Borussia Dortmund played host to Bayern Munich on Saturday evening in the German classic between great rivals, who have put in an exciting show at Signal Iduna Park.
We shouldn’t let the 0-0 result deceive us, as there was plenty of on-pitch action in a high-tempo match, which provided the anticipating crowd with everything other than goals.
As Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich left the pitch with shared spoils, we take a look at five key conclusions drew out of the goalless stalemate:
Pressure got the best of both sides
Build-up for the Saturday’s Der Klassiker between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich offered plenty of reason for both sides to head into the game under great pressure.
Bayern Munich allowed their comfortable eight-point cushion to melt with a stunning midweek loss to Mainz, while Dortmund’s winner against Darmstadt just put an extra pressure on Tuchel’s men, who were presented with an unexpected opportunity to get back into the title race with a win over their fierce rivals.
And despite the fact Dortmund and Bayern played an openly-contested match with plenty of chances on both ends, it is fair to say that lack of composure and poor finish in front of goal can be attributed to high pressure to make a good result.
Thomas Muller was the first one to be presented with an opportunity to open the scorings, but Bayern Munich striker wasted a wonderful opportunity when he latched on the rebound from the edge of the box, only to fire it into the stands.
Aubameyang responded five minutes later with a chance that would have been realised against any other team, but not with Bayern. He got one-on-one with Neuer, but Bayern Munich keeper stopped him with a brilliant save.
Douglas Costa was surprisingly imprecise with his own run in front of Burki’s goal, but just like Aubameyang before him, the Brazilian failed to beat Dortmund keeper on the half-hour mark.
Both teams collected a couple of more promising efforts, Dortmund thorough Durm, Aubameyang and Ramos in the closing stages of the game, but Bayern perhaps had a couple of more chances than thee hosts today.
Arturo Vidal even hit the crossbar in the first half, and the only way to justify the poor finish from Costa and Robben in a couple of occasions is by pressure.
Bayern are going to win the league
It is pretty hard to envisage Pep Guardiola’s team losing the huge five points in eleven rounds ahead of us.
Spaniard welcomed the challenge of the restored excitement in the title race, but there is no pressure now on his side as Guardiola is determined to leave Munich with a crown on his head.
During the 25 games so far, Bayern Munich have lost only two in the league. Guardiola will make sure that the set-back against Mainz will be a one-time slump and a localized incident, which will help his team learn from their mistakes.
Five-point advantage for a team such as Bayern will be regarded as a mountain for Borussia Dortmund, having in mind that Tuchel’s men failed to get the result from the direct encounter with the title challengers.
Guardiola is on course to write history and win the first-ever fourth consecutive Bundesliga title. And no one will stop him.
Tuchel on the right path
Borussia Dortmund are going through a transitional period following an emotional departure with Jurgen Klopp. However, BVB hierarchy have made the perfect choice in Thomas Tuchel who possesses similar characteristics as his predecessor.
Not afraid to go forward and attack, Tuchel has forged a well-organized attacking unit, which is going neck and neck with Bayern Munich in their goalscoring exploits.
With his team having scored 59 goals from 25 rounds, Thomas Tuchel deserves praise for his brave approach and excellent work with the team.
Unbeaten since December and the 2-1 loss at Koln, Borussia Dortmund have gone out to record six wins and two draws, collecting the total of 20 points in the league.
Tuchel will continue to believe, Dortmund’s title dream is still mathematically alive, but his team has missed a perfect opportunity on Saturday and might regret it at the end of the race. For what is worth, Tuchel has nothing to be ashamed of and is surely to succeed with his team in due time.
Bayern’s defence deserves praise
Guardiola headed into Der Klassiker with plenty of injury problems to his first-choice defenders.
With Boateng, Badstuber and Martinez all ruled out through injuries, Guardiola opted to go out with midfielder Kimmich and left-back Alaba in the heart of defence. The two youngsters rose to the occasion once again by putting in fantastic, mature performances against the lethal attack line lead by Aubameyang.
The 21-year-old Joshua Kimmich was particularly impressive with his key tackle on Marco Reus, when he prevented Borussia forward from getting the shot from just three meters away from Neuer’s goal.
Guardiola’s risk is paying dividends and talented duo is earning their stripes the best way possible.
Bavarians to prepare for life without Robben and Ribbery, not only Guardiola
It will be very interesting to see what will happen in Bayern Munich during summer.
The Bavarians are losing their coach, but he might not be the only one to leave the club. Bayern Munich are preparing for the new chapter and the club’s hierarchy will need to go on the lookout for long-term solutions for their weak points.
It is hard to admit but Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery have become those week points.
The Dutch winger still possess his recognizable flair and technique, but his pace and stamina are not on the same level anymore. Chronic lack of passing and theatrical issues are aspects of his game that just might not work well for Carlo Ancelotti.
As for Frank Ribery, the powerful French winger is still an influential player for Bayern, which was evident in the Mainz loss. However, his numerous problems with injuries are likely to make Bayern look for long-term solutions.
Douglas Costa already is a replacement, but who else?
BORUSSIA DORTMUND: Burki 6.5 – Piszczek 7.5, Bender 7.5, Hummels 7.5 – Durm 7.5, Weigl 6.5, Gundogan 6.5 (Sahin 6), Schmelzer 7 – Mkhitaryan 6.5, Aubameyang 6.5, Reus 7 (Ramos 6.5).
Unused subs: Castro, Ginter, Leitner, Subotic, Weidenfeller.
BAYERN MUNICH: Neuer 7 – Lahm 6.5, Kimmich 7.5, Alaba 7.5, Bernat 7.5 – Alonso 7 (Benatia 6), Vidal 7 – Robben 6.5, Muller 6.5, Costa 6.5 (Ribery 6) – Lewandowski 6.5.
Unused subs: Alcantara, Rafinha, Gotze, Rode, Ulreich.
Referee: Tobias Stieler
Other results this evening
FC Koln 1-3 Schalke
Augsburg 3-3 Bayer Leverkusen
Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Ingolstadt
Stuttgart 5-1 Hoffenheim
Werder Bremen 4-1 Hannover
Wolfsburg 2-1 Borussia Monchengladbach