The Perfect Ten Part 7: Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich (Feb 26, 2011)
The last time, in the 2011-12 season, Borussia Dortmund sensationally outbid bitter rivals Bayern Munich in their quest to be crowned as league champions. That season involved a league double over the Bavarians, which this season was particularly remembered for. But only few remember that this, indeed, was done for the second time in two years. In fact, Dortmund had completed a league double in the previous season as well, and today we’ll look back at the second of those two incredible victories.
The stage was set: two old rivals locking horns for the league title yet again. With hosts Munich playing not just to cut the gap at the top of the pile, but also to avenge a 2-0 away defeat earlier in the season. And they had the home advantage as well, as Dortmund hadn’t recorded a win in that stadium for 20 years. But what happened that night in Munich saw the favourites torn to shreds by Klopp’s men.
Lucas Barrios opened the scoring for the visitors as the home support was shell-shocked. Kevin Grosskreutz dispossessed Bastian Schweinsteiger and made a fine pass to Barrios who calmly slotted the ball past Thomas Kraft from 12 yards out. Bayern reacted well to the goal and got one back almost immediately. Franck Ribery’s curled corner reached Luiz Gustavo who volleyed the ball into the top corner. The former Hoffenheim man’s terrific strike made the score 1-1. However, the score didn’t remain the same for too long as Klopp’s men took the lead merely two minutes later. Barrios found Mario Gotze on the edge of the box, and the then 18-year-old wonder kid held the ball up well before finding Nuri Sahin who smashed a sumptuous curler into the far corner from 25 yards out. Bayern had thought that they’d got another equaliser, but Mario Gomez’s strike was controversially labelled offside and thus disallowed.
The second half was again high-intensity, and the contest was far from over as Dortmund scored their third of the night. Mario Gotze’s beautiful cross was met by Hummels, who leapt highest to leave Kraft completely helpless to stop the bullet header. The former Bayern man’s goal was the final nail in the coffin for Louis van Gaal’s men, who were now certain to face defeat on their home ground for the first time in two decades against Dortmund. They came close twice, but were well denied by the visiting side’s keeper Mitchell Langerak. Dortmund, on the other hand, were agonisingly close to scoring a fourth goal but Pranjic superbly cleared Lewandowski’s shot off the line.
The final whistle confirmed a big win for the away side, who had now widened the gap to 16 points against the fourth-placed Bayern, whose hopes of resuscitating their title challenge had been shattered.
Even though it turned out to be a poor season for Dortmund in other competitions, they went on to win the league title after 9 seasons, which turned their season into a successful one. And on the other hand, their arch-rivals had a poor domestic campaign by their standards, as they were pipped to the second place by Bayer Leverkusen and could only muster qualifying for the UCL Qualifying Round. This victory not just earned Dortmund the bragging rights but also shut down a high flying Bayern team who fired the head coach Louis van Gaal in April following a dismal campaign.