Bayern Munich remain two points clear at the top of the German Bundesliga after a 4-2 win over Borussia Dortmund at Allianz Arena on Saturday. Erling Haaland put the visitors ahead inside of two minutes after he was teed up by Thomas Delaney and the Norwegian superstar doubled his tally with just nine minutes on the clock when he was supplied by Thorgan Hazard.
Thomas Meunier had missed a great Dortmund chance just before Robert Lewandowski pulled one back for the hosts after 26 minutes after he was set up by Leroy Sane and the Poland international levelled from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time. It was Bayern who then went on to win with Leon Goretzka putting Hansi Flick's men 3-2 up on 88 minutes before Lewandowski twisted the knife on his former employers with his hat-trick to finish off Edin Terzic's side from an Alphonso Davies assist.
The result keeps the German and European champions two points clear of RB Leipzig in second and 10 ahead of third-placed VfL Wolfsburg. Some takeaways.
For the opening 10 minutes, it was all BVB and Haaland with the 20-year-old scoring twice to open up an unexpected two-goal lead. Meunier missed a golden opportunity for 3-0 and within minutes Bayern were back in it at 2-1. Despite their recent turnaround in form, Dortmund were unable to maintain the same rhythm and Bayern's ultimate success grew increasingly inevitable as the second half wore on without Terzic's men getting a third goal. Ultimately Dortmund registered only four shots over the entirety of the 90 minute match.
Going down 2-0 was the wakeup call Bayern needed as it focused them and ensured that they were at their best to level things up and then to seize control of the game. Lewandowski was at his clinical best but Goretzka, Sane and Davies also played key roles in the fightback that will make Flick's men more confident than ever that they can successfully defend their title.
Although he ended up on the losing side, the Scandinavian prodigy was focused on putting on a big display from the off and made an ideal start with two goals in the opening 10 minutes to lay down the gauntlet to Lewandowski and Bayern. Although the home side took up the challenge and succeeded, Haaland continues to deliver with aplomb regardless of how Dortmund fare collectively.
It took him nearly a third of the match to get off the mark, but the Pole issued a reminder to Haaland and anybody else of the current standard to aspire to in European soccer. The former Dortmund man tore into his ex-club with relish and once he gets going like that, there is rarely anything that can be done to stop him. Lewandowski ended the match with three goals on nine shots, or more than double Dortmund's tally.
Bayern or Bulls?
The result effectively makes the Bundesliga a two-horse race now with Leipzig realistically the only side that can catch Bayern with third-placed Wolfsburg 10 points back. Dortmund are 16 points off the pace set by the leaders and are facing a fight for UEFA Champions League qualification let alone the title. Others, such as Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen in fourth and fifth, have simply lost too much ground already.
4 - Erling #Haaland (@BlackYellow) scored 4 goals against Bayern in all comps 2020-21, the last player to score more than 4 goals against Bayern in a single season was Cristiano Ronaldo 2016-17 for Real Madrid (5 goals). Elite. #FCBBVB pic.twitter.com/j4JL0UCVoK— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) March 6, 2021
This sort of result raises the topic of the wonderkid's future with Dortmund far from certain to secure continental soccer for next season. With Marco Rose to come in as coach, there is the possibility that things get better at Westfalenstadion. However, it is almost impossible to see a scenario where Haaland, Jadon Sancho and Gio Reyna -- both missing in Munich -- stay on past this campaign. In fact, more than one departure before a major rebuild seems far more likely at this moment in time.