Bayern Munich put a stranglehold on its eighth-straight Bundesliga title by outlasting Borussia Dortmund 1-0 on Tuesday in a tense Klassiker at the Westfalenstadion.
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Joshua Kimmich’s delightful first half goal did the trick in driving Bayern’s table advantage over its rivals to seven points. Bayern does have a tricky remaining six matches, but seven points on the field is huge.
[ WATCH: Kimmich’s amazing goal ]
Dortmund could sink into third if RB Leipzig wins its midweek match.
Three things we learned
1. Bayern does it again with Kimmich at the wheel: Eight-straight titles. That’s what’s likely coming to Munich at the end of this season as it will finish the midweek matches with a 7-point lead on the field and six matches to play. Bayern was solid after weathering an early storm, and will be worthy champions. Now unbeaten in 14 with 13 wins in the streak, Bayern is so much better under Hansi Flick in what is the manager’s first time managing above Germany’s fourth tier.
There are few players in the world like Joshua Kimmich, who you imagine could play anywhere on the field for almost anyone. The 25-year-old German national teamer spun an incredible goal to give Bayern a halftime lead. Kimmich entered the match leading Bayern in key passes per game and second in total passes per outing, while stilling hitting on 90 percent of his passes.
2. Poor planning limits Dortmund’s chances: Dortmund’s best two weapons are Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho, two of the best young weapons in the world. They look their best when the other wing is Julian Brandt, who is in fine form. Sancho has reportedly fought fitness issues but was healthy enough to go 25 minutes at the weekend. Favre opted not to start Sancho, but brought him on at halftime with the score 1-0 to the visitors. He brought him on for Brandt, which means his top trio didn’t play together. When Haaland came off for Giovanni Reyna in the 71st, that meant his top two players played 26 minutes together in their biggest game of the season.
3. Should this have been a penalty, or at least reviewed? Because it wasn’t, and it wasn’t. One thing’s for sure: You’d want it for your team, and it sure looked like Haaland had picked his spot.
Penalty or nah? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/yVbpdttX79
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) May 26, 2020
Americans Abroad: Reyna’s first Klassiker started well with his earning a dangerous free kick within a minute of subbing into the game. He finished with 15 touches and completed all 13 of his passes including his only attempted long ball
Man of the Match: Kimmich.
Maybe it was the difference in quality of each side’s first two post-coronavirus pauise opponents, but Dortmund was better out of the gate.
It was Bayern who’d find the first danger, Kingsley Coman setting up Serge Gnabry to beat BVB goalkeeper Roman Burki. But Łukasz Piszczek cleared off the line and it remained 0-0 deep into the half.
Dortmund’s Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard tried to set-up Erling Haaland twice at the half-hour mark, but the striker flubbed a left-footed hit from an acute angle and the second chance was intercepted.
Bayern got its opener from perhaps the most overlooked mega talent in the world; Kimmich spun a high chip off a Coman lay-off, and Burki could only slap it into the goal.
Lucien Favre put Jadon Sancho into the match at halftime, begging the question of why he was fit to go potentially go 45 minutes but no more.
Michael Dahoud ripped a 20-yard shot at Manuel Neuer in the first five minutes of the second half.
BVB finally found Haaland in a promising spot, and his low drive took a turn off Jerome Boateng’s elbow to go out for a corner. It was apparently not reviewed, and the corner came to nothing.
Haaland would require a sub in the 72nd minute, and it was American teen Reyna. This meant that Haaland and Sancho were together for 26 minutes in the side’s biggest match of the season.
Dahoud forced another strong parry out of Neuer with 10 minutes to play.