Bayern Munich welcomed fierce rivals Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Pokal semifinal clash on Wednesday night as two of Germany’s best met for the fourth time this season.
With a chance to fight for the trophy at stake, both sides gave their best to earn a place in the final against Eintracht Frankfurt and here are the five key points we highlighted from Borussia Dortmund’s 3-2 victory in this openly-contested match we saw at Allianz Arena:
Youth over experience
One of the main talking points on Wednesday, and during the entire season for that matter, has been a question of Bayern Munich’s ageing squad. The Bavarians have been widely described as a team way past their prime, given the fact that Carlo Ancelotti kept going with the nucleus of that 2013 Champions League winning side.
Pitted against an exciting, young-blood side of Borussia Dortmund tonight, Bayern Munich used their experience to demonstrate their dominance for the most part of the game and once again prove there is still juice in those old legs of Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso. Borussia Dortmund’s young side, however, stood up to the veterans and sent a strong message of a possible shift of powers that is to come soon enough.
Tonight’s 3-2 triumph was Borussia Dortmund’s second victory over Bayern Munich this season and arguably the biggest one, as it gave Bayern another big slap in the face and perhaps put Carlo Ancelotti’s future at Bayern Munich helm in question.
Bayern and Dortmund’s defensive woes exposed yet again
Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are the two most exciting sides to watch in Germany with their attack-oriented brands of football.
Two of Germany’s fiercely contested rivals are always playing for a goal more and stretching out to outplay their rivals, but this season they have been – on the other side of the coin – struggling defensively.
Ancelotti’s defenders failed to contain Dortmund players tonight, made a couple of costly errors of mispositioning and man marking, whereas Tuchel’s backline was sloppy, allowing their rivals to create too many goal chances.
Both teams will be disappointed to have conceded one too many goal on the occasion, Bayern in particular as they conceded at least a goal in five of their last six matches. Similarly, Dortmund failed to keep a clean sheet for the sixth time in a row and it is fair to say that both managers have some serious thinking to do ahead of the summer transfer window.
Bayern’s fortress capitulates at last
It is no secret that German giants are a force to be reckoned with, but they are a proper home side as well. Bundesliga champions have lost only two Bundesliga matches this season, whereas they haven’t felt the bitter taste of defeat on too many occasions in general this campaign.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men reaffirmed their status of a strong home side, having suffered a single home defeat this term in all competitions. It ended up being the most painful one of them all until tonight however – the one to Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League final earlier this month.
When it comes to domestic competitions, however, Bayern Munich’s fortress has up to this point been intact. The Bavarians recorded a brilliant 20-match unbeaten home streak, which got ended tonight with their first home defeat in German football competitions.
It will have been another devastating blow for Bayern as well in terms of morale.
Four on the trot for Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund have secured their fourth consecutive place in the DFB Pokal final and there is no doubt that a morale-boosting triumph over Bayern Munich will be of huge psychological importance for Thomas Tuchel’s men.
Dortmund were twice beaten by Bayern Munich in the showpiece match of the competition, whereas they once capitulated in front of Wolfsburg, so Dortmund will truly relish a chance to go against Eintracht Frankfurt in a month’s time.
Borussia Dortmund were somewhat unfortunate to lose all of their previous three finals as one of those came after extra time, whereas the last year’s loss came after a penalty shootout.
The BVB have three DFB Pokal trophies in their cabinet, last lifting the trophy in 2012. This year’s final will however be a chance to save their season with the fourth-ever Cup title.
Ousmane Dembele continues to shine
We have been deceived by his slow start to the match, but Ousmane Dembele stepped up the plate at the most crucial moment for Borussia Dortmund. The highly-rated 19-year-old first provided a brilliant assist to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the second-half equalizer, before scoring a wonderful goal himself minutes later to put his team 3-2 up.
Dembele is once again proving his world-class potential with his 20th assist of the season and 8th goal in total which is an incredible score for a 19-year-old footballer.
Borussia Dortmund have a proper gem amidst their ranks and the BVB will have plenty of problems holding on to the talented French international, destined to become a huge world star.
BAYERN MUNICH: Ulreich 6.5 0 Lahm 7, Martinez 7, Hummels 7.5, Alaba 7 – Alonso 6.5 (Muller -), Vidal 6 – Robben 6.5, Alcantara 6, Ribery 6.5 (Costa -) – Lewandowski 6.
Unused subs: Bernat, Rafinha, Kimmich, Starke.
BORUSSIA DORTMUND: Burki 6.5 – Piszczek 6.5 (Pulisic -), Sokratis 6.5, Bender 7.5, Schmelzer 7 – Weigl 6.5, Guerreiro 6.5 – Dembele 8, Castro 6 (Durm 6.5), Reus 7 (Ginter 6) – Aubameyang 7.
Unused subs: Isaak, Kagawa, Merino, Weidenfeller.
REFEREE: Manuel Grafe
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