Borussia Dortmund were beaten 3-2 (1-1) by FC Bayern Munich in an exciting top-of-the-table clash on Bundesliga Matchday 7. Reus and Haaland got the goals for BVB.
This was an intriguing and fast-paced match in which BVB opened the scoring through Marco Reus on the stroke of half-time, only for David Alaba to equalise at 1-1 in first-half stoppage time. The Bavarians then took the lead for the first time when Robert Lewandowski made it 2-1 shortly after the restart, before establishing a two-goal cushion through Leroy Sané 10 minutes from time. The Black & Yellows reduced the deficit to 3-2 through Erling Haaland only three minutes later and might have levelled in the 87th minute had Reus not fired his volley over the bar.
This was second versus first – level on points and only separated by goal difference; the second-best home team versus the third-best away team. Both had won their previous four league games. The Black & Yellows had a flawless home record (four games, four wins, combined goal difference of 12-0), while the “Reds” had won 12 of their previous 13 Bundesliga away matches.
Hummels was ready to return just in time after suffering a muscular injury in Bielefeld a week ago and was one of three new faces in the starting XI compared to the 3-0 win in Bruges, with Sancho and Reus returning to the line-up as well. Dahoud, Hazard and Brandt all dropped to the bench.
Tactics: Both teams took to the field in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Bayern opted for a high-pressing strategy, while Borussia predominantly went for aerial balls over the top of and in behind the Bayern defence – predominantly down the left side.
The match & analysis:
There was to be no easing in to this game. There were barely 60 seconds on the clock by the time the ball almost found the back of the net for the first time, though Lewandowski’s shot from the edge of the six-yard box ultimately struck the side-netting. Borussia looked for gaps and predominantly went down the right side of the Bayern defence, albeit without initially capitalising or even getting shots at goal. The visitors were the greater threat going forward, with Bürki doing well to claw Goretzka’s header away from the corner (14) and Lewandowski finding the back of the net from a Gnabry cross 10 minutes later. But the Bayern forward was offside by a matter of millimetres and following a lengthy video review, the goal was disallowed.
The first real goalscoring opportunity for BVB had come three minutes earlier, Haaland firing narrowly wide of the upright after latching onto a great ball by Reyna. After Kimmich had scythed down Haaland in the centre-circle, sustaining an injury in the process that led to his substitution in the 36th minute, Borussia enjoyed a strong spell – and even went ahead in the 45th minute. Guerreiro drilled the ball in from the left flank and Reus struck it powerfully with his first touch. Hummels and Sancho had initiated the move.
But that was not to be the final action of what was a highly entertaining first period. In stoppage time, Bayern were awarded a free-kick 17 metres from goal after Delaney was adjudged to have fouled Gnabry. Gnabry took it short to Müller and he teed up Alaba, who fired the ball into the back of the net courtesy of a deflection.
Shortly after the restart, Haaland was played in behind the defence by Sancho but could not pick out a team-mate with his ball across goal. At the other end, Gnabry fed his left-back Hernandez down the flank and the Frenchman’s cross was headed home by Lewandowski to make it 2-1 (48). Shortly afterwards, Coman struck the post from 17 metres out.
Borussia came back into it with some chances of their own, with Haaland striking the side-netting in the 51st minute (a goal would have been disallowed anyway for offside) and Neuer then making three saves to deny the Norwegian (52), Reyna (63) and Reus (68). Delaney, who had been cautioned, was replaced by Bellingham. But Borussia could not find the breakthrough and were hit on the counter. Reus’ ball to Haaland on the edge of the box was intercepted by Goretzka and Bayern broke in numbers, with Sané firing into the corner after being fed by Lewandowski. 3-1 (80).
But Haaland reduced the deficit shortly afterwards. Guerreiro cut inwards on the halfway line before lofting the ball beautifully over the Bayern defence towards Haaland, who brought it under control superbly, sidestepped Neuer and slotted home (83). Reus then had an opportunity to restore parity at 3-3 three minutes from time, but he went for power over placement and blasted his volley over.
Bayern thought they had taken a 4-2 lead through Lewandowski in the third minute of stoppage time, but the goal was disallowed for offside. That gave Borussia a few more seconds to find an equaliser, but the final whistle sounded before they could muster a chance.