The Warm Down: Der Klassiker victory puts Bayern in pole position for eighth consecutive Bundesliga crown
Photo by Federico Gambarini/Pool via Getty Images

This was the best opportunity that Borussia Dortmund had to move closer to dethroning a Bayern Munich side that had run rampant over the Bundesliga for many years.

With just four points between the teams going into the game, the stakes were higher for the hosts than most Der Klassiker's in recent times as they knew a win was vital against a team that had only lost twice since Hansi Flick took over as manager in November.

Haaland goes missing

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It was a quiet game for Norwegian starlet Erling Haaland who finally started to show where his game could use improvement, to really stake his claim as one of the world's best strikers.

His first touch left much to be desired and he slightly lacked the killer instinct he has normally shown when presented with an opportunity to score.

He seemed less involved in the play with just 26 touches in the game, which including just one successful dribble and aerial duel.

Kimmich shows his quality

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Joshua Kimmich was the standout midfielder by far and aside from his goal he contributed a lot to Bayern’s winning efforts.

Kimmich covered 13.73km over the course of the game, connecting midfield to attack with 81 passes and 104 total touches on the ball.

As well as looking dangerous going forward Kimmich was crucial in Bayern keeping a clean sheet against a team who had scored in 38 consecutive games beforehand, recovering possession eight times and making three interceptions.

Bayern's revolution under Flick

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Since taking over as manager through Niko Kovac, which ended sourly with a 5-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt leaving the team four points of the top, Flick has brought Bayern back to dominance.

The victory over Dortmund makes it 21 wins in 24 games under Flick, in which the team have scored 75 and conceded just 16 in that time.

Flick has Bayern back at their best as they close in on their eighth consecutive Bundesliga title and 30th in total, they still have to play Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach, but they now have a seven-point lead on Dortmund.

Flick showed pride in his team's performance while clearly understanding that there is still work to do in order to secure their status as champions once again.

"We wanted to win and take a big step forward - we did that. We were focused, decisive and courageous at times. I'm satisfied with my team." said the Bayern manager. (via BBC Sport)

Pressure on Favre?

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Dortmund lacked the prowess in midfield, and although they got into good positions early on in the game the final ball and killer finish were missing all game as the visitors pushed further away in the title race.

Favre almost conceded defeat in the title race after the game, saying: "Seven points in six games - it will be very, very difficult," (via BBC Sport) as the pressure continues to mount on the Swiss manager to produce tangible results.

Despite spending £132.75million in total over the two windows this season, the team are on course to finish further behind Bayern than they did last season which could be viewed as a failure in the eyes of the Dortmund hierarchy.

Favre’s contract runs out in the summer and it might not be renewed, with it likely now being dependent on how Dortmund finish the season, seeing as though only four points separates them and fifth place Leverkusen.

 

 

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