Bayern Munich beat Borussia Dortmund to close in on yet another Bundesliga title

Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Bayern Munich: Joshua Kimmich’s moment of extreme delicacy amid the deluge was enough to win this pulsating game for the defending champions

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Tuesday 26 May 2020 19:37 BST
Coronavirus: How has sport been affected?

A masterpiece from Joshua Kimmich, a masterclass from Bayern Munich. They showed an inexperienced Borussia Dortmund how you win a title showdown, and how you win a title.

That might well be the greatest consequence from this 1-0 Bayern win, as they go seven points clear, with just six points left. To add to that, and detract from Dortmund, Erling Braut Haaland suffered an injury. The Bundesliga title race might have ended as quickly as it restarted, and had started to capture international attention.

Anyone watching, however, would still have seen a lesson in how you see games like this out, how you assert your superiority in the most controlled way. To only emphasise the difference between the teams, you could even say Dortmund – as ever – had a hand in their own demise. Roman Burki got his fingers to Kimmich’s divine chip but couldn’t divert it.

There was no diverting Bayern. They keep on winning, and now look set for that eighth title in a row.

While that result may not be great for German football, the game itself was a great example of the excellence that can still be evident so soon after such a long break. It was pulsating.

Kimmich's sublime chip beats Burki (EPA)

That ensured the only goal was not just one of rare quality. It was a rare moment of delicacy amid the deluge. That made it stand out all the more, as Kimmich sat Burki down.

That relentlessly frenetic pace initially suited Dortmund, and seemed to power them, only to increasingly work against them. That was especially true when they tried to work a finish.

As you sometimes see with such sides and such games, it was often as if there was too much energy them, and they were too fired up. It removed the composure required in the box, as they so furiously play their way through Bayern only for the ball to keep going rather than going in.

This was especially true of Haaland, whose young age did seem that more apparent in his first game against Bayern. He snatched at one big chance early on, and there were a few raw touches. Bayern’s backline mostly knew where to shepherd him. Exuberance was losing to experience – but not always.

There was one key moment that came from a battle of the precocious teenagers, as Haaland was overrun by Alphonso Davies.

The Norwegian wasn’t the only player to suffer that, mind. Davies showed an international audience why he’s one of the best young players on the planet.

It was of course one of his breaks that eventually led to the goal, the ball coming loose at the edge of the Dortmund area.

The finish, however, was all Kimmich’s own. It displayed remarkable presence of mind amid the chaos, as he so sumptuously chipped Burki.

Bayern Munich celebrate (Getty)

It wasn’t quite perfect since it remained within the goalkeeper’s reach. It still remained on course.

Bayern were ahead.

The reality was the momentum of the game had already shifted. The control displayed by Kimmich merely reflect the command that Bayern had taken of the match, and the midfield. That was only further apparent in the second half when Julian Brandt was taken off. He had been brilliant, and was replaced by Jadon Sancho, who didn’t look fit.

It was to be that kind of day for Dortmund, as Haaland soon went off injured. It was all the more of shame, since he’d seemed to find his range. Haaland had a shot destined for the bottom corner, only for it to hit Jerome Boateng’s arm, in what seemed an unnatural position.

Davies outperformed Haaland (PA)

It looked like a certain penalty.

Yet, not only was there no VAR review, there were no complaints from the Dortmund players. Maybe that’s another way this match was instructive as regards this behind-closed-doors post-Covid present.

Dortmund meanwhile knew this was their season, that they had to it now.

They went close, but that’s always the story.

Bayern are just too good, too far ahead.

Kimmich had, in so many senses, lifted it.

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