Analysis: Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich

By Luismi Loro

10-November-2020 on Analysis

8 minute read

Pro-analyst, Luismi Loro, uses Nacsport with InStat and KlipDraw to take a look at Der Klassiker, Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich, and reveal some of the tactical prowess employed by each of these Bundesliga titans.

It Doesn’t Get Much Klassiker

 

German soccer is booming and there’s no better proof than this game where current Champions League champs paid a visit to one of the toughest teams in the Bundesliga. Strikers from both teams, Lewandowski and Haaland, appeared on our Top 10 Goalscorers list earlier this year, and both got on the scoresheet during this game.

 

This was a classic match, in every sense of the word, as it has been for the last two decades. A match in which verticality and offense dominated the agenda.

 

Let’s take a closer look...

 

Keys to the game

 

Behind Enemy Lines - Borussia Dortmund in Attack

 

Dortmund took to the field with an attacking formation of 4-2-3-1, changing to 4-4-2 in defense. Munich fielded practically the same formation but with much more positional variety in attack from their forward line and Gnabry, Muller and Coman rotating positions.

 

Borussian Dortmund vs Bayern Munich 1

 

The tactics of both teams was to attack their opponents constantly, although their plans differed in execution, depending on the defense of the opposing team.

 

Borussian Dortmund vs Bayer Munich 2

 

Bayern, playing the 3rd man, look for Muller between the lines

 

Borussian Dortmund vs Bayer Munich 3

 

Dortmund transition into attack, look to release Haaland into space

 

Knowing that Bayern like to keep things tight, constantly pushing up with very little space between their lines, Dortmund opted for a game which saw them try to open things up by running into space behind their opponents whenever the opportunity arose.

 

Borussian Dortmund vs Bayer Munich 4

 

Quick exit into attack

 

Whether transitioning to attack or after recovering the ball in midfield, they constantly tried to release Haaland, who ran past the defensive lines and proved a nightmare for the Bayern defense, or Reus, who took up position right behind Haaland.

 

Throughout the match, this tactic took them into a scoring position, giving them the chance to even up the game or get ahead. Dortmund’s second goal, scored by Haaland, is the perfect example of this.

  

Borussian Dortmund vs Bayer Munich 5

 

Bayern's forward line / Dortumnd recover and run for space

 

Borussian Dortmund vs Bayer Munich 6

 

Every diagonal run by Sancho and Reyna gave continuity to the attacks as they unchecked their markers.

 

Both teams packed the box in every attack and it wasn’t unusual to see 5 or 6 players in attack, jostling for position amongst the defense. Just before halftime, the first goal of the match, by Dortmund, arrived in such a fashion with Guerreiro finding space on the left of the box and providing a sublime cutback to Reus, who dutifully slotted home.

 

Borussian Dortmund vs Bayer Munich 7

 

Borussian Dortmund vs Bayer Munich 8

 

Bayern Munich’s Plan of Attack

 

Bayern had a clear method of attack against Dortmund. They soaked up Dortmund’s high pressure in midfield, either by releasing the ball out wide, where Hernandez in particular was able to cause damage, or playing out of midfield with some quick combination passing in order to link up with Muller and Lewandowski between the lines.

 

After releasing the ball from the centre of the field, they applied vertical pressure, knowing that Dortmund’s defensive lines would have to scramble to reposition, and attack the box directly or by passing out wide.

 

Borussian Dortmund vs Bayer Munich 9

 

High pressure by Dortmund in a diamond formation / Bayern position for attack

 

Borussian Dortmund vs Bayer Munich 10

 

Borussian Dortmund vs Bayer Munich 11

 

Bayern applied extreme pressure to Dortmund’s defense meaning that they recovered the ball in some dangerous positions.

 

In the first few minutes of the game, Lewandowski had a goal chopped off for offside by VAR in one such play. Dortmund’s defense tried to push forward only to lose the ball then struggle to get back into position.

 

Bayern’s equaliser came right on the stroke of halftime as Alaba scored a direct freekick which came as a result of this high pressure.

 

Borussian Dortmund vs Bayer Munich 12

 

In the second half, Bayern’s second goal game from the left hand side, where after Hernandez found space enough to loft the ball onto the head of Lewandowski who glanced it into the bottom right corner of the goal. 

 

Borussian Dortmund vs Bayer Munich 13

 

Bayern racked up chance after chance on the counterattack, as Dortmund scrambled to get back into the game, leaving gaping holes in their defense. The third goal came in such a fashion as Lewandowski broke out of his own half leaving Dortmund in a 3 vs 2 in defense. The ball was slotted through to Sane who finished beautifully.

 

Borussian Dortmund vs Bayer Munich 14

 

Counterattack leading to 3rd goal / 3 vs 2 / Sane 1 vs 1 scores at far post

Conclusion

 

• A fantastic match with a final score that feels fair.


• Both teams were worthy of victory, creating multiple chances throughout the match.


• Both teams had a workable strategy and succeeded in causing damage to their opponent.


• A game in which attack prevailed over defense.

 

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