Lucien Favre

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3 things learned: Bayern wins in Dortmund

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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.

[ MORE: Latest Bundesliga news | Current table ]

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.

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.

Favre reacts to Dortmund debuts for Haaland, U.S. prospect Reyna

Giovanni Reyna debuts for Borussia Dortmund
Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images
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Borussia Dortmund supporters couldn’t help but gush about the hat trick debut for teenage striker Erling Braut Haaland.

Their manager was sure to talk about both of his teen debutants.

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The second was American 17-year-old Giovanni Reyna, who was promoted to the first team this week and came off the bench to make his Bundesliga debut in Saturday’s 5-3 win over Augsburg.

Here’s one of Favre’s answers when asked about Haaland, via Fussball.news:

“We also played with Gio Reyna. It was very good. The first time he plays here at 17, that’s good. A 17-year-old, a 19-year-old, I think that’s good.”

“(Haaland) immediately showed his strength, the runs down. He moves well between the lines. It gives us another way to play forward.”

Haaland’s 20-minute hat trick has been well detailed by Joe Prince-Wright here.

Reyna entered for Thorgan Hazard in the 72nd minute, getting 13 touches and completing 7-of-9 passes. He completed his lone dribble attempt and won his only duel while failing to put his only shot attempt on target.

Borussia Dortmund promotes USMNT prospect Reyna to first team

Borussia Dortmund promotes Giovanni Reyna
Photo by Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images
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Giovanni Reyna may play a role in Borussia Dortmund’s Bundesliga title push.

Reyna has shown a lot to Dortmund in just over a half-year, as the Bundesliga outfit promoted the 17-year-old American playmaker to its senior team on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

Reports that Reyna would join BVB circulated for almost a year before he signed on July 1, and he’s done exceptionally well in the academy.

BVB tracked Reyna for a long, long time, but we wonder whether they saw this move happening so quickly. Manager Lucien Favre praised Reyna for fitting into BVB’s system,.

From Bundesliga.com:

“He presented himself well in Marbella, that’s why we want to put him on a much higher level at training,” Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said. “We want to develop him to a full-fledged player of Borussia Dortmund.”

Reyna has eight goals and eight assists in 16 matches between the UEFA Youth League and the U-19 Bundesliga.

Dortmund is seven points back of leaders RB Leipzig, and is alive in the Champions League and German Cup. There will be plenty of chances to get some first team run, even at his age.

Reyna is the sixt#h teen in Dortmund’s senior squad, joining high-profile stars Jadon Sancho (19) and Erling Braut Haland (19) as well as Mateu Morey (19), Tobias Raschl (19), and Luca Unbehaun (18).

Giovanni is a New York City FC academy product and the son of USMNT legend and Man City player Claudio Reyna. His rise has arguably been more monitored than Christian Pulisic before him.

Where to next for Mauricio Pochettino?

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Following official word of Mauricio Pochettino being relieved of his duties as Tottenham Hotspur manager, we’ve already discussed how things got to this point and who is likely to replace Pochettino. Now it’s time to consider where the Argentine will work next.

[ MORE: Pochettino paid the price for Levy’s mistakes ]

The public perception — and perhaps honest truth — is that Pochettino faced nearly impossible odds to win trophies at Tottenham due to the financial limitations placed upon him by chairman Daniel Levy, therefore much of the outside world is likely to see Pochettino as still having loads of untapped potential as a manager.

“With the right resources, he could achieve absolutely anything,” the obvious line of thinking will go. Thus, he will almost certainly have his pick of any number of top jobs, depending on whether or not he would like to take a short break from employment and cash the first of many checks which will ultimately pay him more than $16 million to no longer manage Spurs.

[ MORE: Mourinho to replace Poch? ]

A few jobs which are likely to see the managerial post come available in the coming weeks and months, and appeal to a candidate of Pochettino’s caliber (in no particular order)…

  • Manchester United (Ole Gunnar Solskjaer) – Man United have severely underperformed in their first 12 games this season (nine points back of fourth place), leading to plenty of speculation that Solskjaer could be fired if the right replacement came available. United reportedly courted Pochettino after Jose Mourinho departed last season, but he remained loyal to Spurs.
  • Bayern Munich (Hans-Dieter Flick, interim) – Niko Kovac was fired earlier this month and the seven-time defending Bundesliga champs currently sit third, four points behind leaders Borussia Monchengladbach. Bayern is a squad mixed with veteran and youthful stars, a balance Pochettino might find attractive when considering both the long- and short-term prospects of his next employer.
  • Real Madrid (Zinedine Zidane) – Like United, the links to Madrid have been around for quite some time. While he’ll undoubtedly have far more to work with budget-wise in the Spanish capital, one thing to consider: if Pochettino found working with Levy a challenge, what might he call working for Florentino Perez?
  • Paris Saint-Germain (Thomas Tuchel) – PSG have to be considered anytime a high-profile manager comes available, because they’re not only willing to spend whatever it takes to get their man, but they change managers as frequently as anyone. Tuchel isn’t having the best of times (three losses from their first 13 games), though his side still sit eight points clear of the Ligue 1 pack. The league title is in the bag, but PSG’s owners have Champions League ambitions, and Pochettino is only five months removed from managing in that competition’s final.
  • Borussia Dortmund (Lucien Favre) – Dortmund currently sit sixth, though just two points back of second place. Favre’s side crumbled down the stretch when last season’s title was theirs to be lost. This is a job that’s probably only in play if Pochettino decides to take a brief sabbatical, as Dortmund are unlikely to have an itchy trigger finger.
  • Napoli (Carlo Ancelotti) – Napoli spent wildly (by their standards) this summer. Through 12 games all it’s gotten them is seventh place, and Ancelotti has come under fire of late. Much like Spurs when he took that job, Napoli represents a club with plenty of potential — and romantic dreams — which could very well appeal to Pochettino.

Borussia Dortmund hurting after heavy loss in Munich

CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images
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BERLIN (AP) Borussia Dortmund is hurting again after another heavy Bundesliga defeat in Munich.

Dortmund lost 4-0 in the “der Klassiker” against rival Bayern Munich on Saturday, being fortunate not to concede more goals.

Dortmund’s lackluster performance has been criticized following sporting director Michael Zorc’s call for a “men’s soccer” type of performance in the buildup for the game. Instead, Dortmund delivered what Kicker magazine called “scaredy-cat soccer.”

“A lot of our players just weren’t there today,” Dortmund coach Lucien Favre said. “That’s the biggest disappointment.”

Zorc was even more critical of the performance.

“That wasn’t football at all, to be honest,” he said. “Bayern were on top and better in every respect. Bayern completely took over after 15 minutes and we were second-best at everything. That’s why Bayern also deserved to win by this score.”

It was Dortmund’s fifth consecutive heavy defeat in Munich. It lost 5-0 in April, 6-0 last year, 4-1 in 2017 and 5-1 in 2015. In its last six games in Munich, Dortmund has been outscored 26-3.

“It was beautiful that the talk before the game was of men’s football,” said Bayern forward Thomas Muller, who set up two goals. “As I’m a bit older now, 30, I know that it gives you a bit extra inspiration. The way I see it, that’s why we are German champions seven times in a row. It’s always wonderful when the Dortmunders come to Munich and we play like we did today.”

Bayern appeared to be in crisis after firing coach Niko Kovac following the team’ 5-1 loss at Eintracht Frankfurt – its heaviest league defeat in over 10 years.

But Kovac’s dismissal seems to have come as a relief to some players, and interim coach Hansi Flick has now overseen two wins from two competitive games, with no goals conceded. Bayern reached the last 16 of the Champions League with a 2-0 win over Olympiakos on Wednesday.

Bayern’s will to win on Saturday contrasted sharply with Dortmund’s, which will be under increased pressure after it appeared to have turned a corner following a series of questionable results.

[ MORE: Premier League Club Power Rankings ]

Dortmund had strung together three consecutive wins – over league leader Borussia Monchengladbach in the German Cup, previously unbeaten Wolfsburg in the league, and Inter Milan in the Champions League, when the team displayed great morale to come back from two goals down and win 3-2.

But there was none of that in Munich on Saturday, and Favre and his superiors are left wondering how to consistently get the best from the talented but fallible team.

“We expected a lot from this game,” Zorc said. “Then we delivered what is basically a non-performance. I’m disappointed. You can’t even say that it was just a lack of challenges. We were also bad when we had the ball, we gave it away and simply made it too easy for Bayern. That was a huge disappointment.”

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Ciaran Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP