Thomas Tuchel was under the pump when he faced the media on Friday ahead of Der Klassiker. Former players had heavily criticized the German coach after Bayern Munich lost against Saarbrucken in the second round of DFB Pokal. One report in Germany also suggested that cracks are creeping in between the German coach and players.
On the back of so much negative noise, Bayern had to play a big game against Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Saturday. Tuchel needed a statement performance to silence the doubters, and my word, he got it in the best possible way.
Bayern silenced Signal Iduna Park in the fourth minute. Dayot Upamecano marked his return to the team with a well-taken goal from a set-piece. Leroy Sane delivered the perfect delivery from the corner to set up the header for Upamecano. The French defender had worked hard in the past few weeks to be available for selection as soon as possible.
The defending Bundesliga champions were relentless in the first ten minutes. They were dominating possession and won the ball back as soon as they lost it. The early perseverance from the visitors paid dividends as they got their second goal through Harry Kane in the ninth minute. Leon Goretzka played a crisp through ball to Sane on the left flank. The German winger smartly squared the ball for Kane at the far post for a simple tap-in.
Dortmund had no answers to Bayern’s intensity in and out of possession. Apart from Donyell Malen getting one clear-cut chance in the 26th minute, Die Roten hardly gave Dortmund any sniff in the first half. Things could have been worse for the hosts as Kane hit the woodwork later in the half.
There was no drop in intensity for Rekordmeister in the second half. Jamal Musiala had the chance to triple the lead in the first minute of the second half after a brilliant pass from Kane. Gregor Kobel did enough to put Musiala off in the one-on-one situation. The visitors were relentless in their pursuit of the third goal. Along with dominating possession, they also showed some great patterns of play in the final third. There was a good linkup between the wide players and full-backs, while Musiala and Kane orchestrated the attacking moves from the number ten and nine roles, respectively.
Bayern eventually got their third goal in the 70th minute through Kane. Musiala played a lovely through ball to Coman on the right flank. The French winger quickly squared the ball to unmarked Kane in the box. The English forward calmly slotted the ball past the keeper. Dortmund fans were spotted leaving the stadium as soon as the third goal went in for Die Roten.
The Bavarian club ended the game in the way they started the proceedings. Aleksandar Pavlovic pounced on a mistake from Niklas Sule to set up Kane for his hat trick. The English forward notched up his third hattrick of the campaign.
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Tuchel was bullish in the post-match media duties. After a near-flawless performance against Dortmund, it is too early to judge Tuchel’s time in Bavaria. Yes, the result and performance against Saarbrucken were woeful, but it is certainly not enough to make sweeping conclusions.