Created on 09-11-2013 at 20:20 PM
Former Dortmund hero Mario Götze came on as a Bayern sub and set his new club on their way to a first victory since 2009 away to their great domestic rivals with the opening goal of an absorbing German Clasico on Saturday evening. Arjen Robben and Thomas Müller added late breakaway goals as the treble winners showed great composure in the high-octane atmosphere and extended their unbeaten league run to 38 games in the process.
The 80,645 full house at Signal Iduna Park saw an enthralling first half with the momentum swinging one way and then the other a couple of times, Robert Lewandowski and Mario Mandzukic each failing to take a gilt-edged chance for their respective teams. The contest remained a knife-edge affair after the restart, but Götze cooly broke the deadlock after 66 minutes, and Robben and Müller wrapped up a vital victory with late goals on the break.
The result means FCB cement their position at the top of the table on 35 points, four ahead of new second-placed side Bayer Leverkusen and now a comforting seven clear of BVB. The Bavarians are back in action on Wednesday in the Champions League Group D fixture away to CSKA Moscow.
Starts for Arjen and Thomas
Bayern boss Pep Guardiola made two changes to the team that beat Augsburg 3-0 before the international break, with fit-again Arjen Robben and Thomas Müller taking over for the injured Franck Ribery and ex-Borussia star Götze.
The visitors lined up with Manuel Neuer in goal, Rafinha, Jerome Boateng, Dante and David Alaba in defence, Javi Martinez in the holding position, Müller and Robben on the flanks, Philipp Lahm and Toni Kroos in the centre, and Mandzukic as an orthodox centre-forward.
Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp, struggling with an injury crisis that has put three of his first-choice back four on the injury roster, made four changes to the team beaten by Wolfsburg last time out. Emergency signing Manuel Friedrich, Sokratis and Erik Durm stood in for injury victims Neven Subotic, Mats Hummels and Marcel Schmelzer. In midfield, Kuba Blaszczykowski replaced Pierre Aubameyang.
Tight first half
After referee Manuel Gräfer whistled the match underway on a chilly evening in the Ruhr Valley, the teams tore into each other without a hint of caution and Guardiola’s side were lucky after just three minutes when Lewandowski blazed over from point-blank range after Blaszczykowski’s centre. But FCB soon hit back with Robben and Alaba causing all kinds of trouble down the left flank.
The champions swiftly established territorial control and knocked the ball around with great assurance, Kroos fizzing a shot just wide after 18 minutes. But the home side threatened on the break and Dante was forced to lunge and rob Blaszczykowski just a few yards short of goal midway through the half. Neuer then stood up well to beat out a fierce Marco Reus drive with half an hour played as the initiative swung to Klopp’s men.
Guardiola’s troops fought to regain control and made two good chances on 35 minutes, Mandzukic seeing his effort blocked and BVB keeper Roman Weidenfeller saving from Müller. Croatia international striker Mandzukic then inexplicably failed to apply the finishing touch from just inches out after Robben’s 38th-minute cut-back, and the half ended with a touch of niggle after Rafinha fouled Reus and Mandzukic and Kevin Großkreutz tangled on the wing.
Mario breaks the deadlock
There was a let off for Bayern six minutes after the restart when Sven Bender’s chip sailed past Lewandowski, Neuer and also the far post. The Reds returned to the attack and Guardiola bolstered the effort by sending on Götze for Mandzukic after 56 minutes, the former Dortmund hero’s appearance generating a deafening chorus of boos from the south terrace loyalists.
The intensity ratcheted up another notch now as Boateng brilliantly robbed the charging Reus, with Müller just failing to play in Götze at the other end. Thiago replaced Boateng with 65 minutes on the clock, Martinez dropping back into central defence, and the Spanish sub was immediately involved with the pass for Müller to thrust forward and tee up Götze for a crisp cross-shot and the 66th-minute opener.
Dortmund piled forward now in search of an equaliser, but Neuer made superb saves to deny Mkhitaryan and Reus, Dante skilfully blocked sub Aubameyang, and Neuer made a routine take from Großkreutz’s long-range effort. Daniel van Buyten replaced Rafinha for the last ten minutes, and the action was furious at both ends with half-chances for both teams in the frenzied finale. But Bayern kept their cool in the face of the BVB onslaught and struck to deadly effect on the break, Robben clipping a lob over Weidenfeller five minutes fromm time and Müller finishing crisply a couple of minutes later to wrap up an ultimately deserved victory.
Chris Hamley reporting from Signal Iduna Park for fcbayern.de