Borussia and Bayern Munich fought out a rousing 3-3 draw in the Bundesliga on Saturday afternoon at Borussia Park.
The game got off to a breathtaking start with a mis-hit right-wing cross from Patrick Herrmann sailing over dumbfounded Bayern keeper Hans-Jörg Butt into the far corner of the net after just five minutes. However, Borussia’s early lead failed to unsettle the record title winners unduly and just four minutes later Mario Gomez’s close-range header from a Toni Kroos free-kick made it 1-1.
Bayern then took control of the game. Largely pegged back, Borussia had lots of defending to do: Christofer Heimeroth saved well from the agile Altintop in the 17th minute and in the 30th and 36th minutes the bar twice came to VfL’s rescue. First a Schweinsteiger header from an Altintop cross came back off the woodwork and then six minutes later a shot from Kroos also hit the bar. Previously Heimeroth had pulled off another good save, this time from Gomez. Bayern continued to press and in the 40th minute they then took the lead: Danijel Pranjic played a diagonal ball from the left into the penalty area, where Schweinsteiger surged through and beat the VfL keeper to put the visitors 2-1 up. Just two minutes later, Heimeroth was up against Schweinsteiger once again – facing a Bayern penalty after a foul by Schachten on Altintop. However, the German international drove his spot-kick against the outside of the post. FCB thus went in at the break with just a one-goal lead. Given the number of chances the visitors had created, Borussia could count themselves lucky to still be in the game.
Two changes at half-time
Frontzeck made two changes for the start of the second half: Roel Brouwers came on for Sebastian Schachten and Igor de Camargo, who replaced Mo Idrissou, was given the task of supporting Raul Bobadilla in the attack. And he did that very impressively! Borussia looked much more determined after the break and took their chances ruthlessly. In the 56th minute de Camargo’s angled pass sent Marco Reus on his way. Reus controlled the ball well, held of a challenge and slid the ball past Butt to make it 2-2. Just four minutes later, Reus repaid the favour, feeding de Camargo in a promising position. He beat van Buyten and fired home superbly to put Borussia 3-2 up (60). The move had started with a determined, ball-winning tackle by Roman Neustädter and a quick switch from defence to attack by the VfL players. The home side were now on top, Borussia Park was bouncing and Bayern were ruing not taking their earlier chances.
Borussia had turned the game around in next to no time and fought hard over the next few minutes to maintain their lead. Energetically going into tackles and always looking for the chance to mount a counter-attack, Frontzeck’s men were a changed side from the first half. Although the visitors won a few free-kicks, for a long spell they had no further clear-cut chances in front of goal. Heimeroth’s good reaction to a Gomez effort (63) was for some time the only save he had to make. However, Bayern mounted a lot of pressure and it eventually paid off: after a shot from Anatoliy Tymoschuk was knocked away, Philipp Lahm was first to the ball and shot home calmly to make it 3-3 (84). Three minutes later Gomez even had a huge chance to put the visitors 4-3 up, but the Bayern striker hit his shot over the bar. Borussia shored up their defence well for the final few minutes and then in injury time camped out in front of the visitors’ goal – but without further success, leaving the score all square at the final whistle.
After a mixed first half, Borussia had turned the game around completely with a strong second half performance, going 3-2 up. Unfortunately, despite a wonderfully battling display after the break, Borussia were left having to swallow the bitter pill of Lahm’s late equaliser.
Borussia: Heimeroth – Levels, Anderson, Daems, Schachten (Brouwers, 46) – Bradley, Neustädter – Herrmann (Matmour, 81), Idrissou (de Camargo, 46) – Reus, Bobadilla.
Bayern: Butt – Lahm, van Buyten, Demichelis, Pranjic (Alaba, 81) – Tymoshchuk, Ottl (Müller, 70) – Altintop, Schweinsteiger, Altintop – Gomez.
Goals: 1-0 Herrmann (5), 1-1 Gomez (9), 1-2 Schweinsteiger (40), 2-2 Reus (56), 3-2 de Camargo (60), 3-3 Lahm (84)
Yellow card: Schachten
Attendance: 54,057 (sold out)
Notable incident: Schweinsteiger penalty against the post (42)