With the corpses of BVB teams from seasons past laid to rest all over the Allianz, Dortmund arrived today hoping to avoid becoming the latest victims to a habitual massacre. Of course, that’s exactly the kind of attitude that never comes back to bite you. We all know that famous battle cry as the manager leads their team out to battle - “Just try not to get embarrassed out there!”. I can only imagine the inspirational team talk Lucien Favre gave today. You could see the fire in the eyes of the team as they proceeded to only lose 4-0 this time. I’m brimming with pride.
Coming in to this game, both teams had been up against a similar narrative: both were underperforming, both looked pretty vulnerable to sides they should definitely be beating, and both sides were under plenty of pressure. In Bayern’s case, they’d even gone as far as to sack Niko Kovac, leaving Hansi Flick in charge for today’s game. But it’s also worth noting that the combined score in this fixture over the last 4 seasons is 20-2 to Bayern, so it’s important to approach these games with realistic expectations. Which is why today’s 4-0 loss to Bayern Munich is great news. We’re finally starting to look like a team that doesn’t lose 6-0 to Bayern. The galaxy brained among you may have noticed the gradual progress we’ve been making in these ties. From 6-0, to 5-0, and now 4-0? It won’t be long before we’re only losing 1-0 in these games. It’s good to be great.
Mats Hummels was given the captain’s armband for today’s game, as Reus was on the bench (along with Paco). This was met with widespread joy and adulation from all BVB fans. The other good news was that Sancho managed to make the first team despite picking up a knock in the Champions League fixture against Inter during the week. That decision proved to be an absolute masterstroke, as Sancho looked poor and was subbed off after 35 minutes...
The first half proved to be a pretty drab, depressing affair, and Dortmund came armed with no ideas whatsoever. They failed to take the game to Bayern, and after 17 minutes Lewandowski continued his ridiculous hot streak by sneaking in and catching a Pavard cross to put Bayern in the lead. Dortmund failed to clear their lines after Coman drove into the final third without challenge, and Lewandowski was able to capitalize on the chaos and disorganization. It was ultimately left to Hakimi to cover the big Polish striker, and oddly enough that didn’t end well. Bayern also had a goal disallowed in the first half, as Gnabry was ruled offside. But outside of that, I don’t think anything actually happened.
The first half wasn’t great, but it took until the second half to get to the really gory bits. Just 2 minutes in and Gnabry capitalized on a BVB backline that was resting peacefully without a care in the world, scoring a relatively easy tap-in off of a cross from who even knows anymore, Coman? It was initially called offside, but VAR (or should I call it BAYERN Assistant Referee, ain’t that right guys?!) had the nerve to decide Gnabry wasn’t offside on account of having been in his own half when he was judged to have been off. Of course, this is only fair, because Gnabry now has a mustache.
But unbeknownst to Bayern, Dortmund had them right where they wanted them. They had successfully lured Bayern into a false sense of security, waiting for the perfect time to strike, and sure enough, with 15 minutes left to play, Dortmund showed their hand... By conceding another Lewandowski goal and then scoring an own goal to lose 4-0 in a game in which they managed only 2 shots. And the cherry on top of this delicious victory sundae? Mats Hummels scored the own goal. If you were in any doubt as to whether Dortmund were a little unlucky, the xG for the game might help clear that up: Bayern 3.6 (+1 OG) – 0.6 Dortmund. Comprehensive.
The good news is that Dortmund probably should have scored from their one good chance, but Paco managed to fluff his only line and put it wide from about 2 yards. That was one of a total of two shots, none of which were on target. Bayern, on the other hand, has a total of 18 shots. Which is further proof of how well today’s game went for BVB. Bayern had 18 shots but only scored 4 goals? Our defense is an impenetrable unit!
It is nice to finally see Dortmund restore a bit of pride in this side. They’ve suffered heavy losses in their last few games at the Allianz Arena, but now they can walk away with their heads held high. Heja BVB! Now lets go finish 6th!