Der Klassiker: Robert Lewandowski at it again, but Alphonso Davies the real story as Bayern crush Dortmund

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  • Robert Lewandowski took his season tally to a staggering 23 goals in all competitions as Bayern Munich reaffirmed their dominance over Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga with a 4-0 pasting at the Allianz Arena.

    The visitors were a shadow of their usually vibrant selves, though it is usually the case at Bayern’s fortress, with Dortmund failing to win there since April 2014.

    The manner of this defeat however will undoubtedly be corrosive as Bayern had their way with them, from an unmarked Lewandowski’s thumping header in the 19th minute to Mats Hummels’ fitting own goal in the 80th.

    In between, Joshua Kimmich’s wonderful through ball sparked a goal for Serge Gnabry just after half-time, and Lewandowski turned in his second after yet more confusion in the Dortmund defence. Substitute Paco Alcacer somehow spurned a chance from close range, but it would only have been a consolation.

    Here are our talking points …

    You snooze, you Lew

    Lewandowski is the most incredible striker in the most incredible form.

    At one point in the first half, with the ball seemingly sailing towards the sideline, the Polish exocet launched into the air and brought down the ball on the tip of a toe in a move that would have shredded the hamstrings of most other 31-year-olds.

    He’s already capable of the near-impossible. So to afford him the freedom of the Allianz Arena to run up and plant a thunderous header past Roman Burki was downright criminal.

    When Benjamin Pavard delivered his rather sumptuous volleyed cross, it looked as if Dortmund were playing a reverse game of Rondo. Yellow shirts surrounding Lewandowski in a square, with Manuel Akanji showing no awareness that the world’s best striker was behind him, and – even worse – Achraf Hakimi glued to the ball and not the obvious 6ft plus missile entering the frame.

    Dortmund have been giving up cheap goals to Bayern since time immemorial. They’re giving up cheap goals to many other Bundesliga teams, too. Will they ever give themselves a chance?

    Shackled Sancho

    The other end of the pitch is where it really got embarrassing for BVB. They did not conjure up anything that resembled a shot until the second half, and even then the two they took were off target.

    Their line was too deep, clearly preoccupied with Lewandowski and the threat of pace from Kingsley Coman and Gnabry, but it meant Kimmich had all the time in the world to manipulate the midfield.

    It meant that Bayern’s makeshift defence, with Niklas Sule and Lucas Hernandez out for the long term and Jerome Boateng suspended, was lavishly protected. But a special mention deservedly goes to their teenage left-back.

    Except Alphonso Davies isn’t really a left-back. The Canadian is a winger by trade but with Coman and Gnabry deservedly holding down those berths, Davies has been impressive in a positional switch started by ousted coach Niko Kovac and encouraged further by interim boss Hansi Flick.

    The 19-year-old kept fellow teen Sancho where he could see him before the Englishman, who carried an injury coming into the game, was hauled off the pitch with 36 minutes gone. Midweek hero against Inter Milan, Hakimi also received no change out on the left out of Davies, who finished up with seven tackles and two interceptions in total.

    A proven livewire has made defending look effortless so far. Whisper it quietly, but there’s another precocious full-back on the block.

    As it stands

    Bayern will be buoyant, though there’s a reason Kovac was ushered out of the building. This victory takes them to within one point of the top but leaders Borussia Monchengladbach will extend that back out to four should they beat lowly Werder Bremen on Sunday.

    In second place are RB Leipzig, after red-hot Timo Werner hit a double at Hertha Berlin – a week after his hat-trick against Mainz – in a 4-2 victory that marked the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    Dortmund drop down to fifth, and it could get worse if the rest of Sunday’s fixtures do not work in their favour. Hoffenheim lie in fourth following their 2-1 win at Koln.