Bayern Munich 5-0 Borussia Dortmund
It was described by some as the ‘biggest game of the season in Europe’.
The scene was set in Bavaria for a potential title decider, the likes of which the Bundesliga had not seen for some time.
Indeed, it was 2012 that Borussia Dortmund, then managed by Jurgen Klopp, managed to edge a thrilling title race, inspired by the goals of Robert Lewandowski on their way to a league and cup double.
As so often has happened, it was a short-lived reign as Bayern Munich have gone onto win the last six titles and signed Dortmund stars, Lewandowksi included, along the way.
This season, however, has been slightly different.
At the start of December, the title race looked to be over with Dortmund nine points clear at the top, before Bayern took advantage of the stuttering form of their rivals to claw back the deficit including a run of six straight wins.
Although Dortmund title jitters struck, particularly when they inexplicably threw away a three goal lead at home to Hoffenheim, they found themselves back on top as they travelled to the Allianz Arena.
A 1-1 draw at Freiburg for the champions last week, coupled with a late Paco Alcacer show as the yellow and blacks beat Wolfsburg, meant Dortmund had the advantage before kick-off to regain the initiative ahead of the 100th Klassiker.
Highlights of the Game
The last time Dortmund – or any other team – were ahead of Bayern after 27 games of the season was back in 2012 so there was genuine hope a good result here could pave the way for a title triumph.
How deluded we were as Dortmund’s former stars again made them pay for not being able to keep hold of their big stars.
Had Mahmoud Dahoud found the net instead of the woodwork after eight minutes, the visitors may have settled down and nerves dissipated.
However, just two minutes later Mats Hummels powered home a header from a corner against his former club and Bayern were on their way.
Seven minutes later and the Bundesliga betting odds turned even further in favour of the champions.
It was a moment which will give Dortmund’s teenage defender Dan-Axel Zagadou nightmares as he passed the ball straight to another of Dortmund’s former favourite sons, Lewandowski, and the Pole does not let such opportunities go begging.
Dortmund had committed self-destruct and Lewandowski, the first player in Bundesliga history to score five goals against a former club, and his team were unforgiving.
Bayern had actually lost the last four clashes with Dortmund when they found themselves behind their rivals in the standings but, 17 minutes in, and this game was all but up.
The underdog leaders simply had no answer as Bayern produced two more Bundesliga 2019 highlights before the break to deflate the visitors.
After Lewandowski saw a shot blocked, Javi Martinez guided the ball into the bottom corner. Then Serge Gnabry was left completely unmarked to head home a Thomas Muller cross.
Lucien Favre’s beleaguered players could do no more than go through the motions in the second period as Bayern eased off the pace.
Yet they still found time to rub salt in the wounds when Lewandowski netted his second a minute from time.
How Dortmund now react will be key as this was as chastising an evening as they could imagine.
Few Sbobet fans will bet against Bayern sealing a seventh consecutive Bundesliga title and, with Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery due to depart, the club is already looking to the future.
They have agreed a club record £68 million deal to sign defender Lucas Hernandez from Atletico Madrid, as well as France international team-mate Benjamin Pavard from Stuttgart for a reported £31 million.
Dortmund may not be able to afford that but need, at the very least, to keep onto the players that have taken them this far to keep alive their dreams of glory.
Right at this moment in time, that seems a long way away.
Lewandowski is the fifth player (and the first foreigner) to score 200 Bundesliga goals, behind Gerd Muller (365), Klaus Fischer (268), Jupp Heynckes (220) and Manfred Burgsmuller (213).
Lewandowski has scored 15 Klassiker goals: 14 for Bayern and one for Dortmund; one ahead of the great Muller.
Hummels is only the second player to have scored in each of the last 11 Bundesliga seasons – alongside team-mate Franck Ribery.
Bayern have won their past eight home games, the last three by a combined margin of 17-0.
Bayern have scored 20 goals in their last four home league matches against Dortmund.
Bayern are aiming for a league and German Cup double, after progressing to the semi-finals of the competition by scraping past second-division side Heidenheim.
They next face Fortuna Dusseldorf in the league before hosting Werder Bremen over Easter weekend.
Dortmund have six league matches remaining also, starting at home to Mainz next weekend (April 13) followed by a visit to SC Freiburg on Easter Day.
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