Bayern′s humiliation of Dortmund shows the value of change | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 09.11.2019
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Bayern's humiliation of Dortmund shows the value of change

Bayern were quick to act when things went downhill, with Hansi Flick coming in before a key run of fixtures. On this evidence, it may be time for Borussia Dortmund to follow their lead.

In hindsight, this may actually go down as one of Borussia Dortmund's better results this season. The fact they only lost 4-0 feels wrong, somehow. Somebody fiddled with the scoreboard, surely?

Bayern were so dominant throughout this match, it resembled a training exercise. If this is what happens when you sack your coach, Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke will surely be tempted to follow suit after witnessing another humiliation at the hands of the old enemy. 

"It was a very poor performance," is all a beleaguered Lucien Favre could offer reporters by way of explanation after the game. "The players just didn’t give enough. Nowhere near enough."

Bayern's interim coach, Hansi Flick, may simply be benefitting from the boost in performances that often follows an unpopular coach's sacking, but was nevertheless thrilled with how hard his players worked.

"It was a difficult week but the lads gave me everything," he told reporters. "In training all week, they put the work in and you could see that on the pitch today. It was clear from the first minute we wanted to win the game."

Read more:  Opinion: Bayern can count on disastrous Dortmund, and Robert Lewandowski

Goals from Robert Lewandowski, Serge Gnabry and a Mats Hummels own goal went unanswered as Dortmund fell to pieces in the second half. The Black and Yellows have now failed to win more than half their league games this season. Any hope the fan base may still have had of winning the title this season are fading fast. 

Fußball Bundesliga FC Bayern München - Borussia Dortmund (Reuters/A. Gebert)

Hansi Flick, in temporary charge of Bayern Munich, gave a fine audition for a permanent apppointment.

Despite a number of key Dortmund players lacking fitness, Favre can have no excuses. Bayern were dealing with worse; the home side's defense included a veteran midfielder and an 19-year old attacker at left back. This was Dortmund's chance to get one over the serial Bundesliga champions.

Marco Reus and Paco Alcacer may not have been fit enough to make the starting lineup, but Favre could at least field eleven players in their correct positions. Even when Jadon Sancho mooched off the field after 36 forgettable minutes — "He wasn’t injured, he just wasn't good enough," said Favre — they had a fresh winger ready to fill the hole. Raphael Guerriero entered the pitch and was never seen again.

If one were told, after that game, that Dortmund spent €140m (in the region of $155 million) over the summer, you'd assume they'd spent it on a new canteen. Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard both started here but neither had any impact whatsoever. They were signed for a combined €55m in July but were part of a midfield dominated by a Bayern central midfield that cost nothing. Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka didn’t give them an inch.

One wonders if Bayern's midfield would have been quite such a snarling, slick unit had Kovac been the one writing their names on the team sheet. Probably not and, by that logic, it might be time to find out if Dortmund’s players are waiting for the same sort of change before they too can show their best again.

With this result, Bayern have reestablished themselves as title contenders. Dortmund might need to make their own difficult decision if they're to follow suit.

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