Try telling Borussia Dortmund that this weekend’s Klassiker had no real significance. They destroyed Bayern Munich by a score of 3-0 at Allainz Arena, and Dortmund stays in second place in the Bundesliga. The Bayern team that started was not necessarily second choice, so this is a statement win by Dortmund heading into the last four matches of the league season. Bayern now has two losses and a draw in their last three league matches after months of dominance, which brings into question their mentality ahead of the Champions League semifinals.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marco Reus and Jonas Hofmann each scored to put Dortmund on the edge of clinching a Champions League birth for next year. The momentum from the midweek Champions League match with Bayern’s future opponent, Real Madrid, carried over to the league match. Bayern had much of the possession, but had very little chance to score. They were unable to create good chances. Mario Mandzukic had one half volley chance just prior to halftime, but there was little else to talk about for the champions.
Perhaps the bigger news is that Manuel Neuer came out at halftime with a calf injury and 20-year-old keeper Lukas Raeder was brought on to make his Bundesliga debut. He was promptly welcomed by Reus’ finish on a clinical counter attack. Neuer may be unavailable for the DFB-Pokal semifinals later this week. Dortmund will also be in action in the DFB-Pokal.
Freiburg — 2, Eintracht Braunschweig — 0
Freiburg moved five points clear of the relegation zone, and Braunschweig missed a chance to get out of the basement, as they never took control of the match. An own goal from Damir Vrancic in the eighth minute sealed the match for Frieburg, as they controlled the play from the get go. Braunschweig captian Dominik Kumbela was replaced early in the match after picking up an injury. This summed up the afternoon for the last-place team, as a good run of form came to an end. Freiburg doubled Braunschweig in shots on target.
Despite a draw between Mönchengladbach and Stuttgart, the table remained the same in the top six and bottom three places. The odds are stacked against Braunschweig, as their remaining matches are against teams in the top 10. Nürnberg sit one point out of last place and have three matches against top seven teams. Many matches next week will pit teams on opposite ends of the table with varying aspirations.
Check back on Thursday for a preview of matchday 31.