Borussia Dortmund – Bayern Munich: Bayern’s Central Defenders Badly Exposed As Dortmund Win Rollercoaster Game (3-2)
The best teams in the world think about attacking when they are defending, and think about defending when they are attacking. Bayern Munich failed to do the latter against Borussia Dortmund and offered too little defensive cover in transition from attack to defense. Bayern’s central defenders suffered badly, as Dortmund’s attackers feasted on space, and the home side eventually won this rollercoaster game.
This season’s Klassiker could very well be of one of the decisive matches in the Bundesliga title race, since Dortmund went into this match four points clear of Bayern. Manager Lucien Favre held onto his ever present 4-2-3-1 formation, but surprised in two positions. Julian Weigl made an unexpected start next to Axel Witsel in the double pivot 4-2-3-1 is one of the most frequently occurring formations in football. The two most defensive midfielders are called a ‘double pivot’. , while Mario Götze was fielded as the striker.
The last time Götze and Marco Reus were deployed as number nine and ten, it produced a wonderful game of football that Dortmund should have won. The second change was a forced one, with experienced goalkeeper Marwin Hitz replacing Roman Bürki.
Bayern Munich have played a mix of 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 formations all season long, varying the positioning of their midfielders on personnel at hand and the opponents’ playing style. Thiago Alcántara and James Rodríguez were unavailable, which meant Javi Martínez was deployed as the holding midfielder, paired with Leon Goretzka and Thomas Müller. Up front, Robert Lewandowski was leading . . .