The Perfect Ten Part 2: Borussia Dortmund 5-2 Bayern Munich (May 12, 2012)

Welcome to the second edition of the Perfect Ten, where we’ll today look back at Dortmund’s 5-2 victory over Bayern Munich in the DFB Pokal Final in May 2012.

The 2011-12 season was one of the best ever seasons in Dortmund’s recent history. It was the peak of Klopp’s reign, and the German Cup Final victory was an epitome of the successful era under the charismatic coach. Their 4-0 victory over Freiburg just a week prior to the Final had confirmed their status as the League Champions. And Jupp Heynckes’ men had one eye on the Champions League Final clash against Chelsea just seven days after this clash against Dortmund.

The match, played at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, was highly anticipated as a box office clash, and it did not disappoint. The contest began with a bang as Dortmund took the lead in the very beginning. Blaszczykowski stole the ball off Gustavo’s poor back pass and then squared the ball for Kagawa who slotted it into the empty net. With 25 minutes on the clock, Mario Gomez was brought down in the box by Weidenfeller, and Robben converted the resulting penalty to level the scores at 1-1. Mats Hummels then made a superb goal-line clearance to deny Philipp Lahm, and made himself a hero just before the break as he beat Neuer from the spot after Boateng fouled Blasczyzkowski in the box, the second spot-kick of the half. They then doubled their lead in stoppage time of the first half, as Kagawa made a fantastic reverse pass to Lewandowski, who put the ball into the net through the approaching Neuer’s legs.

The second half wasn’t any less entertaining, as Klopp’s men scored their fourth of the night. Grosskreutz played a perfect pass to an unmarked Lewandowski at the back post who slammed an emphatic shot past Neuer. Bayern later managed to cut the deficit to two goals as they got one back through Ribery’s superb individual effort. However, it just wasn’t Bayern’s day as Dortmund then scored the final goal of the night to end the contest 5-2. Robert Lewandowski completed his hat-trick as he headed Piszczek’s cross into the net, following a spilt ball by Neuer.

The victory marked the yellow club’s fifth consecutive win over their arch rivals, as they bagged their first ever DFB Pokal trophy in 23 years, completing their first ever League and Cup double. Before the match, Bayern still had two chances to salvage their season with a trophy. But fast forward to seven days later and they endured a rare, frustrating trophy-less season. Bayern, however, did manage to avenge this defeat 12 months later in the Champions League Final, after Dortmund had put to shame their arch-rivals with an embarrassing defeat. What was ironical is that the two heroes of the night, Lewandowski and Hummels, later left Dortmund for Bayern in search of more titles, as this victory somehow marked the point after which Dortmund began a downward spiral as trophies have been hard to come by in recent seasons, and both teams have tasted contrasting levels of success since that night in Berlin.

But more of that in the upcoming editions of the Perfect Ten. Stay tuned for the third part same day next week.