Jens Lehmann, legendary Arsenal goalkeeper, Hertha manager and Bundesliga ambassador, answered a simple question on Thursday: how would you stop Erling Haaland? “I would give him a blow, can I explain myself? I would show him the pointed studs, to see if he dares to face me like that ”, he replied, to the surprise of those attending a conference via Zoom promoting the German football classic.
Der Klassiker , the duel that Bayern faced this Saturday with Borussia Dortmund , had a predictable result and an unexpected development. Almost everything the party reserved relevant revolved around what it did, didn't do, or did to Haaland. Bayern won, as almost always, after Boateng followed Lehmann's shocking recommendation. After the 50th minute, the center-back overtook Haaland in midfield and, as he saw that the Norwegian was stirring with the ball under control, he hit him on the heel. FIFA recommends that the referees punish these fouls at least with a yellow card. Judge Marco Friz only pointed out a fault. The scoreboard looked 2-2. Haaland, with his ankle cut open, could not continue on the field. Bayern ended up winning 4-2 and regained the lead with 55 points, after losing it for a few hours in favor of Leipzig, which has 53.
BayernNeuer, Niklas Süle, Alaba, Alphonso Davies, Boateng (Javi Martínez, min. 69), Müller (Choupo-Moting, min. 90), Sane (Lucas, min. 90), Leon Goretzka, Kingsley Coman (Serge Gnabry, min. 65), Joshua Kimmich and LewandowskiB. Dortmund Hitz, Hummels, Dan-Axel Zagadou (Mateu Morey, min. 69), Emre Can, Dahoud, Meunier, Nico Schulz, Thomas Delaney (Jude Bellingham, min. 69), T. Hazard (Brandt, min. 59), Marco Reus (Reinier Carvalho, min. 75) and Erling Braut Haaland (Steffen Tigges, min. 59) Goals0-1 min. 1: Erling Braut Haaland. 0-2 min. 8: Erling Braut Haaland. 1-2 min. 25: Lewandowski. 2-2 min. 43: Lewandowski. 3-2 min. 87: Leon Goretzka. 4-2 min. 89: Lewandowski. Referee Marco Fritz Yellow cards Lewandowski (min. 27) and Meunier (min. 28)
If Edin Terzic, the interim Dortmund coach, has stood out for something, it is for protecting his captain, Mats Hummels, a fundamental link between the dressing room, the board, and the media that accompany the club. Since taking office, this third-rate employee of the second-richest club in the Bundesliga has devoted all his energy to creating a network capable of circumventing the notable physical deficiencies of the veteran center-back. The result has been imperceptible. Terzic's Dortmund accumulates people behind without gaining solidity in return and in the process denatures a squad designed to shine in the opposite field. Neither Hummels covers his miseries nor does the team play well, but everything is left to what the 20-year-old giant produces, which is not little.
Against Bayern, in less than ten minutes, Haaland scored two goals. The onslaught came partly due to the local team's loosening of pressure, and partly due to the Norwegian's ability to line up the rival's goal with very little. In the 0-1 it was enough with a long trip from Hummels to Meunier, who hung a rained center. At 0-2, he managed to solve a play that Dahoud cleared with a long pass to Schulz. Two long balls to the wings, two very simple counterattacks, and two goals that took last season's six-time champion's forward defense by surprise. Two goals that, more than the consequence of a great plan, were the difference between having or not having a formidable striker in the art of solving impossible problems. Not for nothing adds 29 goals in 28 games this season and with this coach.
As if conceiving the possibility of resisting Bayern by getting into their area, Dortmund retreated as deeply as possible to make a retreat. With Can officiating as center-back on the right, Terzic arranged a line of five defenders covered by another line of four midfielders and midfielders separated by 15 meters. Pure orthopedics for players who, like Hazard, Reus or Dahoud, are not comfortable in the tilt if it lasts too long. The minutes passed and Dortmund, without the ball or hope of recovering it, began to deform and sink. Before the break, before the blindness of Dahoud and Delaney in the first pass, Bayern advanced without brake. Lewandowski honored a Sané cross at 1-2 and took the 2-2 penalty after Dahoud's recklessness.
Against Sevilla on Tuesday
Far from reacting, after the break Terzic redoubled his bet on the counterattack. When Boateng injured Haaland, the coach rushed to replace his star, who was limping, in anticipation of the return of the Champions League round of 16 that he must play against Sevilla next Tuesday at the Westfalenstadion. It is not known if Haaland will make it to the game well. Just in case, the coach sent a retreat: he removed Hazard, Reus, Delaney and Zagadou, and populated the team with regular substitutes such as Reinier Jesus, Tiggers, Morey and Brandt.
Instead of defending the point that put him in competitions Europeans, Dortmund headed for the worst. Buried in the Hummels pit with a boy guard, he was punished by Goretzka from outside the area (3-2) and by Lewandowski in the last minute (4-2). The Pole has scored 37 goals in 33 games and is, for yet another year, the figurehead of the persistent leader of the Bundesliga. Dortmund occupy sixth place in the standings.