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Arjen’s fine record

Dortmund’s tormentor Robben strikes again

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After the final whistle, Bayern star Arjen Robben and Borussia Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller spent a few minutes together in the centre-circle, chatting, laughing and analysing 90 intense and exciting minutes at the Allianz Arena. One major topic will have been the private duel between the pair during a match that ended in a tight but deserved 2-1 win to FCB.

“I think mutual respect is part of the game. When you face each other as opponents, you play to win. But at the final whistle it’s over, and you can’t change the result,” Robben explained afterwards. The Dutchman and the BVB keeper are old rivals after serving up a number of absorbing one-on-one contests in the past.

Robben’s favourite opponents

Saturday provided the latest episode in the series. Robben shot at goal seven times - Dortmund managed ten shots in total - but Weidenfeller had a terrific match and made a total of 12 saves. “All credit to Roman Weidenfeller, he did really well,” Robben commented admiringly. However, the 34-year-old keeper still had to pick the ball from the back of his net twice, as Robben celebrated his fourth league goal of term and FCB’s seventh Bundesliga victory.

“I was certain I’d put it away,” reported Robben, who sealed the 2-1 win with an 85th-minute penalty and added to his remarkable personal record against BVB. The 30-year-old winger has scored six of Bayern’s last ten goals against Dortmund and has personally netted seven in his last seven matches against the Ruhr Valley outfit. Overall, Arjen has nine goals in 14 meetings with the men in yellow and black. Five of those goals were effectively match-winning, most recently in the DFB Cup final last May.

Arjen’s words of caution

“Obviously it’s always great when you score four minutes from the end. But winning was more important to me,” Robben commented afterwards, putting team success ahead of personal glory as always. Arjen feels FCB “still have potential to improve,” even though they lead the league by four points. “We have to stay critical, try to get better, not let up, and never think we can win it at a stroll. We’re on the right track.”

Robben missed FCB’s last two matches with a hamstring problem and was still a doubt for the Dortmund clash on Friday, but he reported fit just in time to feature against his favourite opponents and extend his impressive record against BVB. Robben is also Munich’s talisman this term: FCB have won all nine matches in which he has featured. Let’s hope there are plenty more to come!