Wednesday’s Champions League victory over Inter was a milestone result for Bayern Munich, who reaffirmed their pedigree and avenged their loss in last year’s final.
Thanks to the fitness of wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, as well as the scintillating form of forwards Mario Gomez and Thomas Mueller, die Roten have shown resurgent form of late.
Indeed, after beating the European champions on their home turf, Bayern are widely considered dark horses to hoist the Champions League trophy for the first time in a decade. Just don’t expect them to make easy work of Dortmund come Saturday.
After their impressive win under the limelight, it’s back to business as usual for Bayern as they play host to league leaders Dortmund on Saturday evening. The match may not have all the pomp and circumstance of Europe’s grandest stage, but both sides will be geared up for the biggest match of the 2010-11 Bundesliga campaign.
When these teams met in October, an admittedly out-of-form Bayern side was blitzed into submission by the tireless Schwarzgelben, and slumped to a 2-0 loss. Early in the second half, Lucas Barrios created space in the box before finishing well, and shortly thereafter, Nuri Sahin curled a stunning free-kick into the top-right corner. By full-time, Bayern were fortunate not to have conceded a third as BVB looked good on the counter-attack and Barrios had an effort rebound off the post.
Despite the final scoreline, the result has often been described as flattering for Dortmund, who were fortunate not to have conceded in the first half. Mario Gomez missed a trio of opportunities with the score at 0-0; had he converted one or more, the result could have been drastically different. But just as that was an out-of-form Bayern that played in October, it was also a very different Dortmund side that featured in that match.