Three in a row
Okay, I have to be honest. I was very sceptical about the match in Munich and sceptical about our "week of truth" with three important matches in only seven days. But just like last season, Borussia laughed down all my scepticism, ignored it and proved me wrong. Very wrong. What we saw on Saturday was not just the third victory against Bayern Munich in a row (with two consecutive wins away), not just a match without any goals conceded against the best offense of the Bundesliga, not just a match with a goal against the best defense of the Bundesliga. It was a tactical masterpiece, a passionate, fighting performance by every Borussian who stepped on the pitch. For the second time after the match against Hamburger SV on day 1, I was remembered at last season. Borussia beat Bayern 1-0, Götze proved all his class once again and several supporters and clubs thanked us for making the fight for the place at the top interesting again.
Before the match
Like I said before, I was not too optimistic that Borussia will leave Munich with any points. Bayern dominated over big parts of the season and played in a very impressive way. Even though Borussia found back on track over the last weeks with 16 out of 18 possible points in the last six matches, I would not have been surprised to see Borussia lose in Munich. I expected a very tough challenge for Borussia (which it was) and would have been satisfied with a draw. What I got was much more than that.
Talking about the line-ups, Bayern missed Bastian Schweinsteiger (who will be out for the rest of the year due to a broken collarbone) and Anatoliy Tymoschuk (banned after a send-off). However, Arjen Robben – the man with the bones made of glass – was back in the team and therefore formed an impressive offense with Ribery on the left side and German Thomas Müller right behind the top scorer of the Bundesliga, Mario Gomez. Borussia had to replace boxer Neven Subotic and did so with "Tele" Santana, Marcel Schmelzer eventually got ready to play, the defensive midfield was built by skipper Kehl and indestructible robot "Manni" Bender. Our offensive line did not need to hide from Bayern since the trio of Götze – Kagawa – Großkreutz playing behind Robert Lewandowski does not sound too bad in my ears. Especially when you take into account that Borussia possesses the ability to have someone like Lucas Barrios on the bench. Everything was set up for a big match and yellow press did their best to hype that one as a preliminary decision in the race for the title. If it was, we got the better of it so it would be perfect for me.
First things first: It was not a match packed with highlights and lots of opportunities to score. It was a tactical match which does not mean that it was not interesting for a neutral supporter. Speaking for me, I shifted around on my chair being very nervous for the whole 90 minutes. Over the whole match, Borussia gave everything every player had to offer. The pressing was just enormous and the new flood of statistics proved it with the fact that BVB made 11 kilometers more than the players of Bayern.
The first exclamation mark was also put on the pitch by Borussia after two minutes when a promising attack over the right side ended up with a cross by Kagawa which was cleared to a corner kick by Jerome Boateng. However, the first bigger opportunity belonged to the record champion when a volley by Kroos slightly missed the goal after Müller's and Hummels' heads crashed into each other. Fortunately, Mats didn't suffer the same fate as Neven did against Wolfsburg and the former Munich player was able to continue (17th). The best opportunity of the first half was then given away by Ribery after an assist by Robben. In 9 out of 10 cases, Ribery scores in a situation like this. Here, however, his shot missed the goal for approximately two meters (29th). Speaking of best opportunities, the most promising one for Borussia was another attack from the right. Lewandowski made his way through two defenders and crossed the ball directed at the second post where Großkreutz was hoping to score and old GE Ultra Manuel Neuer did not get his hands on the ball but Rafinha was there for the rescue (33rd). That's basically all there is to say about the first half concerning bigger opportunities. Certainly I was proud about my team already during half time since they fighted for every ball and hardly left any opportunities for Bayern who obviously had difficulties finding a way through the perfectly organized Dortmund defense. Especially Lukas Piszczek (taking Ribery out for most parts of the game), Mats Hummels and Sven Bender impressed me with their performance over the entire match. However, there is no need to take out several players since they were all impressive basically.
After the break, Borussia opened the second half with a nice attack over the right side. A cross by Piszczek found the head of Lewandowski whose header missed the goal (51st). But you could see that Borussia was more willing to go for a goal after the break and risked more. Several minutes later, Mario Gomez put a shot beside the right side of the goal in one of his best actions of this match (55th). Most of the time, he was taken out by Santana and Hummels. While both sides decided to go for their aim of scoring, more chances could be seen. After a great combination with Lewandowski, Kagawa appeared in front of Manuel Neuer who waked some memories at last year's home derby by storming out of the goal and doing everything right with it. From his head, the ball found Mario Götze who missed the goal for only inches (58th). That could have been the lead for Borussia already. Finally, the decisive goal was the result of the great pressing when Lewandowski capitalized of an inattentive Munich defense, won the ball, put Götze and Kagawa into action. And then, just somehow, the ball found Götze once again and the young gun scored from a couple of meters, right in the heart of Bayern Munich, right in the heart of Manuel Neuer, right in the joy of millions of Borussia supporters (65th). Leading in Munich, who really had seen this coming?
Just six minutes later, "Manni" Bender presented one of his patented advances to the offense and finished it off with a shot out of 18 meters. As we all know, Bender possesses other qualities than being a scorer... With Borussia getting more and more control of the match-up, another great moment by Götze ended up in a pass to Lewandowski who had Neuer already beaten but stood off-side with just the forward section of his foot (74th). Lots of fans were already celebrating, but the referee's decision turned out to be just right. In the last quarter of the match-up, Bayern tried everything to equalize and Dortmund just defended with everything they got. However, Munich still created some chances, one of them being a long shot from Luiz Gustavo which was brilliantly saved by Weidenfeller who from that point on earned his part in the victory (76th). Seconds later a deep pass sent Ribery through our defense but once again, Weidenfeller was there to save the ball with his knees (78th). A questionable free kick by Holger Badstuber went over the goal (82nd), Ribery chose to shoot the ball in the same direction during extra time after Borussia had problems with clearing a corner kick from the right side. The last situation saw Petersen missing the goal for some inches. I describe these last minutes rather sober but I don't want to know how high my pulse was during the last seconds of the matches. With the final whistle, Borussia supporters around the world exploded and this time, Jürgen Klopp managed to save his glasses even though he had a good time celebrating with his young guns.
In my match report, I left out all situations concering the referee on purpose because like always when Bayern is defeated, the referee is taken into responsibility of course. However, I did not see a total failure of Mr. Gagelmann. Arrogant Bayern supporters argue they should have been awarded a penalty (even though I don't know any situation where this should be really considered) and most importantly, they accuse Moritz Leitner of being an actor after he was bodyslammed to the ground by Boateng. Of course, they don't mention that Gagelmann was already going to sent off Luiz Gustavo with his second yellow card, his cards already in hand and then made up his mind. Of course, they don't mention that Arjen Robben was seen more often lying on the ground than playing football or that Ribery got off the pitch without any card even though he clearly tried to slave-drive a penalty. Oh, and did I mention that they think that our victory was not deserved? Well, I guess this is the biggest compliment you can get from Bayern supporters because it underlines how angry they are about this third defeat in a row. Anyway, fact of the matter is: Borussia leaves Arrogance Arena with the victory, Borussia is still on track in Bundesliga competition, three out of nine possible important points are already won. Six points left and with a tactical masterpiece like on Saturday, I am sure we can beat anybody. Let's make this week just incredible by creating another "three in a row".
Former Champion Bayern Munich: Neuer - Rafinha, Boateng, Badstuber, Lahm - Luiz Gustavo, Kroos - Robben, Müller, Ribery – Gomez
Subs: Alaba and Olic for Robben and Müller (72nd), Petersen for Rafinha (79th)
Deutscher Meister wird nur der BVB: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Santana, Hummels, Schmelzer - Bender, Kehl - Götze, Kagawa, Großkreutz – Lewandowski
Subs: Leitner for Kehl (79th), Perisic for Kagawa (89th), Barrios for Lewandowski (90th)
Goal: 0-1 Götze (65th)
Referee: Gagelmann (Bremen)
Bookings: Luiz Gustavo, Badstuber – Kehl
Attendance: 69.000 (sold-out Arrogance Arena)