Bayern Munich clambered back to the top of the Bundesliga on Saturday night with a 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund, with goals from David Alaba, Robert Lewandowski and Leroy Sane earning them the honours in the first Klassiker of the season.
Der Klassiker is not called Der Klassiker for nothing, and this fixture was already turning into another classic after a matter of minutes. Lewandowski - who has played on both sides of the divide - stole a chance off team-mate Serge Gnabry early on with Axel Witsel following the Pole's example by shooting wide at the other end. Roman Bürki clawed away a Leon Goretzka header as opportunities multiplied at both ends of the field. Erling Haaland squandered Dortmund's next, dragging Gio Reyna's pass wide of the far post, before Lewandowski showed him how it should be done at the other end, getting on the end of Gnabry's cross to convert from close range. His knee was marginally ahead of Manuel Akanji's, though, and VAR pulled the Pole back for offside. Dortmund responded well to that let-off and could have taken the lead soon after, but Witsel got his angles all wrong and blazed his volley off target. The hosts did get their noses in front, though, when Reus met Raphael Guerreiro's cut-back and sent his shot unstoppably past Manuel Neuer with pinpoint accuracy. Bayern replied immediately and, importantly, before the break with a well-worked training ground free-kick routine, with Alaba's shot taking a deflection on its way into the top right-hand corner.
After a well-earned breather, the teams returned to the field for the continuation of this latest classic, and it took just over a minute for Haaland to go close with what was more of a cross than a shot, but ended up not being either. The cross Lucas Hernandez delivered right onto the forehead of Lewandowski moments later was straight out of the textbook, on the other hand, and the Pole's finish came from just a few pages further on in the manual. Kingsley Coman struck the post as Bayern almost doubled their lead, and the game opened up further. Reyna tested Neuer before Reus jinxed his way through, but also found the Bayern No.1 insuperable. As Dortmund were forced to gamble, gaps opened up at the back and Sane raced into one of them to give Bayern a two-goal cushion with a well-placed finish low into the bottom left-hand corner. Not enough votes had been counted to declare a winner yet, though, and Haaland edged Dortmund back towards parity with a sublime piece of control and equally impressive finish from an angle beating both Neuer and the covering Alaba. Reus volleyed over with a glorious chance to level as the game nearly swung back in Dortmund's favour, and Lewandowski saw another goal chalked off for offside before the final whistle brought another exciting Klassiker to an end, with Bayern emerging triumphant.
- Lewandowski equalled his own record of scoring 11 goals in the first seven games of the season, like in 2019/20.
- It was Lewandowski's 17th goal in 13 games against his former club.
- Bayern brought up a century of goals (102 in total) in 31 games under Hansi Flick, with the average of 3.2 per game the highest for any Bayern coach.
- Reus scored his eighth goal against Bayern in the Bundesliga, with his 129th Bundesliga goal taking him to 24th on the all-time top-scorer's chart.
- Haaland scored his 19th goal in his 21st Bundesliga game, a record bettered only by Uwe Seeler (20). By comparison, Lewandowski netted five in his first 21.
- Bayern's 27 goals after just seven matches equals the record set by Borussia Mönchengladbach in 1973/74.
Watch: Goretzka: "These games are more than just three points"
Dortmund: Bürki - Meunier, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro - Witsel, Delaney (Bellingham 60') - Sancho (Hazard 69), Reus (c), Reyna (Brandt 70') - Haaland
Unused subs: Hitz, Morey, Piszczek, Dahoud, Can, Passlack
Out: Schmelzer (knee), Zagadou (knee)
Coach: Lucien Favre
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Sarr, Boateng (Martinez 70'), Alaba, Hernandez - Kimmich (Tolisso 36'), Goretzka - Gnabry, Müller, Coman (Sane 70') - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Nübel, Richards, Roca, Musiala, Costa, Choupo-Moting
Out: Davies (ankle), Nianzou (thigh), Pavard (thigh), Süle (not included), Zirkzee (not included)
Coach: Hansi Flick
Watch: Haaland: "Bayern are a better team"