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Bayern remain Bundesliga’s biggest problem as Dortmund disappoint in Der Klassiker
- Updated: May 27, 2020
The Bavarians are now seven points clear, essentially ending the title race just two weeks after play resumed in Germany’s top flight.
The eyes of the footballing world were on Der Klassiker on Tuesday evening, as Borussia Dortmund hosted Bayern Munich.
The two teams produced an entertaining spectacle – but also the most predictable Bundesliga outcome: a Bayern win.
In a way, it was a great advertisement for the competition, following on from the many wonderful games we have seen since Germany’s top flight became the first major league to resume after the coronavirus outbreak.
In the past fortnight, Koln have let a 2-0 lead slip in one game and come from two goals behind to draw another, Leipzig were stunned by Freiburg, and Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen played out a game for the ages.
The return of the Bundesliga has also highlighted the future talent on show in Germany right now, with some of the world’s best young players proving their worth and putting themselves in the shop window.
Indeed, many more football fans now know why Kai Havertz has long been followed by many of Europe’s top clubs, while Timo Werner showed exactly why Liverpool fans are praying Jurgen Klopp wins the race for his signature with a hat-trick against Mainz.
However, despite all the positives from the restart, the same old problem remains for the Bundesliga when it comes to attracting new fans to the league: Bayern are too good for everyone else.
Dortmund had a chance to cut Bayern’s lead at the top of the table to just one point but even their exciting young attackers lacked a clinical edge in front of goal, thus allowing the visitors at Signal Iduna Park to leave with a hugely significant 1-0 win that means they are now perfectly primed to claim an eighth consecutive domestic title.
In the early stages, Jerome Boateng spared Manuel Neuer’s blushes after the goalkeeper had charged out of his area, the centre-back clearing a goal-bound shot from Erling Haaland off the line.
As it was, it was Neuer’s opposite number who ended the half with his head in his hands.
Joshua Kimmich caught Roman Burki off his line with a sublime chip from outside the area but the Switzerland goalkeeper still should have pushed it away with his outstretched hand.
However, the Dortmund No.1 succeeded only in helping the ball into the net to give Bayern the crucial breakthrough just two minutes before the break.
Lucien Favre made use of two of his five substitutions during the interval, switching things up to bring on Jadon Sancho and Emre Can, with neither having started due to outstanding fitness issues.
The bold double-change almost paid off quickly as it resulted in a sustained spell of pressure that should have resulted in a penalty when Boateng used his arm to deflect a shot from Haaland away to safety.
The referee waved play on, though, and VAR was not consulted. Had the Yellow Wall been full, the fans would undoubtedly have made their fury felt.
Favre’s men suffered further disappointment with 20 minutes remaining as Haaland was forced off injured, leaving Dortmund with no striker on the field as they searched desperately for an equaliser.
With no Haaland, Dortmund only tested Neuer from range and it was Bayern who went closest to scoring in the closing stages, with Robert Lewandowski striking the post with a fine left-footed effort from outside the area.
Dortmund pushed Bayern hard, but ultimately fell short, which is the story of not just this game, but pretty much every Bundesliga title race over the past seven seasons.
Bayern Munich are now seven points clear at the top of the table and look destined for yet another championship win.
That is great news for the Bavarians but it’s the last thing the league needed as it looked to capitalise on the upturn in interest in Der Klassiker.
With the title race now effectively over, those new viewers will just be temporary, as they switch back to their preferred championships once play resumes elsewhere in June.