Coming into the CL Matchday 1, Borussia Dortmund were seen…
1. Bayern Munich need another quality forward
Robert Lewandowski’s absence crippled Bayern Munich’s offensive prowess. With no out and out striker to rotate/replace the Polish #9, Carlo Ancelotti had to rely on Thomas Mueller to play as a number 9. It proved to be detrimental to Munich’s offensive third. Mueller was unable to hold up the play like Lewandowski normally does. The fact that he was the only one up front meant that Real Madrid’s center backs could mark the German international out of the game. It also showed off how much Bayern truly relied on the Polish striker. Even though Lewandowski’s injury record is near flawless, there would always be a possibility for the international to get injured during the crunch time of the season. Another quality forward can rotate with Lewandowski while providing depth in an important part of the pitch.
2. Manuel Neuer is the best Goalkeeper in the world
The Bayern #1 once again showed off his prowess that made him look the best goalkeeper in the world. Not only was he the best performer on the night for his club, he single handedly kept the score down to two goals to one. Without Neuer’s presence, the match could have easily ended four or five goals to the single one of Bayern Munich’s during the first half. If Bayern pull off the unlikely required scored win in Madrid in the second leg, much of the credit will go to the goalkeeper.
3. Bayern Munich’s mentality
For the second year running, Bayern Munich were given a golden opportunity to go up by two goals before the second half. Bayern were given a rather fortuitous penalty, and Arturo Vidal had the ability to double his scoring. However, the Chilean skied his penalty; and Bayern held the 1-0 lead going into the half. The second half became much more difficult for Munich, as Madrid started pressing and winning the ball, constantly releasing Cristiano Ronaldo on the counter attack. Bayern became sloppy and wasteful with the passing and the fouls. Eventually, Javi Martinez was yellow carded twice for two tactical fouls on Ronaldo. With Bayern down to ten men, they lost the initiative they had gained in the first half. This was reminiscent of their performance against Atletico Madrid in last year’s semifinals. Muller failed to convert the penalty and Atletico were able to get the away goal after some questionable defending.