Gero Breloer/Associated Press
The current Bayern Munich team is one that was built by former coach Jupp Heynckes to be balanced between attack and defense. Pep Guardiola took the helm last summer and changed just about everything, his possession-based style of football effective enough to mask the Bavarians' weaknesses when they took on ordinary opponents but utterly exposed when they took on elite, in-form opposition in the form of Real Madrid.
As such, Bayern won the Bundesliga in record time but were humiliated by Real Madrid in to the tune of a 5-0 aggregate score in the Champions League.
Since the nightmare 4-0 loss in Munich to Real, Guardiola has made many changes to his team and tactics. And on Saturday, he was rewarded. Bayern played an aggressive, almost bullying style of football; in this manner, their style resembled that of Heynckes' team, which won the treble after being the most yellow-carded team in the Champions League by a considerable distance.
Referee Florian Meyer was rather lenient, but Bayern accumulated five yellow cards to Dortmund's zero; they committed professional fouls when needed and left Dortmund frustrated more often than not. As part of a three-center-back defense that allowed him to essentially play as a sweeper (and thus very close to his deep midfield role from the Heynckes era), Javi Martinez was back at his best.
Later, Guardiola brought on Daniel van Buyten to play in central defense, leaving Bayern with, by the trainer's estimation, four center-backs on the pitch. Dortmund didn't have space to counterattack and, when they did, were fouled.
Bayern's strength is not in passing the ball 100 times successively and scoring. It's in using their muscle to intimidate and frustrate their opponents and their individual skill to cut through opponents at the opportune moment. It took exactly one full season, but Guardiola appears to have figured it out at last.
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