“Performance of the season,” is how Dortmund manager Gray Surman described this evening’s crucial 3-0 win over Bayern Munich. His BVB side changed their shape from the familiar 4-2-3-1 to an asymmetric midfield and caused Bayern’s flat midfield and back four endless problems.
Surman made six changes from the side who were held to a draw by lowly Augsburg last weekend, bringing in goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller, with three changes across the back: Marcel Schmelzer, Neven Subotic, and Julian Koch restored to the starting XI.
Sven Bender came back into the starting eleven to play central midfield alongside brother Lars, while Ivan Perisic was back behind the sole striker Jovetic.
The game will likely be remembered for referee Florian Meyer pointing to the spot three times in the second-half, though none of the decisions could seriously be contested. After Stevan Jovetic pounced on a Philipp Lahm error to put BVB ahead at the break, the game had a crazy spell when Manuel Neuer saved from Jovetic, before Weidenfeller pushed away Bastian Schweinsteiger’s spot-kick within five minutes of each other.
André Schürrle doubled the lead shortly after the hour mark when Neuer could only parry a Jovetic effort, and when Sven Bender was felled in the box eight minutes from time, Stevan Jovetic slammed the penalty down the middle to wrap it up.
Welcome to the Allianz-Arena for a titanic clash between Bayern and Dortmund, a match will have serious ramifcations on the destination of this year’s title. BVB won 2-1 at home back in November, and did the league double last season as well as winning in the Pokal semi-final.
No Arjen Robben for the hosts through suspension, while Dortmund are still without Marco Reus as he recovers from a broken arm. Bayern’s strike-partnership of Gómez and Giroud have 41 goals between them this season, seven more than BVB’s Jovetic and Lewandowski.
Significant milestones for both teams today. Franck Ríbery is making his 200th Bundesliga appearance for Bayern, and his 375th top-flight career appearance. For Dortmund, Roman Weidenfeller marks his 325th Bundesliga game for Dortmund while Ivan Perisic plays his 100th.
 Florian Meyer gets us under way, Bayern kick-off!
 Cagey start from both sides, with Dortmund showing the first promise. Lars Bender pops a ball over the top for Stevan Jovetic but it skips off the damp turf and runs out for a goal-kick.
 Bayern gift possession away from the restart, and Bender repeats the long ball forwards. Jovetic bring it down and comes inside the box before firing at goal, with Manuel Neuer pushing it round the post for the game’s first corner.
 Jerome Boateng heads away Mario Götze’s corner, but it falls for André Schürrle who has a go, but his shot is blocked by one of the numerous bodies in the box.
 Dortmund’s asymmetric formation is letting Lars Bender see a lot of the ball, with Bayern looking really flat.
 Dortmund work the ball into the box through Götze, it falls nicely for Jovetic but Raúl Albiol gets a toe-in before he can pull the trigger, and Neuer claims as Ivan Perisic goes for the loose ball.
 Schürrle brings down Lukas Piszczek, midway into the Dortmund half. Good chance for the former-Dortmund man to lump the ball into the box. Ríbery takes it, floating it in for Dante who heads straight at Weidenfeller, but the whistle goes for his foul on Jovetic.
 Ríbery stays down after a sliding challene from Julian Koch. Dortmund continue the attack, and Sven Bender tests Neuer from 25 yards out, wich he parries before gathering. Boos echo around the stadium from the home fans.
 Perisic lets fly from outside the box after Sven Bender wins the ball in the air in the midfield and slots it through the Munich backline.
 Schürrle is receiving treatment on the sidelines now. Ríbery comes back on. Neither looks in too much trouble.
 Piszczek cuts in from the right, plays a one-two with Kroos and fires at goal from inside the area, but Marcel Schmelzer makes a block and diverts the shot away. Perisicis then penalised for bringing down Gómez 25 yards out.
 Weidenfeller gathers from Lahm’s cross into the box.
 Neven Subotic has made a handful of towering headers to clear crosses into the Dortmund box, but this one falls a little short, and Ríbery bursts onto the loose ball but is denied by a great sliding challenge from Sven Bender before he can test the ‘keeper.
 Sven Bender is taken down by Javi Martínez in the centre-circle. Dortmund are first to each of Neuer’s goal kicks so far this evening, and have another chance to win a ball in the air here if they go long.
 BAYERN MUNICH 0-1 DORTMUND: It’s a disaster at the back for Bayern as captain Philipp Lahm completely misjudges a header. BVB eventually got the ball forwards from Lars Bender, Lahm is just outside the box and goes to cushion a header back to Neuer, but Stevan Jovetic is on it like a flash and he drills Dortmund in front.
 Mario Gómez fires a low shot well wide from fully 25 yards.
 Brilliant, strong challenge from Koch on Gómez that wins Bayern their first corner. Dortmund clear and counter quickly through Götze. Martínez eventually gets back and wins possession back. BVB in control so far.
 Raúl Albiol receives the game’s first caution after he bundles over Perisic on halfway.
 Neuer is almost caught out by another long ball forwards from the Dortmund midfield. The Bayern backline is all at sea as Jovetic gets in behind, but the ‘keeper rushes off his line to clear away outside of his box.
 Albiol steams into a challenge on Jovetic in the box. Corner. The Bayern man is living dangerously having already been booked.
 Golden opportunity for Sven Bender as the bal;l sits up nicely for him on the eightteen yard line when Albiol does’t get any distance on a header to clear a Götze cross, but the Dortmund midfielder blazes the half-volley over the bar.
 Lukasz Piszczek is cautioned as he clatters through Schmelzer as the left-back plays the ball up the wing.
 Brilliant stop from Neuer to tip a Schürrle effort round the post. That was curling towards the top corner from twenty yards.
 The game’s calmed down a bit after a frantic fifteen minutes following the goal. The fourth official indicates three additional minutes.
[45+2] Gómez needs attention after a hard (but fair) Subotic challenge.
[45+3] Lars and Sven Bender are playing brilliantly in front of the back four today. Kroos not getting a look in.
HALF-TIME: FC Bayern München 0-1 Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga).
[HT] Dortmund absolutely deserve their lead at the break. This asymmetric midfield has won almost all the battles in the centre of the park, and the counter attacking speed and balls forwards are tearing Bayern’s flat backline. You feel that they need a killer second though.
 No changes at the break and Dortmund kick-off the second-half.
 Great last-ditch challenge from Mats Hummels to take the ball off the toes of Gómez as he gets on the end of a Ríbery through-ball. Free-kick to Dortmund for a foul at the corner.
 Penalty! Florian Meyer points to the spot as André Schürrle and Lukasz Piszczek tussle at the back post trying to get on the end of Götze’s whipped cross. Boateng has a nudge on him but Piszczek clearly trips the Dortmund winger.
 That’ll be Piszczek’s (6.3) last action of the game as he’s replaced by Bastian Schweinsteiger. Up steps Jovetic for the spot-kick…
 Saved! Jovetic goes low to Neuer’s right, but the ‘keeper goes the same way and stops it low down before pouncing on the loose ball. Great ‘keeping.
 Bayern are lifted by that fine Neuer stop and attacking in numbers. Kroos has a go from 25 yards that Weidenfeller can’t keep hold of, but Olivier Giroud fouls Hummels as they both stretch for the loose ball.
 Perisic collects the ball in the centre-circle, looks up and with one touch slots it straight through the back four for Jovetic. It looks a certain goal as the shot creeps under the advancing Neuer, but it drags inches wide.
 End-to-end stuff here as Bayern win a corner when Hummels gets in a bit of a tangle and can only put the ball behind under pressure from Giroud. Hummels beats Giroud to the corner, and it’s a second.
 Penalty! Meyer points to the spot for the second time in five minutes. The corner from Kroos goes deep to the back post where Giroud gets in front of Subotic and goes down under the challenge. Looks the right call.
 Saved! Bastian Schweinsteiger takes pretty much his first touch since coming on, going high to Weidenfeller’s right, but the ‘keeper makes a brilliant save to push the ball away at shoulder height.
 André Schürrle slides in hard on Schweinsteiger in front of the Bayern bench which sparks a scuffle. Yellow card for the Dortmund man, his fourth of the season.
 Schweinsteiger wins Bayern a corner, but Kroos’s delivery is caught by Weidenfeller.
 Olivier Giroud is denied an equaliser by Weidenfeller’s fingertips as he drifts between Hummels and Schmelzer to fire Schweinsteiger’s ball towards goal. Weidenfeller gets a touch to take the sting out the shot before Hummels clears in the six-yard box. Half the ground were already celebrating.
 Bayern are furious that Julian Koch isn’t penalised for his bodycheck on Javi Martínez in the middle of the park, as Dortmund go on to win a corner through Götze when his square ball into the box is put behind by Boateng.
 Hummels’ header grazes the top of the bar.
 BAYERN MUNICH 0-2 DORTMUND: The hosts lost their focus to berate the official, but the second Dortmund goal is of their own undoing. Again they lose possession from the goal kick, with Jovetic darting past two men. His shot is pushed away by Neuer but André Schürrle is on hand to slot home from 15 yards. That’s a big, big goal in the title race!
 Bayern are a shambles at the back, they just can’t cope with this Dortmund system. Götze plays Jovetic through but he’s denied by the feet of Neuer. He could be on a hat-trick by now. Hosts are so very flat across the park.
 Bayern make their second change: Ríbery (6.6) is replaced by Thomas Müller.
 Gómez races on to a ball from Kroos, but he takes the shot first time on the bounce, looking to chip Weidenfeller, but it drops wide. Dortmund make their first change, bringing on Dennis Praet for Perisic (7.1).
 Weidenfeller holds from a Giroud shot. He, Gómez and Kroos played a nice passing triangular move between them all to get the ball forwards before Giroud had a go from 18 yards.
 Javier Hernández replaces Gómez (5.9) for Bayern’s final change. Fifteen to go here. Dortmund look comfortable but Bayern definitely pushing for a goal to shake this game up.
 Philipp Lahm brings down Schürrle and gets a yellow card.
 Boateng is lucky to escape a booking after he pushes Götze over by the corner flag, right in front of the assistant. Great chance for Praet to whip a cross in for Hummels or Subotic.
 Penalty! It’s a third penalty in the game, and it’s gone to Dortmund! Bayern clear the initial free-kick, but Praet plays it back into the box for Sven Bender a yard inside the box who is taken out from behind by Martínez.
 We’ve never had three penalties missed in a Bundesliga game. Stevan Jovetic, who had his spot kick half-hour ago saved by Neuer to his right is going to take this one.
 BAYERN MUNICH 0-3 DORTMUND: Manuel Neuer goes to his right again but Stevan Jovetic slams it right down the middle, and runs to celebrate in front of the travelling fans. This will be a huge three points tonight. Two points from their final two games and Dortmund will be champions.
 Sven Bender is a whisker away from making it four. Bayern give the ball away shortly after kick-off, Götze bursts forwards, holds up before setting the shot for Bender who sees his shot tipped onto the post by Neuer.
 Olivier Giroud is cautioned for a trip on Lars Bender, and he’ll now miss their huge game at Hamburg next weekend.
 Müller holds off Schmelzer and gets by Hummels to square for Giroud, but Weidenfeller pushes away his first-time shot.
 Three additional minutes.
[90+2] Praet is in behind the centre-backs as he ghosts forwards and latches onto Jovetic’s through-ball. He lifts the ball over Neuer but it’s inches wide.
FULL-TIME: FC Bayern München 0-3 Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga). [PKM]
A massive win for Dortmund who take a stride to defending the title that they won here on this ground a year ago. This changed system, letting Lars Bender anchor in front of the back four while brother Sven can push forwards caused bayern problems all night long.
Dortmund need just two points from their final two matches. A win at home against Mainz next weekend will see them lift the trophy in front of their own fans. It could all be settled this weekend if Leverkusen and Hamburg lose, though.
FULL-TIME: FC Bayern München 0-3 Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga). [PKM]
Here’s how the top six look head of the rest of the league playing:
- 09.05: Bundesliga #33 BVB v. FSV Mainz (Signal Iduna Park)
- 16.05: Bundesliga Last Day TSG Hoffenheim v. BVB (WRN-Arena)
- 23.05: DFB-Pokal Final Schalke v. BVB (Olympiastadion, Berlin)