Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Bayern Munich: 5 Talking Points, Bundesliga 2018-19
It was an enthralling encounter between the German giants Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, as Der Klassiker lived up to its reputation and then some, producing one of the most entertaining games of the season so far.
Dortmund came into the game fresh off a loss at the hands of Atletico Madrid but did come into the game with a healthy 4 point lead over the reigning champions. They've been absolutely vibrant so far this season, and have one of the youngest teams in the top divisions of Europe. Their opponents, on the other hand, came into the game stuttering, having lost thrice in the league already this season, being porous at the back, and not prolific enough to cover that frailty up front.
The game started off with some high-pressure end to end football from both teams, as they both looked to test each other's deficiencies at the back. It was the Dortmund captain who got the first shot of the game at ten minutes but didn't test the under fire Bayern skipper Neuer, who'd conceded from all of the last 8 shots on target on his goal.
It was Polish international and former Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski who eventually broke the deadlock at the 26th-minute mark after a long spell of attacking pressure from Bayern, as he ran into space between the Dortmund defence to tuck home a Serge Gnabry cross from the right wing. Bayern sustained their pressure on the Dortmund backline after scoring and could've scored more, but went into the break with a slender one-goal advantage.
Marco Reus earned himself a penalty early in the second half as Manuel Neuer made a clumsy challenge to bring him down in an attempt to claim the ball and the Dortmund captain levelled the score, sending his compatriot in goal the wrong way, turning the heat back up in the contest.
The Polish #9 put his team back into it a few minutes later, turning home a perfect chance from German right back Joshua Kimmich, showing some delightful awareness in the box, just as it looked like Dortmund were looking to get themselves on the front foot, but were stopped in their tracks by a ruthless Bayern.
Paco Alcacer came on at the 58th minute for Mario Gotze, and Dortmund started to look a different beast after that, testing the shaky and ageing German centre-backs on more occasions than one until Marco Reus finally broke through.
The Dortmund captain levelled it up again at the 67th minute with an absolutely world-class finish, and man in form Paco Alcacer gave the home side the lead by getting the best of the down in dumps German keeper at the 73rd minute, earning his side the victory. Here are the observations from the game.
#1 Bundesliga is finally not a one-horse race anymore
Bayern Munchen have won the past 6 Bundesliga titles, having faced little to no competition, winning four of the six leagues a month before the season ended, which showcases how the competitors had dropped off due to a number of reasons (one of which is Bayern buying a lot of the other clubs' best players, but whatever).
This season looks like a different story all together, as they have won only 6 of their 11 league games so far, sitting seven points behind the trail-blazing Dortmund team so far. The season could yet derail for the men in yellow, but Bayern's own shaky form means they might be in for a fight for the first time in a long time to get their hands on the league title.