Marcel Schmelzer, defence let Roman Burki, Dortmund down vs. Bayern
Bayern Munich deservedly moved on to the round of eight of the DFP-Pokal, dismantling Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night.
The hosts dominantly showed the gulf in class between them and Dortmund in the first half and why there is currently a 13-point gap in the league between the two Bundesliga teams.
Though, FCB were wasteful early on, as chances came thick and fast against the bodiless visitors. Centre-back Jerome Boateng headed home a rebound in the 12th minute after Bayern had already squandered three excellent scoring opportunities.
Jupp Heynckes' team remained on the front foot, with Thomas Muller adding a second five minutes before the break, cleverly dinking the ball over Dortmund keeper Roman Burki after shaking Dortmund left-back Marcel Schmelzer off his heels.
It looked as though, Bayern would run riot and pick up where they left off in the second half, forcing a first save off Burki just 40 seconds into the second period. However, the league leaders dropped off significantly 55 minutes into the game, letting the Black and Yellows back into the match.
The guests took advantage of complacent Bayern with Andriy Yarmolenko heading Shinji Kagawa's pinpoint cross past Sven Ulreich. Bayern president Uli Hoeness flinched in the stands in stoppage time, covering his face in relief as substitute forward Alexander Isak came close to forcing the game into overtime. The 18-year-old Swede placed his shot just inches of the wrong side of the post with the ball taking a slight deflection.
Dortmund, who are the current title holders in the German cup, have been thrown out of the competition after reaching the cup final five consecutive times.
BVB will have to take encouragement from the second half, which they dominated with 63 percent possession after mustering just over 40 percent of the ball in the first half. With the introduction of Mahmoud Dahoud next to Julian Weigl in midfield, Peter Stoger's team had more edge to their passing and could hold the ball in Bayern's half almost at will. Even if there are not too many takeaways for the Black and Yellows, Dahoud can enter the winter break on a positive note after struggling to impose himself under Peter Bosz since joining from Borussia Monchengladbach in the summer.
Dortmund showed the necessary intensity in the second half, winning second balls and throwing themselves into tackles as they should have done from the outset but even though Bayern failed to seal the match with a third goal, ultimately it was too little too late.
Team captain Schmelzer described the last match of 2017 against Bayern as a "bonus match," and this is how his team started the match. Dortmund started with a deep-lying 5-3-2 and refrained from pressing Bayern's midfielders whatsoever. Passiveness was all around Dortmund's defence, resulting in a horrendous performance at the back.
BVB were not ready to play and made it far too easy for the hosts, who could not believe the amounts of green at their disposal to pick passes. The first half looked like Bayern taking care of business against an ordinary Bundesliga outfit like Mainz or Cologne rather than a matchup often described as "der Klassiker". Dortmund were terrible and would have been pummeled if it wasn't for their goalkeeper.
Manager rating out of 10
5 -- Having to make do without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Stoger took the wrong approach with Dortmund and was far too passive. His adjustments, however, helped his side to get a foot in the door.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating.)
GK Roman Burki, 9 -- Felt very alone in a crowd as his teammates were little to no help. The Swiss goalkeeper shined with wonder save after wonder save to keep his team in the game.
DF Jeremy Toljan, 5 -- Had a tough time against Franck Ribery and David Alaba but did his best to contain both.
DF Marc Bartra, 3 -- Showed tremendous pace in order to keep two meters ahead of Ribery as the latter was charging towards goal. Bartra was passive and not in the game. Stoger took him off after 34 minutes.
DF Sokratis Papastathopoulos, 5 -- Of the three centre-backs, Sokratis had the best game -- which doesn't say much in this instance.
DF Omer Toprak, 4 -- Always a step too slow when Bayern were feeling it in the first half.
DF Marcel Schmelzer, 4 -- Like Toprak, Schmelzer was always a yard off his marker. Lost Muller out of sight, as the latter scored a second but the blame partly lies on Toprak, too.
MF Shinji Kagawa, 7 -- Once again, Kagawa was one of the few that came out ready to play. The Japanese combined his tenacity with class, showing himself once again in fine form. Found Yarmolenko's head with a nifty cross after duping two Bayern defenders with a fake.
MF Julian Weigl, 5 -- Only a positive factor when Dortmund can assert themselves on the ball.
MF Raphael Guerreiro, 3 -- Was a ghost on the pitch and was rightfully taken off after 55 minutes. Dortmund visibly improved with the Portugal international off the field.
FW Christian Pulisic, 6 -- Fielded upfront next to Yarmolenko, it was harsh on Pulisic that his teammates made him contest for long balls against towering defenders in Boateng and Niklas Sule. Pulisic should have picked up an assist from a low cross to his Ukrainian partner in crime and should have won a penalty off a Joshua Kimmich handball.
FW Andriy Yarmolenko, 5 -- Once again provoked his supporters' frustrations by lacking composure with his right foot. In the first half, he had the chance to equalise but took too long to move the ball from his right foot to his left. He saw his shot cleared off the goal line by David Alaba. His powerful header beat Ulreich with 13 minutes left but it was once again a performance that left much to be desired by the summer signing.
MF Mahmoud Dahoud, 6 -- Showed shades of Ilkay Gundogan at the Allianz Arena in the second half. His performance could warrant more playing time after the winter break.
MF Andre Schurrle, 5 -- Schurrle's substitution added a welcome burst of energy to Dortmund's game while Bayern fell flat. It might just have been his last minutes in a BVB shirt after his agent hinted at a January exit ahead of the game.
FW Alexander Isak, NR -- He had the last chance of the game with only Ulreich to beat. Instead of pulling the trigger, Isak opted for another sidestep to get into a better scoring position but gave Boateng the chance to get the vital deflection.
Stefan Buczko covers Borussia Dortmund for ESPN FC. Twitter: @StefanBuczko.