The biggest fixture in the Bundesliga calendar takes place this weekend, with reigning champions Bayern Munich heading to Signal Iduna Park to take on Borussia Dortmund. RB Leipzig is also in contention, but one of these two teams is expected to win the title this term.
As for this weekend, DraftKings Sportsbook list Bayern as the -143 favorites, with Dortmund offered at +330. Ahead of what should be an entertaining encounter in North Rhine-Westphalia, we have taken a look back at six classic meetings between Bayern and Dortmund in the last 20 years.
Jurgen Klopp won his first Bundesliga title as Dortmund manager in 2010/11, as his side finished seven points clear of second-placed Bayer Leverkusen, with Bayern a further three points back in third.
The Bavarian outfit was determined to get back on top the following year, with Jupp Heynckes returning as manager after Louis van Gaal’s exit. BVB were three points clear of Bayern heading into the second Klassiker of the campaign in April; it was not quite winner-takes-all but the victors were expected to go on and win the league.
It was Dortmund who came out on top, Robert Lewandowski scoring the game’s only goal (against his future employers, no less) in the 77th minute. Klopp’s side went on to win each of their four remaining games to finish eight points clear of Bayern and lift the Bundesliga trophy.
Bayern and Dortmund contested the first-ever all-German Champions League final in 2013. Bayern made it through to the Wembley showpiece by beating Arsenal, Juventus, and Barcelona in the knockout phase, with the latter thrashed 7-0 over two legs.
Dortmund, meanwhile, overcame Shakhtar Donetsk, Malaga, and Real Madrid to reach the final of Europe’s biggest club competition for only the second time in their history. It was they who made the stronger start at Wembley, pinning Bayern back in the opening 30 minutes and forcing multiple saves from Manuel Neuer.
Jupp Heynckes’ players stood firm, though, and Bayern got to half-time without conceding. They also fashioned opportunities of their own, and it was the Bavarians who took the lead through Mario Mandzukic on the hour mark.
Ilkay Gundogan leveled things up from the penalty spot soon after, before Arjen Robben raced through to break Dortmund hearts with the winning goal in the 89th minute.
Dortmund may be part of the big two in Germany these days, but that was not always the case. In the mid-2000s they suffered a blip after running into financial trouble, finishing seventh in 2004/05 and 2005/06. That was followed by a ninth-place finish in 2006/07 before they dropped as low as 13th – just 11 points off bottom spot – the subsequent season.
Dortmund did at least salvage some pride by reaching the DFB-Pokal final that campaign. Bayern were Bundesliga champions and targeting a domestic double, and Luka Toni scored one of his 39 goals in an extraordinary season to give Ottmar Hitzfeld’s men an early lead at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.
It looked as if Toni’s 11th-minute effort would be enough for Bayern, but Mladen Petric struck in second-half stoppage time to force an additional 30 minutes. Dortmund would probably have been happy with a penalty shoot-out, but Toni was again on the scoresheet in the 103rd minute to give Bayern victory.
Jurgen Klopp’s final season at Dortmund did not go to plan. His team ultimately finished seventh, but the first half of the campaign was a nightmare. After 19 matches, Dortmund was bottom of the table and relegation was no longer being seen as an impossibility.
Their worst run of form that year came in the autumn, beginning with a 1-0 reverse to Mainz at Signal Iduna Park. Going into the first Klassiker of 2014/15, Dortmund had taken just one point from the last 18 on offer, while Bayern was still unbeaten and sitting pretty at the summit of the standings.
The match did not initially follow the form book, with Marco Reus giving BVB an unlikely lead after half an hour. Pep Guardiola’s side dominated possession throughout, but Dortmund carried a threat on the counter-attack and defended manfully.
Bayern was superb in the second half, though, and their unrelenting pressure eventually yielded the two goals they needed. Robert Lewandowski grabbed the first against his former club, before an Arjen Robben penalty settled proceedings in Bayern’s favor.
Bayern Munich reached the Champions League final in 2010, but Dortmund overtook them in the next couple of years. Jurgen Klopp’s charges were the kings of Germany in 2011 and 2012, winning the Bundesliga title on both occasions, but that team’s signature performance arguably came in the DFB-Pokal final.
Dortmund was magnificent in the 2012 showpiece, blowing Bayern away with their high-energy, high-tempo, ‘heavy metal’ soccer. Goals from Shinji Kagawa, Mats Hummels, and Robert Lewandowski gave them a 3-1 lead at the break, with Lewandowski going on to complete his hat-trick in the second half as BVB ran out 5-2 winners.
Victory in Berlin gave Dortmund their first-ever Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double, making this a historic win for the club.
A five-goal thriller in the Bundesliga in the 2018/19 campaign ended in victory for Dortmund. Bayern had endured a shaky start to the season having already lost twice before this encounter on matchday 10, while BVB were unbeaten and top of the table.
Robert Lewandowski gave Niko Kovac’s side the lead in the first half, but Dortmund wiped out the deficit with a Marco Reus penalty in the 49th minute. However, Lewandowski was on hand to edge the visitors back ahead soon after, before Reus grabbed his and Dortmund’s second to level the scores once more.
While both teams had chances for a winner, it was Dortmund’s Paco Alcacer who got it in the 73rd minute. But despite a terrific victory that pushed Bayern down to fifth, Dortmund finished as runners-up to their rivals that season.
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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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