Created on 19-11-2016 at 17:40 PM by Chris Hamley
Off-colour Bayern were condemned to a first defeat in the league this season on Saturday, Carlo Ancelotti’s men falling 1-0 to arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund in the latest edition of Der Klassiker. A typically high-octane encounter in front of a capacity 81,360 crowd at Signal Iduna Park was ultimately settled by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 11th minute strike for the fast-starting black-and-yellows, and although the men in red weathered the storm and dominated play from the midpoint of the first half onwards, the nearest FCB came to an equaliser was when Xabi Alonso rattled the crossbar on the hour.
The result means FCB drop to second in the standings for the first time in 37 matchdays as the Reds remain on 24 points, three off surprise new leaders RB Leipzig and three ahead of Dortmund, who climb to third overnight. Bayern return to action on Wednesday away to Rostov in the Champions League, before the home Bundesliga clash against Leverkusen in a week's time.
Five new faces
Ancelotti made five changes to the team that faced Hoffenheim just before the international break. Injury victim Arjen Robben was replaced by fit-again Franck Ribery, Thomas Müller returned to the starting XI, Joshua Kimmich came in for Arturo Vidal after the midfield enforcer’s long trip to South America, and captain Philipp Lahm and David Alaba resumed duty at full back.
The champions lined up with Manuel Neuer in goal, David Alaba, ex-BVB skipper Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and captain Philipp Lahm in a back four, Xabi Alonso in the holding role, Thiago and Kimmich in midfield, and Franck Ribery, former Borussia goal-getter Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller up front.
Home supremo Thomas Tuchel sent out an attacking line-up spearheaded by former Munich man Mario Götze, Andre Schürrle, Adrion Ramos and league top scorer Aubameyang.
One down at the break
After referee Tobias Stieler set the game underway on a damp and chilly evening in the Ruhr Valley, the sides wasted no time on pleasantries and launched into full-on attack mode from the off. Tuchel’s men drew first blood on 11 minutes when Aubameyang diverted Götze’s diagonal ball into the danger zone past the helpless Neuer.
Bayern were stung into a response with Ribery, Alaba and Thiago all having shots blocked, and although Neuer had to look sharp in dealing with Schürrle’s first-time thunderbolt, the next chance fell to Kimmich as the men in red slowly but surely gained a grip on the contest.
BVB keeper Roman Bürki was called on to make a save for the first time from Hummels’ 32nd-minute header and Thiago just came up short with an acrobatic bicycle kick from Lahm’s volleyed cut-back, before the Spaniard pummelled the last shooting chance of the first half wide of the target.
No way through
There was a scare for FCB right at the start of the second half when Aubameyang was just crowded out after breaking clear in the box, with the Gabon hitman then glancing a header over Neuer’s bar, and although the lively Ribery had the ball in the net after 55 minutes from Müller’s lay-off, the Frenchman was a fraction offside.
Ancelotti sent on Douglas Costa for Kimmich just short of the hour as the Bavarians applied relentless pressure for a long spell, but Alonso’s audacious 61st-minute curler crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. Rafinha now took over from Lahm but Bayern were grateful to Neuer in the 70th minute when the keeper denied Aubameyang after the striker raced clear on goal.
Coach Ancelotti played his final card 15 minutes from time with Renato Sanches replacing Alonso, but Tuchel’s men defended in depth and threw bodies in the way every time the visitors came within sight of goal. Tempers flared at the end as the Reds desperately chased an equaliser, but Lewandowski steered the final chance wide in stoppage time and the first defeat of term was sealed.
Chris Hamley reporting from Signal Iduna Park for fcbayern.com
Borussia Dortmund - FC Bayern 1-0 (H-T: 1-0)
Bürki - Piszczek, Bartra, Sokratis, Schmelzer (Pulisic 89) - Weigl, Ginter – Götze (Castro 77), Schürrle (Durm 68) - Ramos, Aubameyang
Weidenfeller, Dembelé, Kagawa, Sahin
Neuer – Lahm (Rafinha 68), Boateng, Hummels, Alaba - Xabi Alonso (Renato Sanches 74)- Thiago, Kimmich (Douglas Costa 58) - Müller, Ribery – Lewandowski
Ulreich, Badstuber, Juan Bernat, Green
|Referee||Tobias Stieler (Hamburg)|
1-0 Aubameyang (11)
Bartra, Götze, Ramos / Ribery