A brief look at Dortmund’s 1st half pressing vs Bayern

The 1st half of this game showcased Dortmund’s ability to disrupt build-up. While Tuchel and Dortmund are often lauded for their build-up capabilities, this game was a showcase of their ability to disrupt mighty Bayern’s build up.

Of course, as the game went into the 2nd half, we saw Dortmund drop much deeper into their half and what they were doing could not be characterized as pressing. The fatigue of the system in the 1st half wore on players like Gotze and forced them into a very low 1-5-3-2 block. However, this article will talk about the pressing they exhibited in the 1st half.

Note the RWB movement to press Bayern’s outside back while the ball-far LWB tucks in to give Dortmund a back 4 shape

This is a further look at the midfield and back 5 dynamics between Dortmund’s players and their basic pressing responsibilites.


Throughout the 1st half, Dortmund also showcased an interesting dynamic between who occupied Xabi Alonso, or the deepest lying Bayern midfielder. This allowed Gotze to stay in the midfield and create a 3v3 when Dortmund pressed higher up the pitch. If Gotze was still tasked with stepping to Alonso, there would be a subsequent 3v2 in the midfield which would allow the Bayern CB’s to play through Dortmunds first line of pressure and advance up the field quickly.


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