Lothar Matthäus, in all his unfathomable wisdom, saw disaster coming for the Borussia Dortmund team. In his "kicker" column, the record national player warned that Munich was "irritated". And that is rarely good for an opponent. But it was surprising that the alleged top game turned out the way it did. Bayern beat a desolate BVB 4:2, who were lucky that the result wasn't as clear in the end as the balance of power on the lawn of Munich's Allianz Arena before.
There, the record champion brutally presented the guests and restored the usual order of power in the league. After all, BVB had fought its way to the top of the league with a winning streak since January. Now the Bavarians are enthroned there again and one suspects: They will not let themselves be ousted up there again, with the 11th championship in a row firmly in sight. There is a lot to suggest that the hope of an exciting title fight has already been done.
The fact that Bayern sometimes need a certain stimulating climate in order to perform to their full potential was a lesson learned that evening. On the one hand, there was the fact that, from a Bavarian point of view, it was almost unbearable that they had lost the lead in the table to Dortmund. And there was a change of coach from Julian Nagelsmann to Thomas Tuchel a week ago. The chairman of the board, Oliver Kahn, and sports director, Hasan Salihamidzic, had done this quite roughly and surprisingly for many (also for the team).
In particular, the communication that accompanied the personnel shift provoked a lot of criticism. Nagelsmann's dismissal leaked out before the person concerned was informed by those responsible. Before the game, Kahn and Matthäus fought in front of the "Sky" cameras. Kahn admitted the communications were a "disaster" and "not good". At the same time, he countered Matthäus' criticism and snapped: "Always this insinuation that we wouldn't maintain FC Bayern's style, so I'd be very, very careful there."
So there were more than enough hot topics. That wasn't a problem for the newcomer on the sidelines. Thomas Tuchel initially felt "better" after the win because he was "very nervous" before the game, as he admitted afterwards. Although it was "a very good start" overall, the new Bayern coach also criticized the game for being "a bit too open and too wild". It was "still a lot of room for improvement".
Leading players such as Thomas Müller and Joshua Kimmich also did not burst into howls of triumph, but gave themselves appropriate contrition in the face of Nagelsmann's dismissal ("You have to question yourself as a team") and confirmed their new coach's verdict that "there is still "a lot of work to do waiting for us" (Müller), as if they had agreed.
What Tuchel criticized was the nervous start, some unnecessary ball losses and coordination problems. It was "very sloppy". Nevertheless, the tactical measures taken by the new coach had an effect. Tuchel had set the team defensively. First and foremost, he was concerned with security and stability. This was ensured by a back four on the defensive, which the team obviously liked. The fact that everything didn't work out didn't have any consequences for Bayern that evening because the opponent was too weak.
And because this one scene happened very early in the game, which caused amusement among Bayern fans and horror among the BVB supporters. In the 13th minute, a long ball from Bayern defender Dayot Upamecano rushed through midfield, which BVB keeper Gregor Kobel tried to kick outside the box. Did not work. To his chagrin, he produced an aerial number and missed the ball, which then rolled into the goal, accompanied by Leroy Sané.
The BVB keeper immediately put his hands in front of his face and stopped looking after the ball. "I don't know how the ball slipped through there. That was a nice shit, you just have to say it like that," he said about his slapstick number in the 13th minute, which led to 1-0 for Bayern and hit BVB to the core.
Tuchel reacted almost in disbelief on the sidelines before jumping up and shouting commands to his players. Five minutes later, a corner kick made it 2-0 through Thomas Müller, who, it looked like, headed a Matthijs de Ligt header into the goal with his abdomen. Another five minutes later, the BVB defender let Leroy Sané get the shot almost unhindered, Kobel defended insufficiently and Müller was there again. After 23 minutes it was 3-0, the game was more or less over.
If Dortmund were hoping for the second half at this point, they had to give it up quickly. Kingsley Coman, who started on his beloved left side (Sané had to take over on the right) immediately after the restart finally destroyed all Dortmund hopes of maybe scoring something with a spirited second half. The remainder of the remarkable game consisted of two offside goals from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and later substitute Serge Gnabry. The fact that Emre Can converted another penalty and Donyell Malen finally reduced the score to 4:2 were irrelevant on this memorable evening.