Bayer Leverkusen vs. Borussia Dortmund: the top 5 previous meetings
The last 12 meetings have yielded an incredible haul of 58 goals, with constant drama, late winners, and some of the world's best footballers on show; Bayer Leverkusen versus Borussia Dortmund has all the hallmarks of a modern Bundesliga classic.
Ahead of the Matchday 18 showdown at the BayArena, bundesliga.com takes a trip down memory lane to relive some of the most exciting Bundesliga encounters between two of Germany's heaviest hitters...
24 February 2002: Leverkusen 4-0 Dortmund
Leverkusen and Dortmund were respectively second and first in the Bundesliga when they met on Matchday 24 of the 2001/02 season, but the top-of-the-table tussle soon turned into a very one-sided affair. Inspired by their midfield trio of Michael Ballack, Ze Roberto and Carsten Ramelow, Die Werkself romped to a 4-0 win, with Ballack, Ramelow, Oliver Neuville and a young Dimitar Berbatov getting on the scoresheet. After a fiery exchange between Leverkusen striker Ulf Kirsten and Dortmund keeper Jens Lehmann, the visitors also had centre-forward Jan Koller dismissed early in the second half. All in all, it was a miserable day for coach Matthias Sammer and his men, but despite losing top spot to Leverkusen, they ended up having the last laugh. Ballack and Co. dropped eight points in three of their last four Bundesliga games, and Dortmund lifted the Meisterschale.
23 August 2014: Dortmund 0-2 Leverkusen
Before the opening day of the 2014/15 campaign, the Signal Iduna Park paid a warm tribute to Dortmund's World Cup winners with Germany, but Karim Bellarabi quickly set about spoiling the party atmosphere. Very quickly, in fact; with just nine seconds on the clock, the Leverkusen winger netted the fastest-ever goal in Bundesliga history, giving Roger Schmidt something special to celebrate in his first game as a coach in the German top flight. Jürgen Klopp's side huffed and puffed in search of an equaliser, but having scored with practically the first kick of the game, Leverkusen also scored with practically the last, as Bellarabi teed up Stefan Kießling for 2-0 deep in stoppage time. Bellarabi now shares the record for the Bundesliga's fastest goal with former teammate Kevin Volland, who also struck after nine seconds for Hoffenheim against Bayern Munich on Matchday 2 in 2015/16.
Watch: Bellarabi's record-setting goal
4 March 2017: Dortmund 6-2 Leverkusen
This was the first time one of the two sides hit six goals in a Bundesliga meeting, even if Dortmund romped to a 7-0 win in the second tier back in December 1975. The game was tighter than the scoreline suggests, though. Ousmane Dembele and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave BVB a 2-0 half-time lead, but Volland – who had since traded Hoffenheim for Leverkusen – halved the deficit just after the break. Aubameyang headed in his 21st goal of the campaign to restore the two-goal cushion, but Wendell fired in a superb free-kick to keep the visitors alive. It was only in the closing stages that Dortmund ran away with it, as Christian Pulisic, Andre Schürrle (from the penalty spot) and Raphael Guerreiro all found a way past hapless Leverkusen keeper Bernd Leno, who had a 25th birthday to forget.
Watch: Highlights of 2017's eight-goal barnstormer
8 February 2020: Leverkusen 4-3 Dortmund
There was a real see-saw thriller at the BayArena midway through 2019/2020, with Volland giving the hosts a 20th-minute lead against the run of play. Mats Hummels equalised from a corner two minutes later, before the returning Emre Can curled in a glorious 25-yard strike to put BVB in front. It was some way for Can to mark his first Bundesliga outing since 2014, shortly before he left Leverkusen for Liverpool. Die Werkself were level by the interval, though, with Volland volleying in his second of the match. Guerreiro also showed his fondness for this fixture by tucking in a low finish to put Dortmund 3-2 up, but Leverkusen came out on top thanks to two late goals in as many minutes. Not long after having an effort chalked off by the VAR, Leon Bailey brought it back to 3-3, before captain Lars Bender powered in a header to seal a memorable victory for his side and the home fans.
Watch: Highlights of yet another rip-roaring game
11 September 2021: Leverkusen 3-4 Dortmund
A year and a half after Leverkusen edged one seven-goal classic, Dortmund got their own back by edging another, and there were some familiar themes. The hosts once again got their noses in front early, this time courtesy of 18-year-old Florian Wirtz – fresh from his debut appearances with Germany. Erling Haaland headed in an equaliser for BVB, before Patrik Schick restored Leverkusen's lead on the counter-attack. Dortmund's Julian Brandt then grabbed a second Bundesliga goal against his former club, lashing high into the roof of the net for 2-2. Moussa Diaby gave Leverkusen the lead for the third time on 55 minutes, but this time the visitors struck twice in quick succession to win it. Guerreiro – him again – fired in a sensational free-kick, his first in the Bundesliga, before Haaland won it from the penalty spot. A perfect 45th birthday present for then Dortmund coach Marco Rose.
Watch: Goals galore once more in Leverkusen
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