Cologne - Rivalries are the lifeblood of any sport, but few pump the veins and flood the capillaries like Klassiker adversaries FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund.
The unbridled sense of one-upmanship between the two has been at the forefront of German football fans' collective imagination for a number of years now and will once again go under the microscope in Matchday 8's highly anticipated showdown at the Allianz Arena.
Until then, allow bundesliga.com to get the juices flowing with a trip down Klassiker memory lane...
Dortmund had already beaten the defending champions 2-0 when they travelled south in search of their first win on Munich soil in nigh-on 20 years on Matchday 24 of the 2010/11 campaign. An uncharacteristic mistake from Bastian Schweinsteiger allowed Kevin Großkreutz to tee up Lucas Barrios for the opening goal and, while Luiz Gustavo levelled shortly after, Bayern struggled to contend with Dortmund’s high-pressing game. Nuri Sahin was exceptional, bending in from 20 yards to put BVB back in front, before former Bayern youth product Mats Hummels powered in a second-half header to put the visitors firmly on course for their first league title since 2002.
With four successive league wins against Bayern and back-to-back Bundesliga titles in the bag, Dortmund capped two seasons of domestic domination with one of their best performances to date under Jürgen Klopp in the 2011/12 DFB Cup final. Arjen Robben cancelled out a third-minute goal from Shinji Kagawa, but Jupp Heynckes’ side collapsed once Hummels restored BVB’s lead from the penalty spot. A Robert Lewandowski hat-trick rubber-stamped Dortmund’s maiden league and cup double on what turned out to be the precursor to a nightmarish month for Bayern that culminated in a penalty shoot-out defeat to Chelsea FC in the final of the UEFA Champions League - at the Allianz Arena at that.
Rejuventated following the summer acquisitions of Dante, Javi Martinez and Mario Mandzukic, Bayern enjoyed unparalleled success in 2012/13. After wrapping up the league title with six games to spare, only Dortmund stood in the way of the Bavarians’ first European crown since 2001 in the first ever all-German Champions League final at Wembley. BVB flew out of the blocks, but it was Bayern who took the lead through Mandzukic. Ilkay Gündogan deservedly levelled from 12 yards, only for Robben to roll home the most dramatic of winners late in the second half. Victory over VfB Stuttgart in the DFB Cup ensured Heynckes bowed out of the game as the mastermind behind an historic treble.
Dortmund delivered the clearest possible signal that the treble winners would not be having things entirely their own way in newly installed head coach Pep Guardiola’s first season at the helm, courtesy of a convincing 4-2 Supercup win. As had been the case on so many occasions in recent years, BVB’s high-pressing game threw Bayern into an almighty tizz, with Marco Reus opening the scoring after just five minutes. Robben struck either side of a Daniel van Buyten own goal and a superb solo effort from Güngodan, but Reus sealed the contest in die Schwarz-Gelben’s favour to give Klopp's intrepid challengers their first and only piece of silverware of 2013/14.
Tales of Mario Götze adorned the back pages in the build-up to the first Bundesliga Klassiker of the 2013/14 campaign. The Dortmund fans were still seething at the Germany international’s decision to leave the Ruhr district in favour of a move to Bavaria - and they had every reason to be. Back on his former stomping ground for the first time in a red shirt, the former BVB talent broke the deadlock with just his sixth touch of the ball. Manuel Neuer foiled Reus, before quick-fire goals from Robben and Thomas Müller completed a convincing victory. Bayern went on to defend their domestic crown at a canter, securing the title in record time after 27 games and later beating Dortmund in the DFB Cup final.
Robben strikes again
The slate wiped clean, Dortmund kicked off 2014/15 by beating Bayern to a competition-leading fifth Supercup title thanks to well-taken goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who memorably donned a Spiderman mask in celebration. An unfathomable dip in confidence nevertheless saw the Yellow-Blacks return to Munich as rank outsiders on Matchday 10, following a six-match winless run (D2, L4). An upset looked to be on the cards when Reus outjumped Jerome Boateng and Medhi Benatia to break the deadlock, but BVB old boy Lewandowski grabbed a long-overdue equaliser as Bayern wrestled back the initiative and snuck a 2-1 win courtesy of Robben’s 85th-minute penalty.
Lewandowski was at it again as Bayern made it a Bundesliga double over BVB with a narrow 1-0 victory at the Signal Iduna Park on 4 April 2015, but Dortmund had the last laugh in the DFB Cup semi-finals later that month. Despite going behind to another Lewandowski strike - the Pole's third against his former club - Klopp's men hit back through Aubameyang to force the tie into extra time. Dortmund were reduced to ten men when Kevin Kampl was sent off in the 108th minute, but the drama did not stop there. Lahm and Xabi Alonso both slipped and missed in the ensuing penalty shoot-out, Götze saw his effort saved by Mitch Langerak and Neuer sent his onto the crossbar as the holders went crashing out of the competition.