Football fans might still be overwhelmed by Bayern’s enchanting performance trashing Borussia Dortmund in the German classico by 5-0.
But what does the stunning victory mean for the 2018/2019 title race and the future of Bayern’s several performers and their under-fire coach Niko Kovac?
Five things we learn from the Bavarians hour of glory.
1: The German 2018/2019 title race isn’t yet over
Bayern has recaptured the lead and found themselves one point ahead of the Blacks and Yellows with six rounds of matches to go.
The Bavarian’s remaining tasks seem to be more difficult having to play RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt in the season’s last two games. The positive goal record of plus 15 might help as well as the newly gained confidence.
Dortmund is facing the challenge to revitalize their faith, “but it’s not yet over” as Borussia team captain Marco Reus put it. It will be coach Lucien Favre’s most significant task to restore his team’s confidence.
2: Bayern’s performers need more competition, says Kahn
Oliver Kahn announced the Bavarian’s will soon add top quality to their squad to increase competition significantly. Players need more competition to always keep the highest level, the former German international stressed.
This seems the club’s main conclusion after the disappointing performance in the Champions League. According to Kahn, it is not enough to only play a vital role on the national stage as Bayern see themselves as one of the leading sides in world football.
Bayern recently signed Lucas Hernandez from Atletico Madrid for 85 million euros. The club is said to invest up to 350 million to meet the level of top sides such as Manchester City, Barcelona, and Paris St Germain.
Bayern’s future is strongly connected with Kahn as the 49-year-old will be the club’s new leader from 2020/2021 on. “I am ready to face the job as we are in fruitful negotiations,” Kahn said, adding the clubs board has confirmed the deal.
The victory was vital for Kovac’s future with Bayern, he added. “He is still a young coach having to develop and gain experience on the international stage,” the 2001 Champions League winner emphasized.
Sounds like it still has to be decided if Kovac will stay for the next years.
3: Bayern’s midfield line-up killed Dortmund
Passion and determination haven’t been stronger this season as Bayern showed their best performance.
Kovac’s decision to count on one “six” ahead of the back-row (Javi Martinez) and a “double 8” (Thiago and Thomas Mueller) turned out to the games sparking idea. “I hope everyone has seen that,” Kovac said.
Dortmund’s coach Lucien Favre is under fire as he is accused of having chosen the wrong tactics while his team was lacking the needed attitude. Marco Reus was shifted to the spearhead position but had made his most active games as a “ten” behind the front line. Right back Lucas Piszczek was the weak point after a two-month long injury break.
4: Kovac needs to take more risk to keep his job
Kovac has done an important step as he proved his tactical skills in a vital game other than against Liverpool.
Kahn points the way underlining Bayern’s game style “is improving when tactics are laid out more offensively, and the team is attacking.” His message: Kovac has to take more risk in the future to keep his job.
Kovac was under attack after his team only drew to SC Freiburg (losing the top spot) and narrowly escaped in the last-eight round of the German Cup against second division club FC Heidenheim (5-4).
At present the Bayern coach is benefitting from having created a new team-spirit. Kovac fired back on his critics: “Many things spread about me were just not fair.”
5: Lewandowski secured his position, Thiago, Mueller, and Hummels might get a second chance
Having scored 201 league goals, Lewandowski joined the “club of the 200”. The Polish striker is only the fifth player to reach that mark in the Bundesliga’s history. The forward substantiated his statement to be entirely focused on his Bayern job after rumors speaking about him considering to depart and join a club abroad.
Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara proved that he can be of value for Bayern in crucial games as Mueller and Hummels did. The trio increased their chances to remain in Bayern’s squad despite the plans to buy new world-class players.