Germany’s top soccer rivalry, Der Klassiker, went to Bayern Munich for the sixth time in a row in Bundesliga play following a 3-2 win at Dortmund on Saturday, though not without controversy. Former Dortmund star striker Robert Lewandowski made his former team pay once again, scoring in each half, including late penalty kick converted in the 77th minute. The visitors were the stronger team throughout, surpassing Dortmund in shots, shots on target, possession and pass accuracy.
Dortmund, however, did take the lead through Julian Brandt five minutes in and probably should have received a penalty in the first half, also feeling that Bayern’s penalty was unfair in the second half. But Bayern rallied with goals from Lewandowski and Kingsley Coman in the first half before Erling Haaland’s sensational equalizer in the second half. With Gio Reyna still out due to injury, Dortmund could not respond after going down 3-2 as manager Marco Rose received a second yellow card.
Here’s a look at the winning penalty, which was nearly saved.
The win gives Bayern a four-point lead over Dortmund atop the Bundesliga table. Both teams return to action midweek in the UEFA Champions League, which you can see live on Paramount+. Dortmund play Besiktas on Tuesday, while Bayern face Barcelona on Wednesday.
Here’s what to know:
Dortmund sounds off at ref
The hosts wanted a penalty in the first half for a clear handball on Alphonso Davies in the box. They also felt that Bayern’s penalty in the second half was harsh. How tense did things get? After the match, Dortmund’s prized 18-year-old Jude Bellingham called out the German referee Felix Zwayer, who was the head official of the match: “You give a referee that has match fixed before the biggest game in Germany, what do you expect?”
That’s in reference to 2005, when Zwayer was involved in a match-fixing scandal in the second division, assisting disgraced referee Robert Hoyzer, who took bribes for matches. Erling Haaland called him “arrogant,” and this feels far from over.
In truth, it felt like both were penalties, but questioning the official feels like it won’t help the situation at all.
Bayern attack revived
It’s not like scoring two goals is bad or anything, but this Bayern side regularly expects to score three or more. Entering Saturday’s match, Bayern hadn’t scored three goals since Nov. 2 and were coming off that strange 1-0 win over Arminia last weekend. But their form returned here with a fairly convincing display, registering an xG of 2.27. While their 10 chances was the second lowest since mid September, they put away 30 percent of them despite not being at their sharpest. But even a decent Bayern is better than most.
The pressure they applied in attack, constantly, led to some quality, quick chances, they took their best opportunities, winning the match on a deserved penalty kick after Mats Hummels handball in the box.
Dooming Dortmund errors
I’m not saying that the hosts gifted Bayern three goals, but they surely didn’t do nearly enough to stop them. First came the poor positioning of the backline on Lewandowski’s equalizer, then came this absolutely atrocious clearance that fell right to Coman:
Add Hummels silly handball in the box, seemingly not aware of his positioning, and you have Dortmund essentially assisting on all three goals. You are never going to be arguably the world’s top team like that.
Haaland continues to amaze
Make that 51 goals in 51 Bundesliga games for the Norwegian superstar. Scoring in his seventh straight Bundesliga game, Haaland only had one shot on goal, but what an effort it was. This effort early in the second half just showed how little time and space he needs to produce something that can only be described as world class:
That’s a heckuva goal, curling it with pace and precision past a defender and the goalkeeper. That could have been the one to turn the match as Dortmund had all of the momentum after that, but that all changed when the penalty kick was awarded, spoiling what could have been a monumental victory.