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11 April 2012
• Signal-Iduna-Park, Dortmund
Referee: K. Kircher
• Attendance: 80720
90' + 3'
That's all from me tonight, folks. Be sure to stay tuned to Goal.com for all the reaction from this match.
90' + 3'
All eyes will inevitably be on Arjen Robben. The former Real Madrid man played Lewandowski onside in the run up to the game's only goal, won, but subsequently missed a penalty, and sent an effort over the bar with the goal at his mercy. However, with the DFB-Pokal final and the Champions League semi-final to come, it's important for the Bavarians to put this behind them quickly. Dortmund can all but seal the title with a victory over Schalke over the weekend.
90' + 3'
And that's that! Jurgen Klopp runs onto the pitch in celebration as Borussia Dortmund take a six-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga. The shell-shocked Bayern Munich players look like they've lost a cup final. You've got to feel bad for them, but it was a great effort from Dortmund, who earned their victory.
90' + 2'
Oh my. Owomoyela slips the ball to Lewandowski, who chips it over the onrushing Neuer, only to see his shot cannon off the cross bar.
90' + 1'
Unbelievable. Ribery's ball is sent by Subotic on to his own crossbar, and Robben manages to sky the rebound from a matter of yards. Schmelzer got across well to put the Dutchman off, but he really should have buried that.
Dortmund are using their final change to try and sure things up in defence. Owomoyela replaces Kuba to add an extra body to the BVB back line.
Ribery feeds Alaba, who tries to set up Olic a tap in, however the Austrian's ball is behind his Croatian counterpart, and the hosts scramble it away.
Penalty save Roman Weidenfeller
SAVED!!! Robben tries to send the ball to Weidenfeller's left, but the BVB 'keeper guesses correctly, and gets down to make the save. Subotic screams his jeers at Robben, who can't quite believe what happened.
Missed Penalty Arjen Robben
PENALTY!!! Ribery slips the ball to Robben, who nicks the ball past Weidenfeller, who brings the Dutchman down. A rash, and unnecessary challenge from Weidenfeller.
Bayern are desperately trying to lump the ball forward in an effort to get back into the match. Hummels marshals Olic well on one such occasion. Is Heynckes regretting hauling off Mario Gomez?
Incidentally, it was Arjen Robben, who was standing two or three yards deeper than his team-mates, who played Lewandowski onside.
So, that's the opener. Can Dortmund hold on and deal a huge blow to Bayern's title aspirations? It was a fortunate goal that separates the two sides, and slightly against the run of play, but the home fans don't care - Signal Iduna Park is rocking.
Assist Kevin Großkreutz
Goal Robert Lewandowski
GOAL!!! BVB play the corner short to Schmelzer, and his ball is headed out as far as Grosskreutz. The 23-year-old shoots first time, and a cunning back-hell from Lewandowski takes the ball beyond Neuer. The hosts lead!
Perisic, fresh off the bench, gets down the left well and puts in a threatening cross which Alaba turns behind.
Finally a sight of goal for the hosts. Kagawa latches on to a knock-back from Lewandowski and forces a shot goal-wards, which goes wide. It might have been awkward for Neuer, there. There was a sea of bodies blocking his view of the action.
Weidenfeller is forced to dart of his line as Robben looks to latch on to a through ball.
Lahm sends in a threatening cross from the right, but with Gomez lurking ominously, Hummels gets across and cuts the ball out.
Dortmund have been a little sloppy as well. Aimless passes that are nowhere near their intended destination. Kagawa and Gundogan have also seen precious little of the ball in the last 10 minutes.
There's been a slight swing towards Bayern in the last five or 10 minutes. Dortmund came out from half-time on top, but Bayern have come into the game more often recently.
What. A. Tackle. Ribery charges into the BVB box, but Subotic gets back and concedes a corner with an inch-perfect tackle. It was perfectly timed, and it had to be.
Controversy here. Ribery takes the ball magnificently, twists and turns in the box before going down under a Piszczek tackle. It appeared the Pole got a toe to the ball, but it could have gone either way. No penalty given.
First change of the match. Bastian Schweinsteiger has replaced the ineffective Thomas Muller.
RIBERY! The Frenchman finds himself unmarked at the far post, but slices his shot wide. He really should have done better, despite pressure from the BVB back line and the narrow angle.
Robben, who has moved into the centre of the attack, resists the urge to go down after a hefty lunge and works the ball to Kroos, whose sliced effort fails to threaten Weidenfeller.
An untimely slip from Grosskreutz allows Lahm to feed Ribery, who ignores the unmarked Muller and runs into a dead end.
There's a Dortmund fan in the crowd holding up a replica of the Bundesliga shield. His side have certainly looked the more likely of these sides to deal a blow to their opponents' title aspirations.
First sign of life from Bayern in the second half so far. Robben and Gomez combine well, but the latter elects to pass it back to the heavily-marked Dutchman when have a shot would have been the better option.
It's all Dortmund at the moment. Kuba gets down the right well and tries to fool Alaba, who blocks his cross out for a throw.
Kuba digs out a cross which finds Kagawa unmarked in the middle, but the Japanese star fails to get the right power and aim on the header, and Neuer makes an easy save.
Schmelzer gets across well to stop a ball aimed at Arjen Robben from reaching its intended target. It's been a frustrating night for the Dutchman so far- he's been starved of space.
Piszczek, of all people, cuts inside from the right and tries to break the deadlock with a left-footed effort from distance. It was a tame shot, however, and Neuer gathers the ball with ease.
Grosskreutz gets to the ball, and plays the ball to Kagawa, who is eased off the ball by Badstuber. Good defending from the Bayern man, there.
And we're back! Bayern get the second half started! Can either side grab a victory here? Stay tuned for all the action.
The teams are back out, and we're almost ready for the second half. Momentary delay as Neuer is pelted with missiles by the home faithful.
Meanwhile, another reader is pondering why Jupp Heynckes elected to leave Schweinsteiger on the bench. I think Heynckes realised that Schweinsteiger has had his fitness problems of late, and with Real Madrid to come, he felt that 'Schweini' could work up some fitness over the weekend, in a less high-tempo game, before taking on Los Blancos.
Lots of predictions flying in, and most of you, like myself, think this one could go either way. We've had one fan asking why BVB floundered so badly in the Champions League, and in answer to that one, I feel it's just a case of experience - they've got a good crop of youngsters, and I think they'll be capable of going toe-to-toe with Europe's big guns in years to come. They really are a team on the up.
And that's half time. It's been a great game so far, with both sides looking dangerous in front of goal. Dortmund are perhaps unlucky not to be ahead, having seen Grosskreutz squander a great chance, and Lewandowski strike the post. Bayern have been less impressive going forward, but could have taken the lead with a beautiful drive from Kroos that drifted inches wide. Don't go away - this one could really go either way.
A disturbing sight for Bayern Munich fans: Arjen Robben has gone down clutching his ankle after a challenge from Kehl. He gets to his feet, but seems to be walking gingerly.
Unsurprisingly, Germany coach Joachim Low is here to take in this match, and keep an eye on several of his key charges.
In the midst of the scramble that followed Lewandowski's chance, Gustavo went down, and received treatment on the sidelines. He's back on now, but not moving freely, and Schweinsteiger is being readied just in case his colleague is unable to continue.
Dortmund feel they should have a penalty as Boateng challenges Grosskreutz. There appeared to be some contact, but Boateng jumps to his feet to remonstrate with his fellow Germany international. The referee chooses not to punish the challenge, however.
OFF THE POST! Kuba sends in a deep cross which Lewandowski meets emphatically at the far post. The Pole's header has Neuer completely beaten, but the Germany 'keeper is given a reprieve when he sees the ball bounce off the post. The rebound breaks to Kagawa, who can't quite get it under control, and Neuer seizes the ball.
You've really got to wonder how we haven't seen a goal yet. Both sides have been impressive going forward, and have had some nervous moments defensively. Dortmund are just about the better side, but either team could take the lead.
Dortmund win a corner, and now it's Bayern's turn to showcase some nervous defending. Ribery is caught in possession on the edge of the box by Kuba, who drives it goal-wards, but Neuer gets his body behind the ball well to make the save.
Kroos swings in a corner which Dortmund struggle to clear at first, but manage to rob Alaba of possession and the hosts counter-attack.
Lewandowski sends in a beautiful cross towards the far post. Grosskreutz meets the ball and manages to hook it across the face of goal, and almost finds Hummels, who can't quite manage to hook it in. He was offside anyway, but you really do have to wonder why the centre-back was so far forward.
SO CLOSE! Kroos strides forward, and, rather surprisingly, elects to shoot with his left foot from just outside the box. Weidenfeller flings himself across the face of goal, but the shot drifts narrowly wide.
Gundogan floats the free kick in, but it evades everyone, leaving Neuer with an easy catch.
Hummels tries to come forward with the ball, but is scythed down by Toni Kroos just inside the Bayern half. Dortmund have a good chance to threaten from the resulting set piece.
Having reviewed the Kagawa chance, he really should have passed to Lewandowski, who was unmarked eight yards from goal and screaming for the ball.
Shinji Kagawa collects the ball on the left, cuts inside, but delays shooting, and when he eventually gets a strike away, it's charged down.
So, we're mid-way through the first half now. It's been a fantastic effort from both teams, but BVB are unlucky not to be ahead. Manuel Neuer made a fantastic save to deny Grosskreutz, who should have done better from close range.
Gomez almost wriggles clear, but Schmelzer gets across and makes a perfect tackle to stop him from advancing on goal.
Gundogan chips a lovely ball forward to Lewandowski, but Alaba shrugs the Pole off the ball. The Dortmund fans protest, but it was a fair challenge in the referee's view.
Piszczek is hounded by Mario Gomez, and initially loses the ball, only to recover and regain possession. He's putting in a lot of work, Gomez.
Neuer, who has already made two great saves, is unsurprisingly being subjected to heavy booing from the Dortmund faithful thanks to his Schalke past.
Robben takes the ball under control with a fantastic touch, but as he looked to cut in-field, Grosskreutz tugs him back, and is penalised by the officials.
Bayern move forward with Alaba, but the Austrian's attempted ball to Gomez is misplaced, and Hummels deals with it with ease.
Kuba tries to play in Piszczek down the right, but Badstuber gets across and beats the Dortmund right-back to the ball.
A nice little period for Bayern now, as the visitors try to advance through Kroos, Lahm and Robben, but they're all surrounded by a sea of yellow bodies, and BVB clear it away.
Lahm plays a ranging ball to Muller down the right, but Schmelzer gets the better of his international team-mate and manages to put it out for a throw.
Nervous moment for Dortmund now. Weidenfeller is put under heavy pressure by Gomez and scuffs a clearance as far as Muller, but Bayern fail to capitalise. Incredible start to the game, with both sides looking increasingly potent.
WHAT A SAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kagawa beats the offside trap, and hooks the ball back across the face of goal to Grosskreutz who slides in, and makes contact, only for Neuer to make a fantastic save. The ball breaks to Lewandowski, who manages to get it unleash a shot, but Neuer makes another great save. Unbelievable chance for the hosts to take the lead.
End-to-end stuff already, here. Muller buys a corner off Hummels, but Weidenfeller claims Arjen Robben's delivery, and tries to release Kuba, but his throw is intercepted by Alaba.
KUBA!!!!!!!!!!!! The Pole beats the offside trap and latches on to Gundogan's through ball. Neuer commits, and is beaten to the ball by Kuba who squeezes in a shot from a narrow angle that drifts wide. Great start from both teams!
GOMEZ!!!!! Kroos dinks in the resulting free-kick and finds Mario Gomez, whose goal-bound header is calmly caught by Weidenfeller.
Dortmund give the ball away, and Ribery is released down the left, plays a one-two with Muller, and is promptly fouled by Kuba.
And we're off! Borussia Dortmund get the game started!
The teams are out, and we're just moments away from kick-off.
Casting our mind back to the first meeting between these two sides, a Mario Gotze goal gave Borussia Dortmund a 1-0 victory at the Allianz Arena. Can the champions repeat the trick? Will the youngster's absence hamper his side? Stay tuned for all the action...
So both of these teams are approaching this game in great form. Dortmund losing a Bundesliga game seems like a distant memory, while Bayern have been rampant, decimating team after team in recent weeks. Something's got to give - will Bayern reclaim top spot in the table, or will Dortmund take a huge step towards retaining their Bundesliga title? You can send your predictions to me via Twitter (@eniskoylu). I look forward to hearing from you.
Meanwhile, for the visitors, it's: Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba; Gustavo, Kroos; Robben, Muller, Ribery; Gomez. Bastian Schweinsteiger has to make do with a place on the bench.
The lineups are in. Borussia Dortmund will begin the game with: Weidenfeller; Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer; Gundogan, Kehl; Kuba, Kagawa, Grosskreutz; Lewandowski. Mario Gotze is not even on the bench, despite suggestions that he would be fit for this clash.
Good evening! Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! coverage of the big one. Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich. With just three points separating these two sides at the top of the Bundesliga, there's everything to play for.
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