Borussia Dortmund beweisen ihren Wert

February 26, 2011 — by Sean

Lukasz Piszczek shut down Ribery for large portions of the match.

As far as google translate is concerned, the post title says Dortmund have now proven their badassedness. The team came into Bayern’s Allianz Arena today 13 points ahead of the Bavarians but as 4-to-1 underdogs who hadn’t won a match there since 1991. After early-week comments out of the Bayern Munich’s front office that defending champions would win by a minimum two goals, Dortmund’s manager Jürgen Klopp told the press, “Well we’ve all had a long talk about it, and we’ve decided to travel to Bayern anyway.” They more than just showed up, they took their game to Die Roten and jammed a 3-1 victory down their  throats.

The game started brightly with both sides looking to establish their attack. From the outset Munich worked up their wings (as they do), with Robben on the right, Ribery on the left, and Gustavo in support as an overlapping left back. The Brazilian started off well after being relieved of his centerback duties, and Bayern looked like they’d be using him quite a bit on the day. But that was early on. Within minutes of kickoff Shmelzer came attacking up Dotmund’s left (leaving a non-marking Robben behind him) and lifted a ball onto the foot of Dortmund’s second striker, Robert Lewandowski. He slightly mistimed his volley or it would’ve been 1-0 to the visitors on 4 minutes. The big Pole had escaped the tracking Schweinsteiger to find himself clear to no avail.

We wouldn’t have to wait much longer for a goal though, as Schweinsteiger (who had a terrible day) turned a bobbled pass into the onrushing Großkreutz who collected and laid a well measured ball into the path of Argentine-born, Paraguay international Lucas Barrios. The striker crossed up Munich keeper Kraft (who had done so well on weds against Inter), sliding the ball easily into the far corner. 1-0 to Dortmund within 10 minutes.

The side in yellow didn’t sit back and continued to press. It was at times difficult to tell where their attacks were coming from, as their top four or five players were constantly interchanging positions, and through the half any number of players would find a run behind the line or step up to take a pop from distance (holding midfielder Sven Bender producing some of the best far-range rips). But Bayern would never give up, and they continued pushing up their wings, if only to win corners and set-pieces. It was enough, within five minutes of Dortmund’s goal the score was leveled when Ribery sent in a corner to the foot of Gustavo. 1-1 and all to play for in one of the most open matches of the season.

EuropeGeneral Knowledge

Player in Focus: Bastian Schweinsteiger

November 12, 2010 — by Sean

Bastian Schweinsteiger, whose name we take to mean bountiful pig sticker, is an oft overlooked member of Bayern Munich and the German national team. Far from irrelevant, he’s the engine that drives forward Munich and Die Mannschaft both. He has the strength and stamina of a Michael Essien, and the drive to goal of a player like Gerrard, all while being mostly deployed on a wing. He’s a tenacious and intelligent defender, and a creative force in attack, and while he doesn’t score loads of goals, the finishing movement often begins with a smarty picked pass from the man.

Perhaps you remember Maradona’s taunting before their teams met in last summer’s World Cup: “What’s the matter, Schweinsteiger? Are you nervoushh?” Schweini then completely controlled the midfield to help craft a 4-0 victory over the outclassed Argentines.

With Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery injured so far this season, the 26 yr old midfielder has (finally) been highlighted as top class player. The transfer market looming, it’s Schweini who is drawing attention from Europe’s top clubs. Der Kaiser wants him to stay in Munich, but the lure of foreign leagues may trump winning a sixth Bundesliga title.