Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski both find their respective targets as Bayern Munich come out as narrow victors in Der Klassiker.
Bayern Munich secure their seventh consecutive win over Borussia Dortmund, but arguably in the most controversial manner as the game involved a massive scandal, centering around referee Felix Zwayer.
For any neutral, though, it was a treat to watch as the two sides, brimming with attacking talent offered non-stop entertainment throughout the ninety minutes. It was Borussia Dortmund who got things underway right from the fifth minute as Julian Brandt beat Alphonso Davies and Manuel Neuer to score the opener.
However, Dortmund were perhaps a bit surprised by their early goal and looked very careless in defence. It didn’t take long for Mats Hummels to make an individual error that allowed Bayern Munich to secure the equaliser in the ninth minute. The former Bayern defender was involved in all three of the opposition’s goals, but it was the third one that caused a myriad of controversy.
With the game being poised at 2-2, referee Zwayer made the controversial decision of awarding a penalty to Bayern around the 75th minute despite no conclusive evidence of any intentional handball. To make things worse, the referee had earlier denied Dortmund a clear penalty when Lucas Hernandez fouled Marco Reus inside the box.
It was followed up by several poor decisions throughout the second half, leading to a major controversy. In fact, after the game, at least four of the Dortmund figures, including Erling Haaland, Jude Bellingham and coach Marco Rose openly criticized the referee while calling out the DFL. Bellingham even brought up the ref’s past history of match-fixing while Haaland termed his performance a “scandal” before calling him arrogant.
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Gregor Kobel: 7/10
Gregor Kobel couldn’t have done too much to save any of the three goals scored by Bayern. He did make two or three outstanding stops during the course of the game to keep his team in the contest, though.
Thomas Meunier: 6.5/10
Thomas Meunier’s duel with Alphonso Davies was an exhilarating one. It is perhaps fair to suggest that the right-back held his own against the Canadian while also doing a decent job in the build-up.
Manuel Akanji: 6.5/10
Returning from a knock, Manuel Akanji fared well at the heart of the Dortmund backline. He was certainly not the problem for the hosts, as the Swiss international kept Robert Lewandowski quiet whenever he could.
Mats Hummels: 4/10
Mats Hummels was the weak link in the BVB backline. Due to his lack of pace, he was targeted by the Bayern players on the counter. More importantly, the defender was culpable for two of the three goals conceded, which is simply not good for a player of his calibre.
Raphael Guerreiro: 5/10
Raphael Guerreiro didn’t have a great game defensively. He was culpable for the crucial second goal for Bayern. However, the Portuguese international was very useful when playing the ball out from the back.
Emre Can: 6.5/10
Emre Can made a horrendous error in the first half that may have led to a goal. But apart from that, the midfielder was solid, offering a lot of resistance while remaining solid in the build-up.
Mahmoud Dahoud: 7/10
Mahmoud Dahoud was the X-factor in the Dortmund midfield that performed rather well against the opposition. His ability to read the game allowed him to create multiple turnovers in the middle of the park. He used the turnovers to launch several counter-attacks for his team.
Julian Brandt: 8/10
Julian Brandt was arguably the best performer for Dortmund in this game. He scored the vital opener using his exquisite footwork while offering a lot of creativity in the final third. Unfortunately, his game was cut short due to a nasty head injury in the second half.
Jude Bellingham: 7.5/10
Jude Bellingham registered assists for both of Dortmund’s goals on the evening. His off-the-ball movement and work ethic were also quite impressive, as the Englishman kept on the pressure until the last minute.
Marco Reus: 7/10
Marco Reus was the creative spark in the BVB attack and was very unfortunate to be denied a clear penalty by Zwayer. Apart from his work in the final third, the captain had a key part to play in the press, as he often pressured the Bayern ball-carriers, even in midfield.
Erling Haaland: 7.5/10
Despite not being fully fit, Erling Haaland proved himself to be a scourge against the Bayern defence. His runs behind the backline provided a lot of trouble for the defensive duo of Lucas Hernandez and Dayot Upamecano. The Norwegian capped off his performance with a second-half equaliser that left Manuel Neuer stranded.
Donyell Malen: 6/10
Donyell Malen didn’t offer anything to the table after coming for Dahoud around the hour mark. It was a questionable decision that proved to be a mistake from Marco Rose.
Marius Wolf: 6/10
Marius Wolf also struggled to influence the game after replacing the injured Brandt during the final phase of the proceedings.
Steffen Tigges: N/A
A late replacement for Haaland. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Nico Schulz: N/A
A late replacement for Guerreiro. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Manuel Neuer: 6/10
Neuer didn’t have to make any notable saves on the evening. He was quite convincingly beaten by Brandt and Haaland for the two Dortmund goals, although the goalkeeper had to remain alert, especially from long balls over the top.
Benjamin Pavard: 6.5/10
Benjamin Pavard certainly wasn’t the performer for Bayern in their defensive line this evening. However, the Frenchman had occasional issues dealing with the threat of Guerreiro and Bellingham.
Dayot Upamecano: 5/10
Upamecano didn’t have a great game at all, as he kept making defensive errors and lacked the confidence in dealing with Haaland. He looked much more confident as the game progressed, though.
Lucas Hernandez: 6.5/10
Hernandez was much more solid than Upamecano, both on and off the pitch. Unfortunately, he picked up an injury while trying to block Wolf’s effort late in the game.
Alphonso Davies: 7.5/10
Alphonso Davies caused problems for the BVB backline with his marauding runs forward. However, the trademark byline crosses were missing as he was dealt rather well by Meunier, although the left-back remains a cheat-code in defence due to his pace and ability to cover ground quickly.
Leon Goretzka: 6/10
Leon Goretzka played the game with a knock, and it was evident in his performances. He struggled to impose his presence in the game, eventually being subbed off around the hour mark.
Corentin Tolisso: 6.5/10
Corentin Tolisso wasn’t among the best players on the pitch. He had struggles in getting the better of the BVB midfielders. But he worked hard throughout the ninety minutes, which proved to be enough in the end.
Kingsley Coman: 7/10
Kingsley Coman was always a threat down the right hand side. He expertly used his pace and trickery to create chances and make life difficult for Guerreiro.
Thomas Muller: 7/10
Thomas Muller wasn’t directly involved in anything much in this game except the vital equaliser, in which he assisted Lewandowski. But the German showcased his marvellous game sense to get into clever positions and help Bayern dismantle the BVB backline.
Leroy Sane: 6/10
Leroy Sane wasn’t as influential this evening, as he found it difficult to constantly trouble Meunier and Akanji on the right-hand side of the Dortmund defence. It saw him getting subbed around the hour mark.
Robert Lewandowski: 8/10
Robert Lewandowski wasn’t overly involved in the proceedings. But just like a world-class forward, he was at the right place at the right time, scoring the crucial equaliser before keeping his composure to convert the late penalty.
Serge Gnabry: 6.5/10
Serge Gnabry had an impact on the proceedings due to his energy and pace in the final third. It tested the tired Dortmund backline late in the game.
Jamal Musiala: 6.5/10
It will be unfair to call Jamal Musiala a game-changer. But his influence in the middle certainly made things difficult for the opposition.
Niklas Sule: 6/10
Niklas Sule offered additional defensive solidity in the final phase of the game after coming on for the injured Hernandez.
Tanguy Nianzou: N/A
A late replacement for Coman. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.