Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich tactical analysis

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Since football returned thanks to the Bundesliga we were eager to watch the game between the leader and the runner up. It was a promising clash that would determine the faith of the Bundesliga.

With 4 points behind the leaders, Dortmund Had high hopes for the game as winning would mean they will narrow the gap and have a chance to fight for the title this season.

Bayern Munich was by far the strongest team in the game and Kimmich secured the win with one of the most beautiful goals of this season.

In this piece i’ll try covering the main ideas that made Bayern Munich dominate the game and neutralize Borussia Dortmund’s dangerous plays.

Starting eleven

Lucien Favre’s team started the game with the best 11 players at their disposal. Between the absence of Marco Reus because of his injury, an unfit Jadon sancho and Axel witsel the 11 players at the starting whistle were

Bürki – Piszczek (c) , Hummels, Akanji – Hakimi, Dahoud , Delaney , Guerreiro – Brandt, Haaland , Hazard. subs: Hitz,Witsel, Balerdi,Can, Morey, Schmelzer, Götze,Sancho , Reyna

Lucien Favre used his favourite system for this game the 3-4-2-1

On the other side Hansi Flick had some absentees but the Bavarian team has enough talent on their team that they don’t seem to be shaken by a player’s injury. The starting 11 were lined in the team’s successful 4-1-4-1 formation

Neuer (c) – Pavard, Boateng , Alaba, Davies – Kimmich, Goretzka – Gnabry , Müller, Coman – Lewandowski
subs: Ulreich, Odriozola, Cuisance, Mai, Batista Meier, Zirkzee, Hernandez, Martinez, Perisic.

The game's starting line-up and formation

Suffocating Dortmund

Watching the game we have witnessed that Borussia Dortmund rarely got the ball out of the back easily. It’s astonishing to see that team struggle before the might of the Bayern Munich pressing system.

In the last 10 games BvB play from the back was so fluid it mesmerized us as football fans, with Hummels starting the attacks and using placement of hazard and Brandt Between the lines to create triangles and get the ball out on the sides for Hakimi and Guererro to advance.

But in today’s game Bayern players never let the opposition breath. they performed a high pressing strategy from the beginning and they Forced Dortmund players into rushing plays or playing long which is not what they’ve been known for this season.

So when Bayern loses the ball the pressing starts with lewandowski, Muller and Goretzka pressing the defenders while Gnabry and Koman were tasked of marking Hakimi and Guerrero. In doing so Bayern forced dortmund to play in the centre which is crowded with players and makes it easy to suffocate the players.

Once the ball gets to the delaney or dahoud Gnabry and Koman move to trap them with the help of Muller and Goretzka so they create 2v1 situations. Delaney displayed a poor performance because he was forced to build the play while he is the CDM that breaks the play and is not good in starting the attack .

Hansi Flick identified the players that can have the minimum danger on his team in the build-up phase and made sure They receive the ball often in unconformable and disadvantageous situation. This way Bayern Munich trapped Dortmund in their own half for the first 45 minutes.

The absence of Axel witsel and Jadon sancho proved fatal to the black and yellow team as they struggled with creating situations and getting the ball to the dangerous zones. Despite some of the counters where they almost caught the bavarians off guard Dortmmund signed one of their worst performances today.


Hurting that Dortmund team

the Bayern Munich team had players on the flanks that are both fast and technical and Hansi flick made sure he used their potential to its fullest.

With Gnabry and Koman as wingers you can be short of speed and creativity. Both players dominated their sides and made sure Dortmund wingers would think twice before advancing.

What i found interesting about the movement of the wingers is that they get in the half spaces and in between the defenders when attacking while they leave the couloirs to Pavard and Davies.

So when the attack starts the fullbacks use Muller as pivot or distribution centre as he tends to get akanji and piszcek out of position and free spaces for his teammates to move closer to the the penalty box. We saw Gnabry and Koman in the Penalty box more than next to the side line crossing.

They took advantage of the opposition back three system and used Thomas Muller outstanding positional awareness to create 2v1 situations against Akanji and Pisczeck.

Despite having the upper hand it is troublesome creating chances and not scoring. Bayern strikers missed chances that they don’t normally miss and the goal they scored was ingenious but nevertheless lucky and its timing helped the team gain a psychological advantage over Dortmund just before half-time.


Bayern Munich proves again that there is no team in Germany that can take the Bundesliga shield form them. They only compete with themselves every year.

In the current season and with displays proposed by Borussia Dortmund I was hoping for more from that team especially in today’s game and what’s frustrating is that you can’t put yout finger on the problem since three main players ( Reus Witsel and Sancho) were unfit to start the game. It leaves you wondering if the performance would’ve been better had they only been there.

Hansi Flick without a doubt studied Lucien Favre’s movement and outsmarted him completely especially in the first half. He knew exactly how to move his players to disrupt the opposition’s building and attacks, he forced into playing long balls and committing errors in their own half.

Despite Bayern performance their is still an issue in their play that they need to fix before the champions league games ahead. Thet create chances yet other than Lewandowski no one seems to know hot to tap it in the net and in today’s game they had chances yet they didn’t score


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