Since the Bundesliga’s restart, Bayern and Dortmund have looked like the league’s two strongest teams, coinciding with their position in the table. The Black and Yellow thrashed FC Schalke 04 4-0 and won comfortably against Wolfsburg. Similarly, Bayern beat a scrappy Union Berlin side 2-0 and overcame a 10-minute rough patch against Eintracht Frankfurt to win 5-2. In the reverse fixture, Bayern demolished Dortmund 4-0 but it was not going to be that easy this time around against Dortmund’s young, in-form attack.
Less than a Minute into the Game: The Black and Yellow tested the Reds when keeper Manuel Neuer was caught out off his line after making a clearance. Young striker Erling Haaland managed to meg the keeper, who was making his 200th Bundesliga appearance, but center-back Jérôme Boateng made a comfortable goal-line clearance.
In the 10th Minute: Center forward Robert Lewandoski fired Bayern’s first chance at goal but did not trouble keeper Roman Bürki with the volley.
A Minute Later: Midfielder Thomas Müller had a great opportunity from six yards out, missing the cross by inches.
In the 13th Minute: Dortmund defender Mats Hummels picked up an early yellow card after a tactical foul on Bayern winger Kinglsey Coman.
Six Minutes Later: Bayern began to play teasing balls into the box and picked up their best chance thus far. Winger Serge Gnabry was robbed of a goal at the far post by defender Lukasz Piszczek, who cleared the ball off the line. Both sides had a goal-line clearance less than 20 minutes into the game, with the Red’s shot being the more dangerous of the two.
At the Half-Hour Mark: The Black and Yellow took control of the game, putting Bayern’s defense under pressure. The visitors were forced to clear ball after ball out of their penalty area but limited Dortmund to half-chances.
In the 35th Minute: Dortmund’s attacking onslaught began to cool down after an uncharacteristic cross from winger Julian Brandt found its way into the stands.
In the 38th Minute: Young Canadian defender Alphonso Davies sparked Bayern’s attack after dribbling around four Dortmund defenders despite being knocked off the ball by Hummels.
A Minute Later: Dortmund midfielder Acraf Hakimi gave midfielder Leon Goretzka a great opportunity from an awful clearance, forcing Bürki to parry Goretzka’s powerful half-volley away from goal.
In the 43rd Minute: Dortmund gave up a demoralizing goal just before halftime. Picking up another poor clearance 25 yards out from goal, Bayern linked up beautifully, finding Goretzka at the edge of the 18-yard box. With Bürki off his line, Goretzka floated a cheeky chip into the top corner, scoring Bayern’s 200th goal against Dortmund in the Bundesliga.
Before the Start of the Second Half: Dortmund made two changes bringing on winger Jadon Sancho and midfielder Emre Can for Brandt, whose form looked slightly off, and Thomas Delaney respectively.
In the 49th Minute: The hosts had an early chance when midfielder Mahmoud Damoud fired a shot straight into Neuer’s arms. It wasn’t the best attempt on net, but it energized Dortmund who started putting more players in Bayern’s half. This opened up the game and allowed for more counter-attacks from both sides.
In the 54th Minute: Goretzka nearly picked up a brace when his shot went through Hummels’ legs, forcing a diving save from the keeper.
Four Minutes Later: Haaland had a great effort on goal from 10 yards out but Boateng came to the rescue for Bayern, falling to the ground and sending the ball out for a corner.
At the Hour-Mark: Things got a bit chippy in the match as Müller picked up a yellow card for a rash challenge and Dahoud was cautioned for a flying tackle on Kimmich after losing the ball in the attacking third.
In the 72nd Minute: Haaland picked up a knock from a challenge with Boateng and was visibly in pain before being taken off for American forward Gio Reyna.
Two Minutes Later: Dortmund was given a golden opportunity just outside the penalty area, angering many Bayern players, who claimed Davies won the ball cleanly. The Canadian picked up a yellow card for the tackle, but fortunately for him, midfielder Raphaël Guerreiro’s free-kick didn’t trouble Neuer, who saved it with ease.
In the 77th Minute: Dortmund inched closer to an equalizer, as winger Thorgan Hazard was called offside after missing a sitter inside the six-yard box. The Black and Yellow put each Bayern player under pressure, creating a chance for Dahoud just outside the box. Striking the ball perfectly through traffic, Dahoud forced Neuer to make a superb last-second save.
With Seven Minutes Left in Regulation: Lewandowski almost doubled Bayern’s lead against his former club, but his left-footed shot went wide of the goal off the post.
As the Game Came to a Close: Bayern made two tactical substitutions to up their defense, bringing on Lucas Hernández and Javi Martinez for Boateng and Gnabry. The substitution helped Bayern hold onto the clean sheet, beating title contenders Dortmund 1-0.
In Matchday 28’s game of the week, the best home team and away team in the league put on arguably the best showing since the Bundesliga restart. The teams exchanged blows for the first 45 minutes, with Bayern’s late goal separating the two going into the break. Dortmund opened up the game strongly in the second half but was unable to find the back of the net. With Tuesday’s win, Bayern has a comfortable seven-point cushion over Dortmund in second place and have won 17 of their last 18 competitive matches.
Image Credits: Ciel Cheng