Borussia Dortmund were beaten 5-0 (4-0) by Bayern Munich on Bundesliga Matchday 28. The defeat saw BVB cede top spot to the Bavarians, whom they now trail by one point with six matches to go and 18 points up for grabs. Keep your heads up, lads!
Boris Rupert reporting from Munich
The 75,000 spectators at a sold-out Allianz made for an extraordinary atmosphere at the Allianz Arena. Among them were almost 10,000 travelling Black & Yellow fans, who cheered their side on vociferously and almost had cause for celebration in the sixth minute when Dahoud struck the upright. But Bayern were the dominant force in the opening period and put themselves in a commanding position with goals from Hummels (10), Lewandowski (17), Martinez (41) and Gnabry (43), with Lewandowski scoring a fifth goal in the 89th minute to complete the victory.
Borussia Dortmund headed to second-placed Bayern Munich as league leaders. Two points separated the two sides, who both went into this game with more league wins than anyone else (19). BVB had picked up league and cup victories at the Allianz Arena in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2017 – more than any other club. The Black & Yellows won the reverse fixture 3-2.
Lucien Favre was without the injured Alcácer (arm), Guerreiro (muscle strain), Hakimi (broken metatarsal) and Pulisic (fibre tear), although Piszczek (eight weeks injured), Diallo (muscular injury sustained a week ago in the home game against VfL Wolfsburg) and Philipp (five weeks on the sidelines with a knee problem) boarded the plane with their team-mates. There were four changes to the BVB starting XI, with Piszczek, Dahoud, Bruun Larsen and Reus replacing Wolf, Götze (both bench), Guerreiro and Alcácer (both injured).
Both teams took to the field in a 4-2-3-1 formation, although the Bayern defensive midfield duo (Thiago, Martinez) took it in turns to get forward into attacking positions, with the defenders pushing forward too. Dahoud played in the central attacking midfield role, with Reus replacing the injured Alcácer as the lone frontman.
The match & analysis:
The match began just how the spectators would have hoped: full of intensity. Bayern Munich were the first to threaten the opposition goal when Hummels headed narrowly wide from a corner in the first minute. BVB, meanwhile, made a jittery start but came close on the six-minute mark when Bruun Larsen and Reus played a double one-two down the left. The captain cut the ball back towards the onrushing Dahoud, whose shot hit Manuel Neuer's goalpost.
But it was Bayern who took the lead in the 100th league meeting between the teams when another Hummels header from another corner flew past Bürki into the net after 10 minutes. The lack of defensive organisation on display for the opening goal was a recurring theme at set-pieces, especially corners.
The men from Munich kept their foot firmly on the gas and doubled their lead in the 17th minute when Lewandowski intercepted a square pass by Zagadou. Having won the ball back, the Pole dinked it over Bürki as he came charging out and then acrobatically volleyed in off the post. But there could be no talk of good or bad luck with what happened next. Bürki made an outstanding save to deny Lewandowski in the 18th minute, Müller hit the crossbar with a header from a corner (19) and Bürki was called into action to thwart Hummels (32). The shot-stopper then denied Müller eight minutes later and when Lewandowski's rebound was blocked, Martinez was on hand to slot home at the second time of asking (41). Two minutes later, an unmarked Gnabry headed home Müller's cross to make it 4-0.
BVB faithful impress from first minute to the last
The few forays forward the visitors did have failed because they were overly hasty or lacking the required precision, and the 4-0 half-time deficit was deserved given how few shots they had compared to their hosts (15-3). But what really stood out were the scenes in the stands. Despite the hopeless scoreline, the Black & Yellow supporters showed the entire football world watching on TV which teams have the best fans on the planet!
The second half produced little action of note, aside from another chance (78) and goal (89) for Lewandowski. As a result, the top-of-the-table clash ended with a clear and deserved victory for Bayern Munich, who now have a one-point lead at the summit. There are still 18 points for both teams to play for.
BVB are in Bundesliga action next Saturday when they host 1. FSV Mainz 05. The kick-off is at 18:30 CET.