Dortmund offer no resistance in ugly 6-0 loss to Bayern Munich
Borussia Dortmund kept hold of third place in the Bundesliga on Saturday but lost their dignity in a 6-0 shellacking at the hands of Bayern Munich. There was never any doubt about the winner at the Allianz Arena as garbage time started after Thomas Muller's goal made it 3-0 after 23 minutes.
With Schalke winning 2-0 against Freiburg earlier in the afternoon, Bayern Munich could not wrap up the Bundesliga title on Saturday. With an important Champions League fixture ahead on Tuesday against Sevilla and little to play for in the Bundesliga, one could have assumed Bayern would shift down a few gears to save energy. The yellow shirts, however, were the ones who left the impression of having nothing left to play for as they were humiliated.
The loss once again showed that Dortmund do not possess the individual quality, tactical finesse or mindset to sit at the grown-ups table and that a big overhaul is necessary if reality wants to come closer to their ambition again.
Peter Stoger told Sky after the game that it was maybe for the best to receive a shellacking like Dortmund did so that "no stone would be left unturned." A narrow loss might have papered over the cracks, but there is no sugar coating now.
One could label Dortmund's performance as unacceptable or pathetic, but helpless would describe it best. "We arrived to the challenges always one step too late," Marcel Schmelzer told Sky after the game. "We were outnumbered in every zone of the field. It was like a cat toying with a mouse."
Dortmund were simply overwhelmed by the movement of a team with superior positional play. Bayern bulldozed what once had been a fierce rival as BVB could not coordinate their runs in defence, nor did they offer passing outlets to string together any meaningful possession throughout 90 minutes.
The loss was so dramatic that Stoger revealed more of his thoughts on the current situation at BVB than he normally does. The 51-year-old not only scolded his team for lacking "basic virtues" in the game, but also maligned the general lack of direction coming from the top.
"One has to ask now where this team wants to be," he said. "What style of football should this club stand for? What is the philosophy here, and which kind of players are needed for that philosophy? And, of course, the coaching position is a part in that discussion."
The ramifications of the 6-0 loss may have a cleansing effect in the long-term but could have harsh consequences in the interim as the wheels are coming off with six games left to play.
Manager rating out of 10
2 -- Dortmund were outplayed in every way possible. Stoger cannot be excused from the equation.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Roman Burki, 5 -- A six pack not to be proud of for Burki, even though he actually didn't do too many things wrong.
DF Lukasz Piszczek, 2 -- Left alone against Franck Ribery, Piszczek was turned inside out by the France international.
DF Manuel Akanji, 3 -- Of all the defenders, Akanji arguably had the least faults but also struggled to contain any of Bayern's attackers.
DF Sokratis Papastathopoulos, 3 -- The gulf in quality between defenders, comparing Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng for Bayern to Dortmund's pair, became quite evident as Sokratis was only reacting when it was already too late instead of reading potential dangers.
DF Marcel Schmelzer, 2 -- When Dortmund beat Bayern in the past, double coverage involving Schmelzer and another player had always been a key element. On Saturday, the captain was left alone and paid the price.
MF Gonzalo Castro, 1 -- Was subbed off first after 28 minutes in a match that could have warranted 11 substitutions for the visiting team. Castro's poor giveaway in midfield ahead of Bayern's third goal was the cherry on top of what had been a phlegmatic showing.
MF Mahmoud Dahoud, 2 -- The playmaker could hardly provide any defensive cover for his backline as defensive runs were kept short.
MF Christian Pulisic, 2 -- Showed a promising run past David Alaba at the start of the game, but that was it.
MF Mario Gotze, 2 -- Is expected to step up in difficult times but could not impose himself on the game. However, he was at the end of BVB's best chance and hit the post from distance in the 67th minute.
MF Andre Schurrle, 2 -- Schurrle was the culprit of leaving Schmelzer alone as if he were the 2007 version of Cristiano Ronaldo. He was, however, the 2018 version of Andre Schurrle, where heavy touches and wild passes set the tone.
FW Michy Batshuayi, 2 -- Was firmly tucked away in Hummels' and Boateng's pockets and hardly saw any light.
MF Julian Weigl, 2 -- Brought on for Castro, Weigl introduced himself with a horrendous pass to set up Bayern's fifth goal.
MF Maximilian Philipp, NR -- Had some sparks in the final 15 minutes of the game.
MF Nuri Sahin, NR -- Got his first appearance since a lackluster performance in the second leg against Atalanta. It may have been his last.
Stefan Buczko covers Borussia Dortmund for ESPN FC. Twitter: @StefanBuczko.