Borussia Dortmund Earn Much-Needed ‘Klassiker’ Win over Bayern Munich

Just about any time that Borussia Dortmund plays Bayern Munich, the stakes are high. These two teams have emerged as the biggest interregional rivals in German soccer over the last twenty years, even more so in the last five years.

In that time span, they have more often than not competed for titles in the Bundesliga and the German Cup. In 2013, they even played each other in the final of the UEFA Champions League.

Despite the fact that it is still relatively early in the season, Saturday’s game between them already was a six-pointer for the Bundesliga title.

The hosts from Dortmund needed the win in order to cut the deficit between themselves and their visitors in half. Bayern needed three points in order to return to the top of the table and ahead of league leaders RB Leipzig on goal difference.

Augenblick: The moment of the match was its only goal. Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored it early from close-range, by diving into a Mario Götze cross, that the German international delivered perfectly. (The scene is the first highlight shown in the clip.)

Man of the Match: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang deserves the honor.

He not only scored the lone goal of the game, he was directly involved in six of his team’s eleven shots, by either striking himself, or setting up his team mates, according to the official Bundesliga website. He was arguably the only threat to the Bayern goal in the second half.

Additionally, Götze had one of his best performances since returning to Dortmund with an assist, two key passes and an 80% success rate in passing while helping defensively with two tackles, three interceptions,  two clearances and a blocked shot.  Sokratis was also a big contributor in Dortmund’s win with four interceptions and a whopping 11 clearances.  Bayern’s Mats Hummels  was a top performer too —  against his former teammates he had two shots on target, two key passes, completed 83% of his passes and won eight aerial duels.

Key Stats: According to the Bundesliga site, the Bavarians led the total shots statistic 18 to 11, won almost 55% of the individual duels and had more than 62% possession. These numbers partly indicate what makes the Beautiful Game uniquely interesting.

They also indicate that one needs to be more efficient in front of goal to win a match, rather than simply being the more active team.

Talking points: The victory takes Borussia Dortmund temporarily into third position, three points behind Bayern and six behind Leipzig, thus giving them reason to hope for the title. It also gives them the confidence they have been lacking lately.

Their coach Thomas Tuchel deserves much credit for the win, having chosen the right tactics.

For Bayern Munich and Carlo Ancelotti, however, their problems with the 4-3-3 formation and bad performances of key attacking players can no longer be swept under the rug.

Photo from official Bayern Munich US website

Borussia Dortmund Bürki – Piszczek, Bartra, Sokratis, Schmelzer (Pulisic 89) – Weigl, Ginter – Götze (Castro 77), Schürrle (Durm 68) – Ramos, Aubameyang
Subs Weidenfeller, Dembelé, Kagawa, Sahin
FC Bayern Neuer – Lahm (Rafinha 68), Boateng, Hummels, Alaba – Xabi Alonso (Renato Sanches 74)- Thiago, Kimmich (Douglas Costa 58) – Müller, Ribery – Lewandowski
Subs Ulreich, Badstuber, Juan Bernat, Green
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Denis Knezovic is a blogger, published author and lifelong Bundesliga fan. He covers the Beautiful Game on his blog at www.denissoccerblog.com . His passion is for Bayern Munich, since he lived in Bavaria for eight years. He is, however, able to write on a multitude of soccer-related topics from around the world.

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