Four talking points on Bayern’s destruction of Dortmund

bayern bvb editorial

Despite their limitations, FC Bayern have shown us that they can at least win one title in Germany this season by defeating Borussia Dortmund 5:0. It has everything to do with motivation.

Appetite for destruction

The most important factor in this match was not talent. Both teams had it. Coaching experience? Lucien Favre has more of it than Niko Kovač.

What was the single most important foundation under this win? Motivation. The Bavarians showed an appetite for destruction from the very beginning. Passion was often absent in the early season struggles. Desire was sorely missing in recent matches such as the Freiburg draw and the narrow win against FC Heidenheim in DFB-Pokal.

This Saturday, motivation was very high and it helped Bayern to conquer very difficult opposition with ease… in 45 minutes.

How can we explain that? I keep thinking that the players are generally responsible for responding to their coach’s command, but not only in key matches. They should show up all the time. Look at how Kovač behaves on the sidelines. He’s always fired up. This does not always translate on the pitch and I don’t think it is his fault.

The trio from hell

A trio of players had a massive impact on this match.

First, I ask Thomas Müller to take a bow. Returning to his virtual no.10 behind the striker was vital for the execution of a successful tactical plan.

The Raumdeuter did not only find spaces. He made clever passes that allowed the team to progress forward in fast and furious fashion. He launched Robert Lewandowski and other teammates forward like rockets.

Second, David Alaba. After a difficult start to the season, he picked up steam. The Austrian missed a couple of weeks of competition recently, and it showed. His movement, ability to read plays and deliver solid crosses is a difference maker in any match. It matters: he is one of the purest talents on the team.

Third: Thiago Alcântara. The midfield general can be frustratingly inconsistent, but he showed up in a big way on Saturday. Accurate corner kicks, great support near the ball in the midfield and the occasional shot on goal gave the Reds life.

Honourable mention to Javi Martínez, whose defensive shift was massive.

BVB’s little mistakes

Most football observers will credit Bayern for a strong performance against BVB, but let us also admit that the Ruhr side made mistakes.

Bayern were aggressive one-on-one. The bees lost the ball cheaply on several occasions. The yellow shirts often gave too much space to Mats Hummels in corner situations, and that resulted in a goal and more headers on target. One little misplaced pass by central defender Dan-Axel Zagadou proved costly, setting up Bayern’s second goal.

Little mistakes can be forgiven against lower-level teams, but not against the elite. The way Bayern dished out punishment whenever given a chance also speaks volume about their opportunism on the day. We can only ask for more of that killer instinct.

Bürki saves BVB’s honour… maybe

It’s even more encouraging from a Bavarian perspective to consider that Roman Bürki and his crossbar made a few big saves.

Had the keeper and the aluminum not had that much of an impact on the match, Die Bayern could have added a goal or two to their tally.

Final thoughts

What struck me the most was how BVB were discouraged in the second half. The legs were gone. Mental fortitude? In shambles. Bayern everything away in 45 minutes.

This team has more limitations in the past due to player declines, but it remains dangerous when firing on all cylinders. There is no excuse not to win the Bundesliga title this season before looking forward to a busy summer transfer window.

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Julian Jake

What is your thought on Kovac? Bayern have defeated BVB with big margins in the last three to four years, so it’s no surprise. Is Kovac the right man for the upheaval process? Can he take Bayern to higher altitudes in the European stage? I still can’t figure out why we lost to Liverpool in both ties with only two shots on target. I still have doubts in Kovac.

Josef Hanna

I think for Bayern to compete on the European Stage again 2 things are essential. Rebuild a younger and stronger squad which requires time; and secondly is a stronger Bundesliga.

Lloyd I. Cadle

A great game by the whole team. One thing about Niko is that he puts a lot of emphasis on physical conditioning and it showed in the second half with how tired Dortmund looked. I’ve been in Niko’s corner from day one. Like Michel stated, the players were motivated today. The coaches get WAY too much credit and blame. it’s still about the players and the talent on the pitch. If the players need motivational speeches all of the time in order to play well they’re in the wrong profession. Their paychecks should provide plenty of motivation to perform well.… Read more »

Lloyd I. Cadle

Good points Michel. I agree. However, I don’t see a situation where folks like Lewy or Hummels feel that they’ve lost a match because a coach didn’t motivate them (tactics yes). They’ve become great players because of a inner desire to succeed.

I get irritated when some folks want to change coaches every couple of losses. The players don’t rely on pep talks. Being a great player and playing for Bayern is surely great motivation.

Lloyd I. Cadle

One last add on Niko: One of the FOX announcers stated that Niko is a fabulous coach and that he’ll prove it if given time.

Folks just need to be patient and count their blessings of being Bayern fans. We ARE a spoiled bunch!

Josef Hanna

Should Bayern swtich to 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 in the future instead of 4-2-3-1/4-3-3?

Josef Hanna

The formation at the end of the day is on paper and can be adjusted during the game. Yesterday, I felt whenever Mueller dips in between the 2 Dortmund defenders it was difficult for them to mark both him and Lewa. It is just a thought especially that Germany in the last match against Holland played with 3 in the back. Mia san Mia

Lloyd I. Cadle

Michel – Ron Wolfley does a sports talk show that I listen to here in Phoenix. He played for the Cardinals 10 years (a 3 time all-star & his brother played for the Steelers). Anyway, he says that he has a PhD in losing. During his time with the ’80 Cards he said the team was so terrible that the only thing that kept him motivated was his paycheck & feeding his family. He hates it when folks say that the coach has to motivate the players to play with passion. Here in the USA a majority of the players… Read more »

Josef Hanna

I believe motivation is something that comes from inside a person but also with the outer circumstances and surroundings. When you are a professional and doing any sport for living you should be quite motivated by nature; because you are supposed doing something you love. I think players become demotivated when the results start declining and things don’t work out; we are humans at the end of the day; here I think comes the role of the coach to lift them up again, boost their confidence…etc….. At the end of the day we don’t have all the team Kimmiches 🙂

Lloyd I. Cadle

Hi Josef – Great points. That why I brought up Ron Wolfley. He played with the 80’s Cards of the NFL, huge losers. At that time they played at ASU’s stadium with half empty seats and most of the fans rooting for the opposition. The worst of envirements. He always talks about how much he loved playing. (He’s an outstanding radio host by the way.) So in that nasty environment, he talks about sucking it up and playing for his paycheck and feeding his family. He gets pissed when he hears that coaches have to motivate players to do their… Read more »

Lloyd I. Cadle

Hi Michel – The Bayern Munich vs Arsenal tickets just went on sale this morning in Los Angeles. I was able to get tickets for my two daughters and me. I am so excited to see the boys. The stadium is so small (only 27,00, like our spring training games here in Arizona) we’ll be right on the pitch. Blessings!

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