Speed, skill, and goals, you can be sure that all these things will be on display when the Bundesliga’s league leaders, Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern München, face off against each other in ‘Der Klassiker’. In anticipation of this weekend’s tussle between two of the biggest clubs in the world, we review the most memorableKlassikers from years gone by.
The Bundesliga is known for its fast-paced action and a high number of goals and there was certainly no shortage of goals when FC Bayern traveled to Dortmund for Matchday 32 of the 1982-83 season. In this eight-goal shootout, the Bavarians quickly took the lead after just three minutes through Dieter Hoeneß before Marcelo Răducanuresponded for Dortmund just before half-time. With the sides level at the break, the visitors regained their lead through Udo Horsmann, only to be pegged back once more as Răducanulevelled again. Bayern took the lead for the third time after Klaus Augenthaler scored on the 70-minute mark, but two goals in two minutes put the hosts in the driving seat. However, another two minutes later Karl-Heinz Rummenigge responded and slotted home to level the score, leaving this instant classic to end in a draw with four goals apiece.
Another high scoring affair that will be fresh in the minds of fans young and old is the clash between the two sides which took place on Matchday 11 of the 2018/19 season. As they so frequently do, Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski looked very dangerous and orchestrated a 2-1 lead for the Bavarian visitors shortly after half time. Yet the Black and Yellows were not to be denied victory in front of their famous yellow Wall. Following on from scoring a penalty in the first half, Dortmund captain Marco Reus then scored again to make it 2-2. Less than 10 minutes later, the comeback was complete. After Jadon Sancho had dispossessed Franck Ribery in his own half, Axel Witsel then played a stunning ball over the top for substitute Paco Alcacer to chase down and slot past Manuel Neuer. Though Bayern later went on to win the title, it went down to the wire, with the Bavarians topping the table by just two points.
Askany Borussia Dortmund fan and they will most likely tell you that their best victory over the Bavarians was when they pummelledFC Bayern 5-2 in the 2011/12 DFB Cup final. A month earlier Dortmund had narrowly beaten Bayern 1-0 in a tense match, thus setting up their second Bundesliga title on the trot. Now in the DFB Cup final, they were intent on stamping their authority over their rivals. Shinji Kagawa gotDie Schwarzgelben off to a perfect start in the third minute with his goal. Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery did their best to keep their side in the contest with a goal each, but Dortmund was too strong, as Mats Hummels converted a penalty and Robert Lewandowski then piled on three goals to seal a league and cup double for Dortmund–the first in the club’s history.
Yet FC Bayern would get revenge just over a year later, and on the biggest stage of all, in the 2012/13UEFA Champions League final. That season, after two years of BlackandYellow dominance, coach Jupp Heynckes and the FC Bayern players regrouped and mounted one of the strongest seasons in football history as they won the Bundesliga title by 25 points. Not content with reclaiming the title, Arjen Robben’s late winner secured a 2-1 win in the first-ever all-German Champions League victory, before Bayern completed a historic first treble a week later as they added the 2013 DFB Pokal to the trophy cabinet.
Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern are two giants of German and European football who have constantly pushed each other forward in the pursuit of success. ‘Der Klassiker’ is always a hotly contested match-up, which is not just a demonstration of exquisite skill but also fierce passion, displaying the very best of the Bundesliga. As both clubs’modern heroes take to the pitch this week, they will be very aware of the importance of this fixture, not simply in a historical context, but its impact on the race for the title. In this most unusual of years, it is more important than ever that they rise to the occasion and give their supporters something to cheer for. All eyes will be on FC Bayern and Dortmund to see who stakes their claim to be the top German club of the 2020/21 season.
The very best of ‘Der Klassiker’
- Borussia Dortmund 4-4 FC Bayern München –MD 32, 1982/83Borussia
- Dortmund 3-2 FC Bayern München–MD11, 2018/19Borussia Dortmund
- 5-2 FC Bayern München–DFB Cup Final, 2011/12FC Bayern München2-1
- Borussia Dortmund –UEFA Champions League Final, 2012/13