Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern München played out a goalless draw in the 94th Klassiker in the Bundesliga, but the scoreline does not begin to tell the story of a compelling spectacle enjoyed by millions the world over.
Borussia Dortmund 0-0 FC Bayern München
With the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK bouncing, proceedings began at predictably furious pace. BVB ‘keeper Roman Bürki conceded five on his Klassiker debut last October and he was under pressure in the first five minutes, flapping at Douglas Costa’s cross and relieved to see Thomas Müller send the rebound off target.
The early opportunity was a sign of things to come in a first half of constant to-ing and fro-ing. Douglas Costa lashed a shot over the bar and Arturo Vidal touched a centre from the Brazilian wide, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sped past Joshua Kimmich only to be denied by a good stop from Manuel Neuer. It was Costa that then spurned the game’s clearest chance, sprinting onto Arjen Robben’s pass but shooting straight at the onrushing Bürki.
The hosts looked to repel Bayern by switching from a back three to a back five when not in possession, but it had mixed results as the Bavarians ended the half on the front foot, with Robben testing Bürki and then shooting just wide after dancing across the box.
Speaking in the half-time break, Germany coach Joachim Löw called the first half “the best game I’ve seen this season,”, and the interval did little to disrupt the flow of an absorbing contest. Six minutes into the second period, Neuer again got the better of Aubameyang with a sprawling stop, before the impressive Vidal headed wide and then crashed a half-volley onto the bar via Bürki’s fingertips.
Guardiola replaced Costa with the in-form Franck Ribery in the final stages, while Thomas Tuchel played his first hand by bringing on Adrian Ramos. The Colombian almost made an immediate impact but could only head wide from Aubameyang’s deep cross, with the final whistle coming shortly afterwards to bring a thrilling Klassiker to an end.
Man of the match
Arguably Bayern’s best player in recent weeks, Chile international Vidal was again an enormous presence for the visitors. Efficient in possession, strong in the tackle and timing his runs into the box impeccably, he came closest to breaking the deadlock when Bürki pushed his effort onto the woodwork.
So it is as you were, then, in the title race. Bayern remain on course for an unprecedented fourth consecutive league title and sit top of the table on 63 points, five points ahead of their adversaries, with nine matches to go.
- This was the first goalless Klassiker in the Bundesliga since October 2007. The previous 25 competitive meetings between these two teams had all produced at least one goal.
- This was Philipp Lahm’s 300th appearance for Bayern in the Bundesliga.
- Ilkay Gündogan has now made 150 appearances in the Bundesliga.
Dortmund: Bürki – Piszczek, Bender, Hummels (C), Schmelzer – Weigl, Gündogan (Sahin 90’), Durm – Mkhitaryan, Reus (Ramos 80’), Aubameyang
Bayern: Neuer – Lahm (c), Kimmich, Alaba, Bernat – Alonso (Benatia 90’) – Costa (Ribery 75’), Vidal, Müller, Robben – Lewandowski