thomas Tuchel has had to contend with a number of injuries to his already-depleted squad, and while results have been positive, performances have at times been questioned. No more so than on Wednesday evening, when Die Rekordmeister fell to an embarrassing 2-1 defeat away to Saarbrücken in the DFB-Pokal.
Therefore, Tuchel would have known the importance of the latest instalment of Der Klassiker. Bayern had to respond, and respond they did. From the first whistle, the record champions looked to overwhelm their hosts, as BvB faded away under the pressure.
It was a performance that symbolised the captivating aura that Bayern possess. Regardless of previous results, they are an intimidating beast. It would take much more than Saarbrücken to disrupt Bayern, and Tuchel’s side proved why they are Germany’s record champions with an emphatic and commanding 4-0 victory in Der Klassiker.
Leroy Sané is the difference-maker
While Harry Kane has deservedly received the majority of the plaudits at Bayern this season, the contribution of Leroy Sané cannot be underestimated. A record of nine goals and three assists prior to kick-off highlighted the best return for Sané since returning to Germany.
Without their star player, Bayern’s season could have appeared far worse, and his performance against Dortmund only emphasised this. Within ten minutes, the 27-year-old had registered two assists: a delightful cross for the first goal and then a blistering run to square the ball for Kane to tap in for the second.
Sané’s energy and determination are assets that have become significantly vital to Tuchel’s side, especially due to Bayern’s injury problems, meaning that there is little time for the former Manchester City winger to rest. With Sané’s performances only becoming more impressive, his importance to this side may be just as profound as that of Kane.
Dortmund exposed in Der Klassiker yet again
After missing out on the Meisterschale on the final day of last season, the mentality of the Borussia Dortmund squad came into question. For BvB, it was yet another edition in the series of almost bettering Bayern but falling at the final hurdle.
However, despite significantly underwhelming this campaign, they have been able to turn uninspiring performances into inspiring results. Regardless – as quite often is the case – Die Rekordmeister would prove too much to handle as they exposed Dortmund’s weaknesses mentally just as much as on the pitch.
While the second half saw improvements from a Dortmund perspective, at times they appeared defeated. Jogging back when Bayern were on the attack and lacklustre attempts to break the record champions down with poor mistakes is a stark reminder of the real problems preventing Dortmund from challenging Bayern on a consistent basis.
GGFN | Will Shopland