FC Bayern fell 3-2 away to Borussia Dortmund in Saturday evening's heavyweight clash. Robert Lewandowski handed the visitors a deserved lead midway through the first half, which was cancelled out by Marco Reus from the penalty spot after the interval. Lewandowski restored Bayern's lead but Reus and Paco Alcacer turned the tide.
The Bavarians started with Manuel Neuer between the sticks and Joshua Kimmich, Jérôme Boateng, Mats Hummels and David Alaba in a back four. Javi Martínez anchored a midfield featuring Serge Gnabry, Thomas Müller, Leon Goretzka and Franck Ribéry, with Lewandowski as lone striker. Niklas Süle, Renato Sanches and Sandro Wagner replaced Hummels, Gnabry and Müller in the second half.
Lewy puts dominant Reds ahead
Recent editions of Der Klassiker have often been enthralling battles of wits, but the 81,360 full house at Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park saw wild opening exchanges in a highly entertaining match that more than lived up to its billing. The German record champions dominated possession, but Borussia were very dangerous on the break.
The first half was packed with half-chances. The first big opportunity came when Dortmund's Reus raced past Bayern's rearguard after ten minutes and had only Neuer to beat, but the shot-stopper saved comfortably. Neuer soon made a crucial interception, beating Jadon Sancho to Jacob Bruun Larsen's pass before Ribéry volleyed a Kimmich cross wide at the other end. The Frenchman wriggled his way past Lukasz Piszczek and directed the ball across goal, but Müller was unable to reach it. Bayern finally opened the scoring when Gnabry's pinpoint cross found Lewandowski, whose diving header screamed its way into the top corner of the net.
The Ruhr valley outfit increasingly lacked the precision required for quick counters, with the Reds comfortably in the driving seat. The very industrious Ribéry drew a fine save from Marwin Hitz before the pace dropped, and match official Manuel Gräfe blew for half-time.
Scorching second half
The contest was even more intense after the interval. Dortmund were awarded a penalty shortly after the restart, Reus levelling the scores from the spot. Bayern went looking for a reply which soon came, Lewandowski heading home following a fine Kimmich chip. The home side piled forward and Reus beat Neuer from close range, but Kimmich scrambled the ball off the line. Lewandowski had the ball in the back of the net for a third time, but the linesman's flag was raised for offside.
An Alcacer effort from close range was blocked during a mix-up in Bayern's box, Bruun Larsen firing the rebound over the bar. Reus miscued from 18 yards but soon levelled the scores again, firing a sumptuous volley past Neuer. The day turned sour for FCB once and for all when Alcacer lobbed the ball over Neuer on the break.
In the frantic closing stages, Reus almost put through his own goal following a Kimmich cross, Neuer saving from Alcacer at the other end. The Bavarians desperately chased an equaliser, Ribéry seeing a dangerous cross blocked. Lewandowski flicked a Kimmich cross past Hitz with the final whistle imminent, but an offside position meant Bayern lost despite a strong performance.
The result means Bayern have 20 points from 11 matches, seven short of Dortmund. A large number of Bayern players will be away on national team duty during the international break before the Reds return to action on 24 November, when they entertain Fortuna Düsseldorf in the Bundesliga.
Live match report for fcbayern.com by Greg Salmen
- See our live ticker to relive the match action
Hitz - Piszczek, Akanji, Zagadou, Hakimi - Witsel, Weigl (Dahoud 46) - Sancho, Reus, Bruun Larsen (Delaney 82) - Götze (Alcacer 59)
Oelschlägel - Toprak, Guerreiro, Pulisic
Neuer - Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels (Süle 65), Alaba - Martínez - Gnabry (Sanches 74), Müller (Wagner 82), Goretzka, Ribéry - Lewandowski
Ulreich – Rafinha, James, Will
Manuel Gräfe (Berlin)
0-1 Lewandowski (26), 1-1 Reus (49, pen), 1-2 Lewandowski (52), 2-2 Reus (67), 3-2 Alcacer (73)
Weigl, Akanji / Ribéry, Süle, Wagner