Before anyone panics and claims the four horsemen of the Apocalypse are on their way to wreak havoc just consider that this team had to play the best possible Bayern line-up without Marco Reus, Julian Weigl, Shinji Kagawa, Erik Durm and Mario Götze.
The starting line-up had five players under the age of 23, three of them being teenagers in their first full Bundesliga season, it's not necessarily an excuse for the game but surely an explanation for some of it. And if it's any consolation we might get to see a game with a healthy BVB at the end of the month that will hopefully turn out differently but today we are stuck with a 4-1.
Thomas Tuchel decided to go with a 3-5-1, the same line-up that propelled the black and yellows to a 1-0 win back in November. The team refused to park the bus and hit them on the counter but instead they tried to deploy their usual gameplan and keep possession, it did not work. Gonzalo Castro was not able to replace Julian Weigl in the deep lying midfielder role and it hurt the team. The fact that all three teenagers had subpar games didn't help either, Pulisic was mostly invisible, Dembélé was playing hero ball far to often and Passlack lost possession to easily going forward.
The first Bayern goal came in the 4th minute after Robben and Lahm overloaded the left BVB side and simply outplayed Marcel Schmelzer, a pattern that would repeat itself all evening, only to lay it back to Ribéry who was completely unmarked at the top of the box. A deflection from Robben made it impossible for Bürki to make the save the Frenchman's shot.
Just six minutes later the Bavarians doubled their lead when Lewandowski converted a free-kick from just outside the box after Bartra "fouled" Ribéry. The blame for that one partially falls on Ousmane Dembélé who ducked away when he could have deflected the ball.
The game was arguably already over then and there with Bayern dominating possession and Robben constantly being a threat against a helpless Schmelzer. Dortmund had a brief moment of hope when Guerreiro did this in the 20th minute:
BVB was able to maintain the one goal deficit going into the second half but whoever thought that Dortmund would be able to stage a comeback was swiftly disappointed when Robben did the only thing he can do but that still miraculously works every time, he cut inside and curled a ball past Bürki into the far corner of the goal.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a chance to inject some sort of suspense into the game but failed miserably in a one-on-one with Ulreich. Boateng cleared the ball and immediately initiated a Bayern counter that lead to Lewandowski being fouled by Bürki and a penalty kick for Bayern. The Pole scored and not just extended their lead but he also took the lead for the Torjägerkanone just moments after Auba failed to convert in a similar situation.
In conclusion this game sucked. An injury depleted Dortmund was no match for an in form Bayern and we will have to hope that at least some of the injured players will return in time for the Champions League duel against Monaco. Maybe a more defensive approach to the game could've led to better result but hindsight is always 20/20. If we can take anything from this game it's the realization that while this team is extremely talented it is still a couple years off from being a world-class side. On their good days Dembélé, Pulisic, Mor & co are able to produce amazing games and get good results against the likes of Bayern and Real Madrid but without the support of some of our more experienced players they are just to inconsistent to compete with Bayern München.