Bayern Munich stumble further as early second half strikes from Lucas Barrios and Nuri Sahin gave Die Schwarzgelben their sixth victory on the trot.
The build up to the game was in stark contrast to the actual result. Last year in the same fixture, Bayern trounced Dortmund by 5-1. Jurgen Klopp’s youth brigade was defeated by Sevilla in the midweek fixture in the UEFA Europa League. To add to the misery of BvB, it was confirmed before kick-off that influential winger Mario Goetze and full back Owmoyela were ruled out of the big game.
On the other hand, a comeback victory over a tenacious FC Basel in the midweek might have encouraged Die Roten players. A lot was at stake for Louis Van Gaal’s men as Bayern were up against a team that had their best start in a decade.
Van Gaal made a few changes to the team. Daniel Pranjic was made to play out of position yet again when the left midfielder was slotted in to a holding midfielder’s role, alongside skipper Van Bommel. Dutchman Edson Braafheid was given an opportunity to play in the problematic left back position. Mario Gomez earned a first eleven call up at the expense Klose and Schweinsteiger was handed a more offensive duty.
With a new found sense of urgency, Bayern started the game at a high tempo. Surpisingly enough, Gomez got the better of his marker Subotic and created two good opportunities for Bayern. Gomez even missed an open header from a Badstuber corner.
As the game wore on, BvB got into the groove of things and started dictating the midfield. Bayern made it easy for them as the in-form Kagawa, Großkreutz and Sahin were pitted against an out of form Van Bommel and an out of position Pranjic.
The foreboding was ominous right from the moment Bayern lost the battle in the midfield. BvB young guns ameliorated their midfield dominance and were duly rewarded with two goals just after the break. For the first goal, Martin Demichellis’ poor clearance led to the opportunity and rather fortuitously Barrios’ deflected shot found the back of the net.
The goal proved to be a negative catalyst for Bayern’s proceedings and the champions kept losing the ball from advantageous position. Sense and sensibility were in tatters as Bayern’s players started committing unnecessary fouls as well. Fifteen minutes after the break, The Südtribüne roistered in glory when Nuri Sahin’s brilliantly taken free-kick found the top left corner of an awestruck Butt’s net.
The match ended as a contest then and there. Bayern’s achromatic football coupled with the alacrity of BvB players could have made the result more shameful for the Bavarians. Later on, Olic was brought on to add some life to Bayern’s game. But the diminutive striker lost the battle against the BvB defenders. His attacking partner Gomez did his best to remain nonexistent for the best part of the match.
Too Many Holes In The Wall
Daniel Van Buyten’s season started on a low and his defensive incapabilities got exposed with every single game. He has been slow to react, poor in anticipation and was caught out of position quite a few times. His contribution was summed up by good bit of play acting when Schmelzer poked him from behind. He was later replaced during the break to make way for Martin Demichellis.
Van Buyten’s replacement was no good either. Demichellis missed the header off the long throw which led to the first goal. Handled the ball just outside the penalty box to give away the free kick that led to the decisive second goal. His positional errors and lack of pace gave away another goal scoring opportunity for the hosts.
Badstuber’s set piece deliveries were not up to the mark. He was unfortunate for the first goal as Barrios’ shot ricocheted off his leg and went in. Not a convincing display in defence. But considering the support he got from his two senior centre halves, he dealt reasonable well against Barrios et al.
The Blunt Instruments
Mario Gomez was finally handed a Bundesliga start in a crucial match. Super Mario started off brilliantly, winning the ball against the challenges of Subotic and Hummels on a couple of occasion. He managed to win a free header off a corner which he was expected to bury home at this level; however somehow he pulled the header wide. Things went from bad to worse in the second half for him as he kept losing the ball and gradually faded off without any impact.
Ivica Olic was introduced as the last throw of dice from Van Gaal. The industrious striker should have done better by passing the ball to his teammates instead of trying hard to run alone with the ball. He was easily outnumbered and dispossessed by the BvB defenders. He missed the best opportunity of the match in the dying moments when he shot straight at the defender.
Louis Van Gaal got it all wrong tactically when he chose to play Pranjic and Braafheid in this all important game for Bayern. Pranjic was made to play in a holding midfielder’s role, to give Schweinsteiger a more offensive role.
Can he resurrect the belief in the team?
It was difficult to understand as to why Van Gaal chose to replace Schweinsteiger’s regular position in holding midfieder’s role especially against a midfield studded with the likes of Kagawa, Großkreutz, Sahin, Kuba and Bender. Apart from the few opening exchanges, Dortmund midfielders ran amok through the midfield at the expense of Pranjic.
Playing Braafheid was another gamble. Piszczek got the better of him on numerous occasion. Luckily for Bayern the Polish international’s deliveries were not up to the mark.
Bayern are now placed in 12th spot in Bundesliga, with a negative goal difference of 3 and having earned just 8 points from 7 matches. Creativity has taken a toll since the start of the season. This match was no exception as the visitors were only able to produce one shot on target. Rummenigge’s patience has already been wearing thin and the result has only made matters worse for Van Gaal. The only way Bayern can repair the damages is by getting back to winning ways against Hannover in their next league game at the Allianz Arena.