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Match Observations: Bayern Munich 3-2 Borussia Dortmund

The small club mentality was on full display today

FC Bayern München v Borussia Dortmund - Supercup 2020 Photo by Andreas Gebert - Pool/Getty Images

First of all, congratulations are in order. Congratulations to Bayern Munich for their victory today. This is what they have been working towards over the last year, and they’ve finally got their hands on the trophy the fanbase have long been dreaming of. They finally got to lift the Supercup. For Dortmund, this is little more than a souped up friendly with a tin pot handed out at the end to commemorate the occasion, but seeing the Bayern players overwhelmed with joy after their victory, it’s an important reminder that others have their expectations set slightly lower. For them, this is a really big victory.

The difference in standards and expectations set by both clubs seemed to be the deciding factor in the end too. I know that football fans often use “small club mentality” as an insult, but Bayern showed that a small club mentality can sometimes be a positive too. Bayern fielded their strongest eleven against our reserves, and they fought like their lives depended on it. It’s understandable from BVB’s perspective — we have our eyes set on loftier goals — but ultimately, the game came down to Bayern wanting it more. Congratulations on winning your big trophy guys.

Rotation is Good

Favre has shown a consistent reluctance to rotate in his time as manager, but surprisingly, he made a number of changes for today’s game. Despite fielding a weaker team, Dortmund looked pretty good. A number of the bench players showed that they’re capable of doing a decent job when called upon. I’ve been a vocal critic of Delaney, but I thought he had a particularly good game today, apart from conceding possession that ultimately led to Bayern’s winner.

The performances from the backups today showed that we should rely on our depth more often, and give everyone a rest whenever needed. We have a deep squad, but it is of no use if the bench players barely see the pitch, and are rusty when they inevitably have to come in following an injury caused by fatigue.

Hitz is not Better than Burki

Burki has conceded a lot of goals to Bayern Munich over the years. He has been pretty unfortunate to end up on the end of several drubbings, particularly because I’m not convinced that it is really his fault. Hitz, on the other hand, had actually managed two wins against the Bavarians, going into today’s game. This fact, and the general feeling that Burki can’t be trusted and certainly can’t be counted on, has led fans to occasionally question whether Hitz should actually be the number one. I thought today’s game was another demonstration why that is not the case. Hitz is a solid backup, but he’s not better than Burki.

I don’t think Hitz made any glaring mistakes today, but I did feel like he could have done a little better on Bayern’s first and third goals. That said, while I thought Hitz should have been able to parry Kimmich’s shot away, rather than back at Kimmich, he was still rather unlucky that it ended up being dinked over him immediately after.

I’m of the opinion that neither of them should be our starting goalkeeper, and Dortmund should be in the market for someone that is, or has the potential to be great. But while we wait, I’d prefer to stick with Burki.

Plenty of Fight, but the Final Ball was Lacking

The biggest complaint from Dortmund fans, especially watching their team take a beating at the Allianz Arena, has been the lack of fight. I don’t think the problem has gone away, but I do think the team has shown signs of improvement. It was nice to see a little bit of fight, especially after the drab performance at the weekend.

However, the final ball has been lacking since the start of the season, and that seemed even more obvious against Bayern today. Following the end of last season, the players got a short break and a quick preseason, and I think it shows. I imagine this will continue for another week or two, but hopefully it won’t cost us any points in the league.

What did you guys think of the performance today? Is there anything to be positive about? Or should we just stick to moulding little clay pots that look like Thomas Meunier and stomping them to pieces because we hate his guts?