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Dortmund versus Bayern

Not just your run-of-the-mill encounter

The match was already deep into stoppage time when Tomas Rosicky placed the ball for a free-kick on the edge of the Bayern box. The Czech schemer took a short run-up, before curling a near-perfect set-piece over the Bayern wall – but only near-perfect, as the ball smacked against the inside of the far post and rebounded into Oliver Kahn’s arms. The legendary keeper beat the turf with a clenched fist, before saluting the heavens and yelling a loud “Yessss!” into the Dortmund night sky. “That was the proof that, despite everything that happened, BVB didn’t deserve to win the game,” Kahn declared afterwards.

Some nine-and-a-half years have passed since the memorable incident. It was on Matchday 28 in the 2000-2001 campaign that the width of the post salvaged a 1-1 draw for Munich away to Borussia Dortmund – a result which, it can be plausibly argued, won FCB the league. Had Rosicky aimed a couple of inches to the right, the match would have ended 2-1 and BVB would have gone top of the league. As it turned out, and after a pulsating and dramatic final day, Ottmar Hitzfeld’s team drew in Hamburg and retained the league crown by a single point from Schalke, who had a better goal difference.