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Exquisite Kimmich goal hands Bayern vital win in top-of-the-table clash with Dortmund

Bayern are now seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.

Burki is chipped by Joshua Kimmich.
Burki is chipped by Joshua Kimmich.
Image: PA

Updated May 26th 2020, 8:07 PM

BAYERN MUNICH HAVE taken a giant stride to an eighth-straight Bundesliga title with a 1-0 win away to Borussia Dortmund at an empty Signal Iduna Park this evening. 

Hansi Flick’s side are now seven points clear at the top of the table with six games to go, courtesy of a win secured by an exquisite Joshua Kimmich lob of Dortmund ‘keeper Burki shortly before half-time. 

Dortmund struggled to create many chances in a high-tempo game, and lost Erling Haaland to injury midway through the second half. One of Haaland’s final actions provoked controversy, however, as he saw a shot deflected in the penalty area off Jerome Boateng’s arm. 

The incident was not referred to VAR, however, and nor was it subject to any complaints by the Dortmund players. 

Bayern were largely untroubled after that, and are now in pole position to maintain their stranglehold on German football. 

Bayern had already won 4-0 when the teams met in Munich in November and they kept up their excellent recent record in the ‘Klassiker’, even if this was a much tighter contest.

Dortmund’s star teenage striker, Erling Braut Haaland, who had scored ten goals in as many league games, failed to make an impact against Bayern’s watertight defence before going off injured in the second half.

Jerome Boateng and David Alaba gave him no room, while Kimmich and Leon Goretzka in midfield made sure passes intended for him rarely met their mark. The Norwegian limped off with 20 minutes left after a heavy tackle from Boateng.

The result means that 11 of the 19 games played since the Bundesliga returned behind closed doors following the coronavirus shutdown have been won by the away team.

Things might have been different, with Haaland coming close inside the first minute with an audacious attempt through the legs of Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer which was cleared off the line by Boateng.

At the other end, Lukasz Piszczek cleared a Serge Gnabry shot away from in front of the line, while moments later Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Buerki denied Kingsley Coman.

Bayern were in control, and Kimmich grabbed what proved to be the winner two minutes before half-time when he spotted Buerki off his line and chipped in from 20 yards.

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It was the Germany international’s third league goal from outside the box this season.

In an attempt to turn the game around, Dortmund coach Lucien Favre brought on midfield enforcer Emre Can at the start of the second half and added the pace of Jadon Sancho on the wing.

The home side had a shout for a penalty just before the hour mark when a Haaland shot was deflected wide by the arm of Boateng, but nothing was given.

Shortly after, Haaland limped off to be replaced by 17-year-old Giovanni Reyna.

In a last throw of the dice, Favre brought on 2014 World Cup winner Mario Goetze, who is out of contract next month and set to leave, in the dying stages in the vain hope of grabbing an equaliser.

With time running out, Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski hit the post.

The league’s top scorer then had a strong appeal for a late penalty waved away after a push in the area by Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji.

But the roars of celebration at the end came from the Bayern bench and echoed around the near-empty stadium.

- Additional reporting from Gavin Cooney

© – AFP, 2020 

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