Dortmund beat Bayern in 'Klassiker' worth the name

Deutsche Welle
21 Min Read

Borussia Dortmund have turned the tables on Bayern Munich to win a thrilling encounter at the top of the Bundesliga. BVB stretch their lead over the Bavarians to seven points in the process.Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Bayern Munich
(Reus 49', 67', Alcacer 73' – Lewandowski 26', 52')

In one of the most thrilling games in recent Bundesliga history, let alone in the history of this fixture, Borussia Dortmund beat Bayern to open up a seven-point gap at the top of the Bundesliga.

Bayern came flying out of the blocks, but it was Dortmund who had the best chance to begin with when Marco Reus nicked the ball off Mats Hummels only to see his low effort comfortably saved by Manuel Neuer.

Dortmund remained dangerous on the break, but Bayern still looked strong. Franck Ribery was found wide open at the back post by a Joshua Kimmich cross, but miscued and then the pair combined again, exchanging audacious passes before Kimmich slipped Serge Gnabry in wide right and Robert Lewandowski headed in superbly.

Bayern held that lead until the break before the game erupted in the second half. Reus burst into the box and got to the ball before Manuel Neuer, who dragged his foot and was caught by the keeper. The BVB captain sent the keeper the wrong way to level the scores. Only three minutes later, Kimmich beat Hitz to the ball and under pressure sent a delicious chip for Lewandowski to head into the empty net.

The bombastic game continued. Reus thought he had a second when he was unmarked in front of goal — but Kimmich somehow blocked the ball off the line. Just minutes later, Paco Alcacer came off the bench and looked sure to score after Jadon Sancho left Hummels in his dust, but the Spaniard took a touch and the ball was blocked. Then Reus fired wide after another Bayern error and it looked like Dortmund were never going to take a chance again.

But soon after that, Lukasz Piszczek swung in a cross from the right and Reus fired a half-volley into the far corner, taking the hardest of his three chances from open play. "It was either going into the Südtribüne or the back of the net," he said afterwards.

With the scores level again, Bayern pushed to restore their lead but Dortmund stole the ball back and transitioned forward swiftly and superbly. Axel Witsel sent Alcacer through and this time the Spaniard held his nerve to dink the ball over Neuer and send the home fans into delirium.

In the final minute of added time, Lewandowski scored an incredible back-heel to seemingly complete the dramatic game — but for the second time that half, the Pole had a goal disallowed for offside.

And then, somehow, it was over and Dortmund had won the day and left many believing they might just win it all.

—- Post-match quotes —-

More Niko Kovac: "We were trying to attack down the flanks, that was working really well, particularly in the first half." He praises Ribery and Kimmich's efforts to that end.

Bayern coach Niko Kovac is next on the Sky mic: "We really saw an excellent match between two top teams tonight. First half we had the game in our hands, the second belonged to Dortmund."

Reus, asked what a seven-point lead means for the Bundesliga: "I'm saying nothing at all there!" Ever the pro, he does go on to say something: "Seven points are seven points, but Bayern are very strong."

More Reus, asked about the second goal: "I just went for it, full power. It was clear to me: either it ends up in the Südtribüne, or in the back of the net. I'm happy with where it ended up."

One of the men of the moment now, Marco Reus: "In the second half, all of a sudden, we started playing football … It really was an awesome game, I've gotta say it. It was incredible to a part of it."

Mats Hummels, again on Sky. He tells them that he was under the weather with a cold and that that was the reason for his early substitution after some big errors. "I'm annoyed with myself that I didn't go to the coaches, by half time at the latest, to say that it wasn't working."

Neuer, asked about the penalty: "I withdraw my hands completely … The ball's rolling out of play. I'm pulling out of the challenge and he kicks me in the stomach." Though Neuer did also acknowledge that "you can give those," he didn't sound convinced that the ref *should*.

Manuel Neuer, talking to Sky: "We had problems when Dortmund attacked on the counter and could play in behind our back line. It's hard to deal with them in those situations."

First post-game interviews getting going now.

—- As it happened —-

90+6' IT'S ALL OVER! Dortmund win a "Klassiker" worthy of the name!

90+5' Scenes! Lewandowski scores with a deft back-heel, it's disallowed for offside again. The move started with Franck Ribery, as the last man with Neuer out of his goal, dribbling the ball back into the Dortmund half.

90+4' Handbags in the Dortmund box. Hitz and Wagner squabble over possession of a dead ball. Corner Bayern. Neuer's coming up. Hitz booked for holding up play.

90+2' Hugely dangerous in-swinging cross from Renato Sanches. Three Bayern players try to reach it, with Ribery coming closest, but none of them can make contact. "Inviting" barely begins to describe that ball.

90' Axel Witsel pulls the trigger from range but launches it high into the stands. Also, to the home fans' dismay, there will be five additional minutes.

82' Several subs in the latter stages. Thomas Delaney's on for Dortmund, replacing Bruun Larsen. Bayern bring on Sandro Wagner for Müller.

78' Bayern remind Dortmund they're still in this one, finding Thomas Müller with a free kick. It's deflected wide.

74' Not the Bierdusche Ulli Hoeness had in mind! The Bayern boss appeals for offside as Alcacer breaks clear, and gets a half liter of the wrong type of beer in the back of his neck for his troubles. (We're assuming there's a ban on Bavarian brews in Dortmund tonight!)

73' GOAL! Paco Alcacer, Dortmund lead for the first time! Brutal counter attack, starting with Sancho and finishing Alcacer all alone against Neuer. He takes his time, waits for Neuer to commit, and chips it up and over the Bayern keeper.

67' GOAL! Reus ties it up in a neat little bow again! Having missed the easy ones, Reus nets with a lovely first-time half-volley on his right. Fine pass from Dahoud to make the space, with Piszczek delivering the cross for his captain and fellow veteran in Dortmund's young squad.

65' Another massiver opportunity spurned by BVB! Hakimi wins the ball high up the pitch and feeds Reus, who skies his shot under some pressure.

62' Hummels' error allows Jadon Sancho to break free down the right and round Neuer. Sancho puts the ball on a plate for substitute Paco Alcacer, but the Spaniard takes a touch before pulling the trigger, allowing a defender to block his shot. Sancho's reaction — leaping up and down and punching the air — says it all; he thought that was 2-2.

61' Disallowed goal! Lewandowski finds the net for a third time, but it's rightly called back for offside.

59' Marco Reus misses from point-blank range. Joshua Kimmich throws himself between the ball and a certain goal. The right back has an assist, played the starring role in the build-up to the other goal, and has now denied Dortmund and Reus an equalizer. Not a bad night at the office.

57' There's only so many goal-related Lewandowski stats one can stomach nowadays. But still, try this one on for size: this is the 49th game of the Pole's career in which he's scored two or more goals.

52' GOAL! It's Lewandowski again. He deflates the Westfalenstadion once more. A slightly messy Bayern build-up, ending with incredible presence of mind from Joshua Kimmich to chip the ball up for Lewandowski to head home.

52' Dortmund piling on the pressure now, smelling blood. But they've not been able to turn a series of dangerous moves into a shot.

49' Neuer is furious, thinking that he tried to pull his hands out of the challenge and avoid the foul. That said, his on-rushing body still makes major contact with Reus as he tries to round the Bayern keeper. Not the most clear-cut call ever, but it looked a penalty to us.

49' GOAL! Reus steps up and nails his own penalty.

48' Penalty Dortmund! Neuer brings down Marco Reus in the box.

46' Second half restarts. Dahoud replaces Julian Weigl in the Dortmund midfield.

Germany coach Joachim Löw is in the crowd tonight. No surprise really, half his squad's in action! Löw pointed out how Dortmund seemed set up to pounce on the counterattack, and noted how they'd picked the lock on several occasions on the break, only to fail to find the final pass.

HT analysis: No anticlimaxes here, this one's living up to the hype. Bayern set the tone with a furious start to the game, soon rocking Dortmund out of their reverie. Marco Reus will surely rue his missed opportunity early on after picking Mats Hummels' pocket. That was arguably the best chance of the game, even though Lewandowski's barely-marked diving header in the six-yard box was bread and butter for the merciless marksman. Much of Bayern's best stuff has been going through Joshua Kimmich on the right and Franck Ribery on the left. For Dortmund, Reus and Sancho have looked lively going forward.

Worryingly for the hosts, Reus' shot was their only one of the night so far, despite several promising moves, especially on the counterattack. Favre's crew will need to work on pass selection in the final third after the break.


45+1' A period of comparative calm to close out the first half. Both sides lacking quality in the final third, but the tempo's still through the roof.

39' Reus opted to loft the set piece into the box in the end instead. Nothing came of it.

39' Free kick Dortmund in shooting range, foul on Götze by Hummels.

36' Is Robert Lewandowski the most painful free transfer in Borussia Dortmund history? He's scored seven for Bayern in their last four league meetings with his former employers.

33' Ribery again! Hitz saves well low to his right. Bayern's veteran Frenchman is finding space on a regular basis out on Lukasz Piszczek's defensive turf.

30' That goal's knocked few decibels off the crowd noise. No doubt Dortmund's ever-vocal faithful will find the right notes again shortly.

26' GOAL! Dortmund 0-1 Bayern. Lewandowski against his old club.

Serge Gnabry put the ball on a plate for Lewandowski with a cross from the right. Joshua Kimmich highly involved in the buildup, spraying a crossfield ball to Ribery, getting it back, and then spotting Gnabry in position to deliver the decisive delivery for Lewandowski.

24' Ribery goes close again, wriggling into the area and lashing off a left-footed shot. Wasn't a clean strike though, and didn't test stand-in goalie Marwin Hitz.

21' Here's an image of the moment when Reus went for placement, rather than power. Still the chance of the game so far, though Ribery's wasn't half bad at the other end.

18' Can anyone cross quite like Kimmich, by the way? That delivery was on his weaker left, not that it showed.

17' Ribery all alone at the back post from a pinpoint Joshua Kimmich cross. He doesn't make clean contact and looks to the heavens, knowing he could have done better.

13' If you told Jadon Sancho two years ago that he'd be turning Mats Hummels inside out as a Dortmund starter, would he have believed you? Incredible progression for the young Englishman.

10' Marco Reus, one-on-one with Manuel Neuer… Denied! He tried to side-foot it to the corner but couldn't put it past the Bayern keeper. Chance came out of nothing as Reus pinched the ball near the halfway line and made a break for it.

7' Dortmund have had a couple of promising counterattacks, responding to the early Bayern onslaught. But they're yet to find the right combination of passes, even when outnumbering the defense.

3' Really high energy start from Bayern, who are pressing high and trying to catch Dortmund out early in their own half. So far, it's working.

2' First bright moment of the game from Leon Goretzka, completing a tasty one-two with Robert Lewandowski. Dortmund recovered to clear for a corner before the Pole could shoot, though.


— As the players line up, the cameras pan to probably two of the least popular guests in the stadium tonight: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness have both ventured into enemy territory for this one.

— Youth is surely on Dortmund's side this evening. On average the BVB starters are four years younger than their visitors.

— Huge cheers in the Westfalenstadion and/or Signal Iduna Park as the Dortmund lineup is read aloud by the stadium announcer. Players in the tunnel, ready to step into the cauldron.

— Here's a quick form check for the respective sides' last 10 games (in all competitions).

Dortmund: W,W,W,W,W,W,D,W,W,L

Bayern: D,L,D,L,W,W,W,W,D,W

That said, Dortmund's midweek trip to Atletico Madrid — their first defeat of the season — was a somewhat sobering affair and should have offered some insight for Bayern coach Niko Kovac.

Opinion: Atletico showed Niko Kovac how to dismantle Dortmund

— Need more reasons to tune in 15 minutes from now? We can't imagine why you would. But nevertheless, here's five:

Five reasons to watch Der Klassiker

— BVB coach Lucien Favre on Sky before the game: "Of course against such a team we really must deliver a very good performance. We must be smart, we must attack smart." Asked what that means, Favre replies: "We can't allow any unnecessary counterattacks."

— The Football Leaks revelations in Der Spiegel are also on Dortmund fans' minds as Bayern Munich come to town. A fan banner on the Südtribüne, the main home fans' hangout, reads: "Borussia Dortmund must not be part of an elite league that is closed off. NO to the Super League!"

— Marco Reus, a player plagued by injuries down the years whose best appeared behind him a few months ago, has enjoyed a real renaissance under Lucien Favre. Perhaps that's no surprise, it was under Favre at Borussia Mönchengladbach that Reus' star meteorically rose, leading to his move to Dortmund. The old boy in a very young attack could be key this evening, as shown in the video below. (Content not available in all countries, our apologies if you can't watch.)

— Want some (hopefully) informed insight into how this one might pan out? We've stuck our collective necks out and offered some predictions:

Der Klassiker: DW's predictions for Dortmund vs. Bayern

— Bayern Munich have opted for an attacking midfield and for experience at the back. Both Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng start in central defense, with Niklas Süle on the bench. Also controversially riding the pine is James Rodriguez. Serge Gnabry, Thomas Müller and Franck Ribery get the attacking midfield berths, with Leon Goretzka and Javi Martinez likely to play slightly more withdrawn roles. No surprise who's leading the line: Polish poacher extraordinaire and former Dortmund ace Robert Lewandowski, who hit a brace midweek in the Champions League.

— Let's start with a look at the lineups for both sides. Dortmund have dropped Paco Alcacer and will play Mario Götze against his old club. BVB are also missing first-choice keeper Roman Bürki. His Austrian compatriot Marwin Hitz will deputize between the sticks in the biggest game of Dortmund's season so far.

— Hello and welcome to the big game of the weekend in Germany, if not Europe. Borussia Dortmund look to stretch their lead over Bayern Munich to seven points. Meanwhile, the reigning champs seek to silence their critics and burst BVB's autumn bubble. Over the next few hours, the next chapter of the 2018/19 Bundesliga season will be written. Follow along with us!

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