Borussia Dortmund head coach Juergen Klopp has labelled the heated scenes during his side’s 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich as ‘normal’.
With Bayern having already wrapped up the Bundesliga title and the two teams set to clash again in the UEFA Champions League final on May 25, many had expected Saturday’s match to be a tame affair.
But with seven yellow cards handed out at Dortmund’s Signal-Iduna-Park, including two to Bayern full-back Rafinha, plus the home side’s Mario Goetze having recently confirmed a move to the Bavarian champions, there was plenty of spice to the contest.
The game boiled over in the 64th minute when Rafinha raised an arm to Jakub Blaszczykowski’s head as they chased after the ball.
The Dortmund winger went down clutching his face and while he received a yellow card, seemingly for simulation, Rafinha also copped a booking, his second in three minutes, to be sent off.
As the 27-year-old Brazilian left the field he blasted Blaszczykowski before Klopp defended his player, giving Rafinha a spray, prompting Bayern’s sport director Matthias Sammer to get involved.
“It’s normal for these things to happen,” Klopp said after the match.
“People were talking about a friendly but once the game gets under way, it’s different.
“It was a tough battle, situations arise, these things happen.
“I told Rafinha that he should stay away from Jakub, Sammer then told me that I should not talk to the players.”
Dortmund took the lead in the 11th minute thanks to an acrobatic volley from Kevin Grosskreutz but Bayern were level at half-time after Mario Gomez’s 23rd-minute header and the match remained that way throughout the second half.
Both coaches used the match to give some of their key players a rest and Bayern’s boss Jupp Heynckes conceded his team had struggled to get going after their 3-0 win away to Barcelona on Wednesday in the Champions League.
“After last week’s result it wasn’t easy to get back into the swing of things,” Heynckes said.
“It was a very intensive game where neither side gave anything away.
“Beforehand, people said that it would be a boring match with so many Bayern players missing, but that clearly wasn’t the case.”
The home fans used the game to express their frustration with Goetze’s transfer to Bayern, although the 20-year-old midfielder did not play due to a thigh injury he sustained during Dortmund’s Champions League match in Madrid on Tuesday.
Some Dortmund fans wore Goetze shirts with his name crossed out, while the main supporter group held up a banner which read ‘Striving for money shows how big your heart really is. P*** off Goetze’.
Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer claimed after the match that he expected nothing less when the two German clubs face each other at Wembley in the Champions League decider.
“A game against Dortmund, regardless of where it is, is never a friendly game,” Neuer said.
“(It’s) a duel of eye-level, 50-50, and it’s what we expect in the Champions League final.”