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Bayern and Dortmund impress ahead of crunch Klassiker

May 23, 2020

Four games, 13 scored and six points each without really breaking a sweat. Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have been mostly comfortable on their returns but both know they need another gear when they meet on Tuesday.

Fußball Bundesliga FC Bayern München v Eintracht Frankfurt - Bundesliga Tor Müller 2:0
Image: Reuters/A. Gebert

Bayern Munich 5-2 Eintracht Frankfurt, Allianz Arena
(Goretzka 17', Müller 41', Lewandowski 46', Davies 61', Hinteregger og 74' — Hinteregger 53', 55')

For about six minutes on Saturday evening, the champions were on the ropes. Eintracht Frankfurt's cult hero Martin Hinteregger had scored twice from corners in three second half minutes and the Eagles were within a goal of their opponents, who'd raced in to a 3-0 lead.

That Frankfurt then threw themselves on to the canvas with horrible errors from Gelson Fernandes and then Hinteregger himself did little to disguise the chink that had been revealed in Bayern's armor. Set pieces aside though, Frankfurt weren't good enough to exploit it fully, eventually falling 5-2. 

After watching his side ease past Wolfsburg with a 2-0 win hours earlier, Lucien Favre must believe his side will be good enough when they host Bayern on Tuesday. But he wouldn't show it.

Mixed messages

"I don't want to talk about Bayern. We must enjoy our victory today. That is the most important thing," was all the Swiss coach would say on the matter. 

But the message hadn't reached everyone at Dortmund, with Julian Brandt, Manuel Akanji and head of professional football Sebastian Kehl all speaking of turning their focus immediately to the only team above them in the table. 

Bayern's Thomas Müller was a little more emphatic than any of them though. "We're on the march. Dortmund are on the march. We're looking forward to Tuesday," he said.

Favre's men have looked assured since Erling Haaland turned home the first goal of the new era last Saturday, swatting aside rivals Schalke and controlling large parts of the game against Wolfsburg, with goals from wingbacks Raphael Guerreiro and Achraf Hakimi proving enough.

Though they kept another clean sheet, there were moments of concern and Renato Steffen should really have equalized immediately after half time for Wolfsburg. That he was allowed so much space in the center of the box at that point was no coincidence, Mats Hummels had been replaced by Emre Can at half time with an Achilles injury.

Dortmund are hopeful their caution will mean he recovers in time for the potential title decider. But if he does miss out they will be left with only one fit natural center back, Akanji. That's a particular problem given Favre's favored three at the back system.

Defensive doubts

Robert Lewandowski, who added his 27th of the season with Bayern's third, is the obvious threat but Thomas Müller has rediscovered his touch in front of goal, grabbing the second on Saturday, and Serge Gnabry having the season of his life. While Hummels, who left Bayern in the summer, is not quite the player he once was, he's Dortmund's defensive leader.

It's actually a little unclear who plays that role for Bayern these days. Hummels' former defensive partner for club and country Jerome Boateng has regressed dramatically and was also substituted late in Saturday's game. David Alaba has filled in superbly at center back since Niklas Süle's injury but isn't a strong aerial presence or a vocal leader, both useful things when defending set pieces.

While there are defensive concerns, both sides have demonstrated an array of attacking threats in their first couple of games back and shown few signs of rust. 

For Dortmund it may be the scars of recent hammerings, rather than concerns about physical conditioning, that dominate thoughts despite the quick turnaround. Of the last four league meetings, Bayern have won three and lost one scoring 17 to Dortmund's three. 

Though Favre may not want to admit that his mind is on the champions, it surely must be. So far, they've done what was expected, and done it well. Can they now get what they crave?

+++ As it happened:+++

FT Bayern Munich 5-2 Eintracht Frankfurt — No stoppage time required as Bayern are comfortable winners in the end. They made it difficult for themselves as Hinteregger dragged Frankfurt kicking and screaming back into the game with two quickfire goals, but it was ultimately a Hinteregger own goal that put the result beyond doubt. Bayern are firing ahead of Tuesday's crucial Klassiker, while Frankfurt are slipping into trouble.

87' A few minutes for a couple of Bayern youngsters.

85' Bayern double sub: Cuisance & Zirkzee on, Kimmich & Coman off.

83' Bayern are now surely maintaining their four-point gap at the top ahead of the Klassiker showdown on Tuesday night.

80' Bayern's composure is restored, and they're playing like the Bayern we saw in the first half. Their wobble is but a distant memory. 

78' Davies almost creates another for Bayern but Ilsanker gets back to clear away.

76' Frankfurt sub: Dost on, Silva off.

75' Frankfurt really have been a state at the back today. Bayern are one of the finest teams in Europe, but Frankfurt are a joke defensively.

74' GOAL! Bayern Munich 5-2 Eintracht Frankfurt — Hinteregger hat-trick! Unfortunately his third is at the wrong end. Gnabry forces the ball through and Hinteregger can't sort out his feet and turns it into his own net. 

71' Double Frankfurt change: Kamada & Sow on, Roda & Gacinovic off.

68' Frankfurt aren't done here and they almost force in a third but Neuer makes a key stop from Gacinovic and the follow-up from Silva is into the side-netting.

65' Key save by Trapp from Coman, who had got into a great position.

64' Bayern sub: Gnabry on, Perisic off

63' A big cheer from the Bayern bench for that one, as it just settles some nerves that were creeping in.

61' GOAL! Bayern Munich 4-2 Eintracht Frankfurt — Davies with the fourth! Alphonso bursts forward after a mistake by Fernandes and slots into the opposite corner with his right foot. 

59' Frankfurt sudenly have hope when they had none a few minutes ago, but surely we will see a reaction from Bayern, who have just switched off completely.

57' We have a completely different game on our hands now. How will Bayern react to this?

55' GOAL! Bayern Munich 3-2 Eintracht Frankfurt — Hinteregger scores again! Well, well, well. Another corner, and he's there again to flick in at the near post. Brilliant by Hinteregger, absoluate collapse by Bayern.

Fußball Bundesliga FC Bayern München v Eintracht Frankfurt - Bundesliga Torjubel Hinteregger  3:2
Hinteregger celebrates his second goal for Frankfurt.Image: Reuters/A. Gebert

54' Andre Silva forces a corner and the goal has sparked some life into the visitors.

53' GOAL! Bayern Munich 3-1 Eintracht Frankfurt — Hinteregger scores! A glimmer of hope for Frankfurt as Bayern fail to clear a corner and Hinteregger swings a leg at it, and turns it in from close range. Not a classic, but Frankfurt will take it.

51' Müller picks out Perisic with a fine cross and the Croatian meets it with a diving header, but it's over.

49' Perisic has a go from distance, but it's unconvincing. The lad has lead in his boots today.

48' Adi Hütter's half-time teamtalk is already in pieces.

46' GOAL! Bayern Munich 3-0 Eintracht Frankfurt — Lewandowski scores! Less than a minute after the restart, Bayern have scored and it's Lewandowski, who nods in Coman's cross from the right.

46' Back underway in Munich and Frankfurt have made a change at the break: Chandler on, N'Dicka off.

HT Bayern Munich 2-0 Eintracht Frankfurt — That's the first half done and Bayern are in complete control here. Goretzka and Müller with the goals and, in all honesty, it could easily be more.

44' Coman caught late and clumsily by Rode, and the former Bayern man is lucky not to be in the book.

42' For some reason there's a lengthy VAR check on the goal that holds up the restart. It was clear there was nothing wrong and, belatedly, play resumes.

41' GOAL! Bayern Munich 2-0 Eintracht Frankfurt — Müller makes it two! The German is denied a first time, but gets a second go, and tucks the ball in neatly from close range for his seventh league goals of the season.

39' Chance on the break for Frankfurt, led by Kostic — but his cross is a poor one and Bayern clear easily. Frankfurt need to do more with these rare openings.

37' A fine hit by Alaba forces another Bayern corner, from which Lewandowski almost grabs the second. He gets to Kimmich's ball first and glances a header just wide.

35' Lewandowski has a cut to the face after that incident and is patched up and sent back on.

34' The first yellow card of the game goes to the aforementioned Hinteregger for a cynical foul on Lewandowski, off the ball.

32' The fact that Hinteregger is Frankfurt's joint-top scorer this season says it all about how they've struggled in attack without Rebic, Jovic and Haller.

31' Hinteregger goes for goal from distance, but it's hugely ambitious and the ball sails way over.

29' Frankfurt are just inviting Bayern on to them and Bayern don't need asking twice. Even without Thiago, the hosts are finding it easy to dictate the play from midfield.

27' Franz Beckenbauer is in attendance for this one today.

25' Good early cross by Toure, but no Frankfurt player has made the run into the box. Frankfurt need to do more against Bayern's high line.

23' Kimmich has a go from distance, but it skids off the wet surface and goes well wide.

21' Perisic breaks for Bayern in a promising position and sees a tame shot saved by Trapp, despite having Lewandowksi in support. Perisic got a stare there.

19' Bayern in the mood tonight.

17' GOAL! Bayern Munich 1-0 Eintracht Frankfurt — Goretzka scores! Müller finds space down the left and picks out Goretzka, who doesn't break stride as he hammers it in from close range. It's a quality finish and no less than Bayern deserve.

16' Pavard throws himself at another Kimmich corner, but this time it flashes wide.

15' All Bayern at the moment. A goal is coming.

14' Another corner for Bayern, but this time Kimmich's ball in is headed out by Da Costa. Kimmich gets a second chance and Pavard should score with the header, but Trapp makes the stop.

12' Another chance for Lewandowski, picked out by Kimmich, but the outstretched Pole can't quite make a clean connection.

11' OFF THE BAR! In the blink of an eye, Lewandowski almost puts Bayern ahead with the thumping left-footed shot that cracks against the bar.

9' Bayern dominating, as you might expect. Frankfurt holding firm for now, but they offer some threat on the break that Bayern will have to be wary of.

7' Opening for Bayern as Müller cuts back and delivers a deep cross with his left for Lewandowski, but the Pole can't get enough of his head on it.

Fußball Bundesliga - Bayern München v Eintracht Frankfurt
Alphonso Davies in action for Bayern.Image: AFP/A. Gebert

5' Bayern feel that Davies was fouled on the left wing, but the Canadian told to get on with it.

3' Coman gets the chance to stretch his legs but trips over his own feet as he was threatening the Frankfurt box.

2' Ilsanker letting Lewandowski know he's there early on, with a crafty elbow between the shoulder blades.

1' KICK OFF. We're under way in Munich, the first 'ghost game' to be played at the Allianz Arena.

18:15 Lewand-goal-ski

Robert Lewandowksi notched up his 26th Bundesliga goal of the season last weekend, 40 in all competitions, and he'll be eager to add to that tally today. He's scored five goals in the last five games between the sides.

18:00 CET Team news!

The teams are in and Hansi Flick makes two changes to the team that won 2-0 at Union Berlin last weekend. Kingsley Coman and Ivan Perisic come in, with Serge Gnabry dropping to the bench and the injured Thiago Alcantara not involved at all.

Eintracht Frankfurt make four changes from last weekend's defeat by Gladbach, with Fernandes, Gacinovic, Da Costa and Silva all coming in.

Fun fact!

Frankfurt's 5-1 win earlier this season was Bayern's biggest Bundesliga loss since a defeat to Wolfsburg in April 2009 by the same scoreline. The loss against his former side was ultimately what cost Niko Kovac the job in Bavaria

Last time out: Bayern Munich

Speaking of Union, they put up little resistance as Bayern's opponents last Sunday. The German record titleholders didn't have their best game either, but scored twice from three shots on target to stretch their current league unbeaten run to 12.

Last time out: Eintracht Frankfurt

If Eintracht fans had hoped the hiatus would help their side banish poor form, they suffered a rude awakening on Matchday 26. The Eagles were 3-0 down before they found any hint of a groove and were unable to avoid a fourth straight defeat.

Fun fact!

On Wednesday, Manuel Neuer signed a contract extension that will keep him at Bayern until at least 2023. But did you know that the 5-1 loss suffered to Frankfurt on Matchday 10 was the first time he'd ever conceded five time as a Bayern keeper?  

From the coaches' mouth: Hansi Flick

"I said before the game last weekend we had to keep a clean sheet. Every single one of us could have done better. Lewandowski left a great impression, he's fully fit, but we weren't good enough at linking him into the game." 

From the sporting director's mouth: Bruno Hübner

"It will be hard to pick up points against Bayern. We want to have a good game and collect a bit of self-confidence. With a strong performance we'll have a chance to go into the upcoming games with optimism."

Probable line-up: Bayern Munich

Neuer - Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Davies - Thiago, Goretzka - Gnabry, Müller, Coman - Lewandowski 

Probable line-up: Eintracht Frankfurt

Trapp - Toure, Abraham, Hinteregger, N'Dicka - Rode, Ilsanker - Chandler, Kamada, Kostic - Silva 

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