Bayern Munich are looking to create a solid lead in the Bundesliga title race and partially dent Borussia Dortmund’s title chances by defeating them in the Der Klassiker. They scraped through a 3-2 win after a thrilling contest, moving 3 points clear of Dortmund in the title race and returning to the top of the table.
Bayern had a goal ruled out by VAR before the half-hour mark and were made to pay for being quite underwhelming in the first-half when Marco Reus’ well-created goal gave BVB the lead in the 44th minute. But Bayern immediately found the equalizer after David Alaba’s free-kick took a wicked deflection into the net, sending both sides into the break all square.
Bayern then took control of the game early in the second half, with Robert Lewandowski powering in an emphatic header into the net in the 48th minute. The Bavarians then pounced on desperation from BVB to score their third in the 79th, when super-sub Leroy Sane perfectly finished off a clinical counter-attack.
A few minutes after that, Erling Haaland went past the entire Bayern defence to score a smart goal to make it 2-3! The Bavarians held onto their narrow lead till the end, securing an important win to take an early lead in the title race.
Bayern Munich Player Ratings
Hans-Dieter Flick (6.5) –
Flick took a bit of a risk not starting star signing Sane today, but it eventually worked out perfectly. Coman was pretty good, but Sane came on to effectively score the winner for them. While his side weren’t as ruthless or dominant as they usually are, they were still quite clinical and lethal on the counter.
The German manager, however, needs to solve the defensive vulnerabilities plaguing his side. Playing the high line almost cost his side and if BVB were more clinical, this could’ve been a different result altogether.
Manuel Neuer (6.0) –
Neuer looks extremely focus for this big game and is trying to marshal control in & around the penalty area. He was helpless to save Reus’ strike but denied Dortmund a second with a smart save of Reyna’s shot after the hour-mark. Neuer could’ve done better not to get outwitted by Haaland for his strike, but he still made a number of key saves to preserve Bayern’s lead till the end.
Bouna Sarr (4.5) –
Bayern’s new summer signing stars his first big game of the season. He looks quite nervous defending against the pacey Dortmund attackers and is being overly aggressive with his challenges. Sarr was left ball-watching leading up to the opener, which was orchestrated through his side.
Makes another error in the 63rd with his botched header allowing Gio Reyna to go through on goal, but he’s fortunate to see nothing bad come off it. Allowed too many dangerous crosses to come through his side and was inefficient going forward too. His inexperience showed and almost cost Bayern today.
Jerome Boateng (7.0) –
The experienced defender did well to hold up strongly during the thrilling start to the game and denied Dortmund some scoring chances with some clutch clearances. Did really well to keep Haaland at bay and made clever challenges to narrow down his threat inside the box. Faltered to the game’s intensity and had to be subbed after the hour-mark.
David Alaba (7.0) –
After looking quite shaky defending against the menacing Erling Haaland in the first half, Alaba ended his half positively when lady luck favoured him to deflect his free-kick into the back of the net seconds before half-time.
Starts the second half with a mistake, as he allowed Sancho’s no-look pass to go past him & send Haaland through – but he was lucky to see nobody being able to capitalize on that. But he remained strong after that, making some key challenges to fend away trouble and securing the win.
Lucas Hernandez (7.5) –
The Frenchman has a difficult job keeping an eye on Jadon Sancho today. Hernandez is doing his best to ensure that Alphonso Davies’ presence isn’t missed and excelling defensively, making some clutch challenges to nullify BVB’s attacking flow down his side.
Whipped in a brilliant cross to assist Lewandowski’s goal. Lucas won back the ball and kickstarted the move for the third. But his poor positioning allowed Haaland to go through and score his goal. Apart from that slight error, Hernandez was superb on both sides of the pitch and made a big claim for the left-back today.
Joshua Kimmich (N/R) –
Kimmich is being outnumbered in midfield today but seems to be up for the fight. His poor control almost allowed Haaland through on goal in the 34th and while Kimmich stopped him from scoring – he badly injured himself with the challenge and had to be subbed.
Leon Goretzka (7.5) –
Goretkza almost put Bayern in the lead in the 14th minute, when his free header from close forced a solid save. Whipped in a vicious shot on goal int he 28th, but saw that one parried out as well. But as BVB started to crowd the midfield, he took a more defensive role and sorted things out superbly. Made a number of key tackles & interceptions to frustrate Dortmund and worked his socks off running all over the park.
Thomas Muller (5.5) –
Muller is being marked very tightly today and wasn’t able to find any space to threaten into during the first-half. He did get more involved in the second half, but couldn’t create anything that noteworthy in a frustrating evening for him.
Kingsley Coman (6.5) –
Coman is causing BVB all sorts of problems with his clever link-up play. Had a big chance to score in the 29th, but hit his free header at the goalie. Then strikes another weak header in the 38th. Coman came close to scoring again in the 50th, when he capitalized on being given tons of space outside the box to power a shot on goal – but he was denied by the crossbar.
Then he almost scored a freak goal two minutes later, when his attempted cross almost crept into the goal before Burki parried it out. Quite unlucky not to get anything after that performance, but Coman’s presence definitely troubled by his presence.
Serge Gnabry (6.0) –
The German winger troubled Dortmund with his movement from the get-go and dropped the hammer in the 24th minute, getting past Thomas Meunier before whipping in a perfect ball for Lewandowski’s goal – which was ruled out.
Got some space to shoot in the 73rd, but his powerful attempted blazed wide of the target. Carried the ball forward really well, but his final product lacked an added spark today.
Robert Lewandowski (8.5) –
The goal machine got a big chance to score in the first minute itself, but slapped an attempt into the side-netting from close. He made no mistakes in the 24th, sliding Gnabry’s cross into the net – but saw it ridiculously overruled by VAR due to the slightest of offsides.
But he got his goal early in the second half, outwitting the defenders before slicing a delicate header into the bottom corner. Almost caught out Burki in the 71st when his attempted cross/shot was barely tipped over. Picks up an easy assist for playing Sane through for his goal.
He was unlucky to see 2 goals ruled out by VAR, but made his own luck with another match-winning performance against his former side.
Corentin Tolisso (6.0) –
Tolisso was under the pressure of replicating the heroics of Kimmich, but wasn’t as agile defensively as his teammate. Was nutmegged by Raphael Guerrero’s cross leading to Reus’ goal. He was more efficient in the second-half, helping create a stronger midfield base and not allowing BVB to overrun the Bayern side at any point.
Leroy Sane (7.0) –
The German’s winger’s pace against a tired Dortmund side was menacing and he used his speed superbly for the counter-attack before scoring with a terrific shot into the bottom corner. Carved out a few more chances after some speedy fast-breaks but couldn’t add more to his tally.
Javi Martinez (6.0) –
Martinez was forced to act as a makeshift centre-back and did so pretty well. Made some key clearances late on to avert disaster and helped his side cross the finish line without major issues.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Dortmund tried marking Lewandowski out of the game today. They failed miserably. The Polish goal-machine got another goal+assist today and his stellar showing deserves the MOTM prize.