Bayern outwitted Dortmund tactically in Der Klassiker. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
Bayern outwitted Dortmund tactically in Der Klassiker. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

Der Klassiker: the tactical breakdown of how Bayern Munich beat Borussia Dortmund


Borussia Dortmund may have won the first Der Klassiker of the season 1-0 at the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK on Matchday 11, but the result on Saturday was never in doubt after Franck Ribery put Bayern Munich ahead early. Two goals from Robert Lewandowski and one from Arjen Robben eventually helped the champions to a resounding 4-1 win, but just how did they do it?

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After all, no current coach has enjoyed more Bundesliga victories against Bayern than Dortmund’s Thomas Tuchel, who boasted four against the record champions at kick-off. trains its microscope on the latest instalment of Der Klassiker to analyse the tactical reasons as to why he was unable to extend his record…

- © gettyimages / Lennart Preis

Ribery gets the better of Passlack

Unlucky to find himself on the losing side when Bayern beat BVB 2-0 in the Supercup back in August, Felix Passlack may well have been licking his lips at the chance to prove himself again against Ribery. The veteran Frenchman, 16 years his marker’s senior, had other ideas, though, putting in a game-high 39 sprints and 84 intensive runs, giving Passlack a torrid time before his withdrawal for Douglas Costa after 74 minutes.

Robben outdoes Marc Bartra and Marcel Schmelzer

Tuchel's back three in Munich (from right to left, Matthias Ginter, Sokratis and Marc Bartra) was likely inspired by the successful back three in the reverse fixture in Dortmund (which BVB won 1-0). On that occasion, however, Bayern lined up with Thomas Müller on one side and Ribery on the other; this time out, Carlo Ancelotti could once again call upon Robben. The Dutchman clocked a world record 37km/h in helping the Netherlands dismantle Spain 5-1 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and, despite being 33, retains much of that pace.

- © imago / Laci Penyri

Bayern's numerical advantage in midfield

Julian Weigl's unavailability, however, was perhaps the biggest blow for Dortmund in Munich. The 21-year-old's ability to keep possession is already world-class (as pointed out by Toni Kroos). Alongside Thiago, Weigl is one of only two midfielders to boast a pass completion percentage of 90 per cent or better in the Bundesliga this season.

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