Bayern Munich saunters past Borussia Dortmund 4-1 in lopsided Klassiker

Lewandowski and Bayern keep rolling along. (AP Photo)
Lewandowski and Bayern keep rolling along. (AP Photo)

Sometimes, the sweep of an entire season is summarized neatly in the course of just 90 minutes.

When Bayern Munich smashed Borussia Dortmund 4-1 on Saturday, without getting out of third gear, it underscored both the Bavarians’ ruthless machinery and abundance of weapons, and the talented young Borussen’s inefficiency and shaky defense.

It might have been a half dozen goals for Bayern. It could have been more still. But Bayern, like Dortmund, has a Champions League quarterfinal awaiting midweek – Real Madrid at home, while Dortmund hosts Monaco. Bayern also knew that it had a 10-point Bundesliga lead over RB Leipzig going into the weekend – and 15 on fourth-place Dortmund – and that it was more than 30 ahead of the pack on goal difference.

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So why expend more energy humiliating its traditional arch-rival in Der Klassiker than strictly necessary? Bayern has bigger fish to fry. With a fifth straight Bundesliga title all but locked up, Carlo Ancelotti’s side has its sights set on the club’s sixth Champions League title.

While Dortmund had the first chance when Ousmane Dembele cut inside on Jerome Boateng but sliced his shot wide in the second minute, Bayern had the game won within 10 minutes.

Four minutes in, a nice Bayern attack concluded in Philipp Lahm’s low cross through the box. By the penalty spot, Franck Ribery hammered it right through the middle of the goal, beating Roman Burki, who had no view of the ball.

In the 10th, Robert Lewandowski whipped a free kick into the net with a simple up-and-over-the-wall effort after Marc Bartra brought Ribery down mid-dribble. Dembele was complicit for ducking out of the way of the ball in the wall.

On the right flank, Arjen Robben gave Dortmund’s poor Marcel Schmelzer fits with his signature cuts inside, which for their predictability, remain undefendable. Twice, Robben got by him but put his finish just wide.

Even when Dortmund got on the board in the 21st minute, it didn’t look like this classic would ever turn into a memorable game. Raphael Guerreiro hit a masterful half-volley from the edge of the box after a poor Arturo Vidal clearance into the top corner, but Dortmund didn’t play much better after that.

Because Bayern continued to hog all the chances. Robben was denied by Burki, and then Lewandowski popped a shot just wide.

Just after halftime, Robben finally got his goal. He – what did you expect? – cut inside again, dribbled past one player, then another, and deposited the ball into the back of the net at last.

In a moment that was emblematic for the larger game, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang managed to slip a finish under Bayern backup goalkeeper Sven Ulreich after the hour, but Boateng managed to recover and clear off the line. And right at the other end, Lewandowski was sprung. He was brought down by Burki in the box and converted his own penalty for his 26th league goal of the season, overtaking Aubameyang in the scoring charts.

It was all just so simple for Bayern. Nothing Dortmund did seemed to come off consistently. American teenager Christian Pulisic had a credible performance, and even provoked a handsome save from Ulreich in the late going, but his time on the ball was scarce – as was that of all of his teammates.

Bayern will feel good about facing Real Madrid on Wednesday. And its march to a record 27th Bundesliga title ambles on. Its only concern is the shoulder injury that forced Lewandowski off after Burki brought him down.

Dortmund, meanwhile, will have suddenly gotten nervous about Monaco.

But then, that’s all just on par for their respective seasons.

Leander Schaerlaeckens is a soccer columnist for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @LeanderAlphabet.

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