Borussia Dortmund lost 3-2 (2-1) against Bayern Munich in a high-quality top-of-the-table match on Bundesliga Matchday 14. The defeat was BVB's first at home this season.
Boris Rupert reporting
In a gripping and fast-paced duel, BVB grabbed an early lead through Julian Brandt in the fifth minute. Bayern then struck back with goals from Robert Lewandowski (9) and Kingsley Coman (44) Munich to lead 2-1 at the break. Borussia once again got off to a flying start in the second half, as Erling Haaland netted in the 48th minute to draw the sides level at 2-2, but with 15 minutes to go, Lewandowski put the visitors back in front with a very controversial penalty given for handball.
Second against first. The best home team met the second strongest away team. BVB had won six of their last seven league games, Bayern five of their last six.
BVB were without Hazard, Morey, Moukoko, Reyna and Schmelzer. Bellingham and Guerreiro returned to action and moved into the starting XI, which also featured Haaland. Schulz, Wolf and Malen moved down to the bench.
Marco Rose lined his team up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, as in Wolfsburg, but with Can and Dahoud forming a double pivot in central midfield. Bellingham moved over to the left wing. The visitors played in a very attacking 3-2-4-1 formation, with wingers Coman and Davies standing high up the pitch alongside the two "tens" Müller and Sané.
The match & analysis:
The Black & Yellows got off to a bold start in Dortmund's unrelenting rain. Bellingham tried his luck from distance in the first minute, then Reus played a long ball forward to Haaland, but the onrushing Neuer managed to get there first and clear the ball from just outside his area (3). Seconds later, BVB had a four-against-two advantage in attack, but Haaland was unable to make the most of it and was visibly annoyed at himself afterwards.
But it didn't take long for him to cheer up. After a quickly taken free-kick, Bellingham whipped in a cross from the left wing into the danger area. After a strong first touch, Brandt eluded Davies and struck a shot into the top right corner of the net (5).
The players on both sides didn't stop to catch their breath. Can played a square pass to Hummels, who had progressed high up the pitch into the Bayern half. He attempted to play a ball forward, but it was blocked by Müller near the centre circle. After the ensuing sprint between the two World Cup winners, it was Lewandowski who ended up with the ball. He controlled it about 20 metres in front of goal, took a few steps forward and then drilled an unstoppable shot into the net to make it 1-1 (9).
The two teams went back and forth. Munich's very offensive formation left gaps for Borussia to exploit. Once they broached the midfield, the Black & Yellows often had a numerical advantage against the three-man defence of the visitors. This was the case in the 29th minute after a free-kick by Meunier: Haaland slipped the ball to Reus in the centre circle before bombing forward. However, after getting the ball back from Reus, his effort on goal from 16 metres out on the left zipped just a few inches wide of the right-hand post. Down the other end, a last-ditch intervention from Hummels prevented Coman from making it 2-1 following a misplaced pass by Can in the penalty area. Four minutes later, Kobel did well to deny Coman. However, BVB were struck with bad luck shortly before the break. Lewandowski was unable to get on the end of a Davies cross, but Guerreiro's attempted clearance took a deflection off Hummels and landed at the feet of Coman, who slammed the ball into the roof of the net to make it 2-1 (44).
BVB were down at the break, but after the restart, they demonstrated that they were by no means the weaker team and were determined not to leave the pitch as losers. Meunier drove down the right flank before playing a cross into the area, which may have been palmed away by Upamecano, but any discussion became unnecessary a second later: Bellingham picked up the ball and played a pass to Haaland on the left of the Bayern area, who curled the ball into the far-corner to draw the sides level at 2-2 (48).
It was an end-to-end game. Hernandez brought Reus to the ground in the penalty area, but it went unpunished (53), Kobel then made a strong save against Coman (57) before Pavard made a block to deny Haaland. Borussia pressed for another goal, bringing on Malen for Dahoud and switching to a 4-4-2. However, they soon lost Brandt after a clash of heads with Upamecano. The BVB player had to be carried off the pitch 20 minutes before the end. In the 70th minute, Hernandez blocked a shot from the substitute Wolf and injured himself in the process.
After a corner had been blocked, referee Zwayer had a look at the replay and decided to give Bayern a penalty for handball. Although the ball touched Hummels' arm, he was clearly in no position to see the ball and thus deliberately make contact with it . Lewandowski converted to make it 3-2 (76), with Rose having to go to the stands after being shown a second yellow card.
There were ten minutes of injury time because of the two long treatment breaks. Malen attempted an overhead kick, but was unable to make clean contact with the ball (90+3). In the next attack, he couldn't get the better of Neuer (90+4), who also made a good save to deny Meunier (90+6).
BVB play Besiktas in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday (21:00 CET) and VfL Bochum in the Bundesliga next Saturday (15:30 CET).