It’s safe to say that ‘Der Klassiker’ lived up to the expectations. Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich delivered one of the best games in the Bundesliga this season, and the match at Signal Iduna Park didn’t disappoint.
Despite trailing twice, Dortmund pulled a huge comeback and secured a 3-2 win. A brace from Marco Reus and a goal from Paco Alcacer lifted the hosts to a huge win, while Robert Lewandowski bagged a brace of his own for Die Roten. Lewandowski had a goal disallowed on stoppage time due to offside.
Borussia Dortmund starts best, but Bayern quickly evened things up
The game started quite open with both sides looking to push forward. And even though Bayern looked more comfortable on the ball, Dortmund created the first chance when Marco Reus broke free towards the goal in the 10th minute. However, he rushed himself a bit and his one-on-one effort was coolly saved by Manuel Neuer, who emerged as one of the best players for Bayern in the early going.
Dortmund lost the ball, however, and Bayern took advantage of that. Franck Ribery and Joshua Kimmich started to gain a bigger role for Bayern, and the Frenchman was at the centre of two scoring opportunities. His effort in the 17th minute went wide, though, and in the 24th minute he attempted a cross that no one met. Crossing would end up being a key part of Bayern’s attacks, and one of those balls into the box put the visitors in front.
Lewandowski puts Bayern in front
It happened thanks to the team’s best player, Lewandowski. The Polish had his first clear scoring chance in the 26th minute, and he didn’t disappoint. An excellent cross from Serge Gnabry found the former Dortmund marksman who, all alone and from close range, nodded the ball home. It was his sixth goal of the current Bundesliga campaign, but most of the credit should go to Gnabry for his perfect pin-point cross.
Bayern controlled the pace of the game through the reminder of the first half and with no clear scoring chances, the first 45 minutes ended with a 1-0 lead for Die Roten.
Dortmund equalise only to see Bayern go on top again
Things changed in the second half. Mohamed Dahoud replaced Julian Weigl – who got booked in the first half – and Dortmund only needed three minutes to even things up. Neuer tripped Reus inside the box, and the Dortmund winger converted the penalty to even things up 1-1 in the 48th minute. It was Reus’ eighth goal of the current season.
Dortmund’s goal would be cancelled quickly by Bayern. Thomas Muller, Gnabry and Kimmich combined on a tight space, and Lewandowski nodded the ball home from close range. The goal was quite dubious, though, as it seemed Kimmich was offside before crossing the ball.
The best match in the Bundesliga so far?
Lewandowski’s goal forced Dortmund to play on a more attacking stance and they came close to even things up (again) in the 58th minute when a cross from Sancho found Reus. The Germany international placed the ball past Neuer, but Kimmich (one of the best players in this game) saved the ball off the line. Lewandowski later added a third goal, but his strike was ruled out due to an offside position. Three minutes later, Sancho found Alcacer but the Spaniard couldn’t score from close range and the defence cleared the danger away, The intensity of the second half has been some of the best we have seen in the Bundesliga thus far!
Dortmund complete the comeback
Reus had another chance to score following a pass from Achraf Hakimi, but his effort went wide when the winger attemped to aim at the top corner. But the Dortmund star would have his revenge shortly after, when he blasted home a volley following a cross from the right wing. Reus’s ninth goal of the campaign made it 2-2 once again, and they would complete the comeback in the 73rd minute.
An excellent pass from Axel Witsel found Alcacer and the Spaniard, who missed an incredible chance earlier, chipped the ball on a one-on-one situation with Neure who got beaten for a third straight time. It was Alcacer’s eighth goal of the current season, once again showing he has been one of the best signings in the Bundesliga during the current term.
Bayern didn’t give up in the final minutes and kept pushing the lines forward. However, their lack of ideas hurt them badly. Niko Kovac sent Renato Sanches and Sandro Wagner onto the pitch, but neither player was able to make much of an impact. The hosts closed things out easier than expected, and the fans at Signal Iduna Park were ecstatic following the comeback win.
There were emotions right until the very end of the match, though. On stoppage time in the 95th minute, Lewandowski equalised the game with an impressive flick. However, the goal was disallowed due to an offside position.
With the win, Dortmund extended their lead at the top of the standings and now they sit in an even more comfortable position. Meanwhile, Bayern lost a game they had no business losing and there is no question the critics will go towards Niko Kovac. Will the manager leave the club during the international break? Right now, that seems like a realistic possibility. Especially given how good Dortmund have looked this season and the difference between both sides in the standings.
Dortmund: Hitz (6); Piszczek (5), Akanji (6), Zagadou (5), Hakimi (6); Witsel (7), Weigl (4) (Dahoud (5), 46′); Sancho (7), Reus (8), Bruun Larsen (5) (Delaney (-), 82′); Götze (4) (Alcacer (6), 59′)
Subs not used: Oelschlagel (GK), Toprak, Guerreiro, Pulisic
Bayern Munich: Neuer (5); Kimmich (7), Hummels (6) (Sule (5), 65′), Boateng (5), Alaba (6); Martinez (5), Goretzka (5), Müller (6) (Sandro Wagner (-), 82′); Ribery (6), Lewandowski (7), Gnabry (5) (Renato Sanches (-), 74′)
Subs not used: Ulreich (GK), Will, Rafinha, Rodriguez
Goals: Lewandowski (0-1, 26′), Reus (1-1, 49′, PK), Lewandowski (1-2, 53′), Reus (2-2, 67′), Alcacer (3-2, 74′)
Referee: Manuel Gräfe (GER)
Yellow cards: Weigl, Akanji, Hitz (DOR); Ribery, Sule (BAY)
Red cards: None
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