Der Klassiker between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich at the Signal Iduna Park was certainly not without entertainment, drama and talking points as the two sides shared a 2-2 draw.
Leon Goretzka gave Bayern a first half lead and Leroy Sané continued his good recent form with a second eight minutes into the second period. Revierderby hero Youssoufa Moukoko pulled one back as BVB finally got their act together, but Anthony Modeste then missed an absolute sitter. Kingsley Coman was sent off before the stadium erupted in the 94th minute with Modeste redeeming himself with a dramatic late equaliser.
After all that, what were the takeaways from the clash of the titans?
1. Anthony Modeste- you are forgiven.
Holding his head in his hands in the back of the net on 83 minutes, Anthony Modeste must have wanted the Signal Iduna ground to open up and swallow him up.
Karim Adeyemi’s cross from the right had put the ball on a plate for the striker to grab the equaliser, but he swung his leg near the ball and completely missed any proper contact. The loose ball that he tried to bundle into the net was palmed away by Manuel Neuer.
A potential public enemy number one for thousands of BVB fans however turned from zero to hero deep into stoppage time. As Dortmund threw everything forward Nico Schlotterbeck busted a gut to keep the ball in, curled a ball to the far post where Modeste was on hand to head home.
Finally, the hapless signing from Köln had something to smile about in a yellow and black shirt. Miss? What miss?
2. Joshua Kimmich is Bayern’s difference maker.
After his positive Covid test in midweek and missing the Champions League match with Plzeň, Joshua Kimmich was on the bench for Bayern with Leon Goretzka and Marcel Sabitzer forming the midfield partnership.
Kimmich however was brought on half time possibly because of the threat that Sabitzer had of being sent off after an early booking. Instantly Bayern started to gain control and the upper hand, and it was evident that it was Kimmich driving the improvement. Philipp Lahm recently criticised Kimmich saying he needed to concentrate on his defence, but when you can do everything like Kimmich can, the advice can be taken with a pinch of salt.
In such a big match, the Bayern midfielder stepped in, orchestrated the tempo and flow of Bayern’s game, and made the difference. Julian Nagelsmann’s midfield conundrum is only who partners Kimmich rather than which two out of four to choose.
3. Deniz Aytekin made a rod for his own back.
Referee Deniz Aytekin made life difficult for himself in the game after booking Marcel Sabitzer after less than 120 seconds. The Austrian went in hard on Donyell Malen and was shown an instant yellow card. This is the Klassiker and there are going to be challenges flying in, but the official looked intent on sending out an early message to the players.
Matthijs de Ligt was rightly booked on 11 minutes but then Jude Bellingham followed him into the book three minutes later, The Englishman clearly played the ball and sent the slightly built Jamal Musiala up in the air. It wasn’t a foul and had the player had more meat on his bones than a Currywurst, it wouldn’t have looked as bad.
The trouble for Aytekin was that when he failed to book Benjamin Pavard for a similar challenge on Bellingham five minutes later BVB players and the crowd were incensed. Emre Can, Leon Goretzka and Kingsley Coman were subsequently cautioned. Coman’s late tactical foul saw him sent off and then Karim Adeyemi and Leroy Sané both went into the book for a spat on the halfway line.
Seven yellow cards in a Klassiker seems about right, but this wasn’t a game full of full-blooded fouls and the need to flash the cards. If Aytekin had been a little more lenient with Sabitzer he may have saved himself a lot of scribbling names in his notebook.
4. BVB fans- enjoy Jude Bellingham while you can.
It happens to Dortmund all the time, so they won’t be too surprised when they have to say goodbye to Jude Bellingham. As with Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland the knowledge that they were destined to move on softened the blow, but BVB fans have something very special in 19-year-old Bellingham.
There was a period in the second half with Bayern 2-0 up that it looked as if Dortmund had accepted their fate and were allowing the visitors to dictate the game and not putting the required pressure on the Bavarians. Bellingham stood out across the entire 94 minutes, putting in an incredible shift driving forward, putting in the tackles and tracking back.
He is a superb talent and destined for the very top. The inevitable move may come at the end of this season, so Dortmund fans need to appreciate every minute they have with the midfielder.