Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich had a pretty eventful week. The big two in Germany completed a historic Champions League adventure by booking their place in the final at Wembley at the end of the month.
Spanish opposition proved the fodder for both sides as Bayern thrashed Barcelona and Dortmund eventually had to scrape by Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid.
But before they even had a chance to take a breath the two had to face off against each other at the home of Borussia Dortmund. In front of a packed crowd at Signal Iduna Park the two played out what would undoubtedly be seen as a preview of what to expect ahead of the final in London.
The presence of this game in fact had many British television viewers turning off another game in London. QPR were taking on Arsenal but if you watched the first 20 seconds of that game then flicked over to see the best in the Bundesliga you hedged your bets extremely well.
In the end the two sides shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw that offered plenty to be in anticipation about ahead of the Champions League final.
Kevin Grosskreutz got the ball rolling. He received some criticism after the Real Madrid second leg for a rather rigid performance but there was nothing rigid about his opening goal. Coming in from the right wing he met Jakub Blaszczykowski’s left wing cross with an athletic volley that left Manuel Neuer with no chance to send the home support into raptures.
However their joy was short lived. Ball magnet Mario Gomez nodded the ball past Roman Wiedenfeller not long after conceding and that is how the game ended in Westphalia.
One worry ahead of this game, before the final places were booked, would be that it lacked passion. With Munich already tying up a runaway title victory many wondered just what exactly BVB had to play for.
But after the signing of Mario Gotze was announced on the eve of the Champions League semi-finals and the quite obvious courting of Robert Lewandowski the hierarchy at Dortmund finally seem to have lost patience with their Bavarian counterparts.
Indeed the clubs chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke admitted this week that his respect and admiration for their rivals had ‘cooled’; citing a ‘few irritations’ as the reason why.
That tension seemed to boil over on to the pitch as the usually cool as cucumber Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp found himself in a heated exchange with Bayern legend Matthias Sammer during the second half off the match:
If this is just the dress rehearsal imagine what the main event will be like?
image: © peterfuchs