Robert Lewandowski scored twice against his former team for Bayern Munich to extend its Bundesliga lead with a contentious 3-2 win at Borussia Dortmund in “der Klassiker” on Saturday.
But Dortmund fans’ anger was directed at the referee, who awarded Bayern a penalty and denied their team another.
Lewandowski scored the disputed winner from the spot in the 78th minute after referee Felix Zwayer awarded the penalty following a VAR check. Zwayer penalized Mats Hummels for handball after Serge Gnabry’s corner struck the Dortmund defender’s elbow as he appeared to stumble.
Dortmund coach Marco Rose was sent off with his second yellow card for protesting.
“It’s just a shame that such a game is decided like this,” Rose said.
Earlier, Dortmund captain Marco Reus had a penalty appeal waved away after a tussle with Lucas Hernández.
“You can give it,” Bayern’s Thomas Müller said of what looked like a push in Reus’ back from his teammate.
“That’s the bitter thing, that such an intense game is decided by that,” Müller added. “So I can understand the anger. But I can also understand the referee in the individual situations.”
Zwayer said he saw Hummels’ elbow make contact with the ball, but he wasn’t sure whether the elbow was in or out, so he checked the video footage. He said it wasn’t necessary to check Reus’ penalty appeal because he had a clear view of the incident, and the video referee watching in Cologne did not contradict his decision.
“I had a very clear and unambiguous impression that was ultimately checked and also confirmed on the monitor in Cologne,” said Zwayer, who had allowed a free-flowing game.
After Lewandowski’s penalty, the match resumed to whistles from the home fans – just 15,000 due to new coronavirus restrictions. Dortmund had to cancel and refund all 67,000 it previously sold for the game.
Lewandowski’s second goal – his 16th of the season – dealt Dortmund its first loss at home and left it four points adrift of Bayern after 14 Bundesliga rounds.
It was Bayern’s sixth consecutive win over Dortmund, and it puts the Bavarian powerhouse on course for a record-extending 10th consecutive title.
There was a lengthy hold up in the second-half following a serious clash of heads between Dortmund goal-scorer Julian Brandt and Bayern defender Dayot Upamecano. Brandt was carried off, while Upamecano continued.
Brandt set the tone for a thrilling game with a fine goal in the fifth minute, when he eluded Alphonso Davies by playing the ball between his legs and then fired it inside the top right corner.
Bayern looked uncertain after the setback, but Müller chased down a poor touch from Hummels and then held off his former teammate to set up Lewandowski, who equalized with a tidy finish inside the near post in the ninth.
There was no respite for either team as the game resumed at a furious pace.
Dortmund had the more clear-cut chances, but Kingsley Coman scored a minute before the break with a deflected shot after Raphael Guerreiro’s attempted clearance was inadvertently blocked by Hummels.
Erling Haaland equalized after the break with a curled shot in off the far post, his 11th goal in eight Bundesliga games set up by Guerreiro after a mistake from Upamecano.
Dortmund’s luck changed when Reus’ penalty appeal went unheeded shortly afterwards.
The onset of winter brought a flurry of goals on Saturday when Patrick Schick scored four to help Bayer Leverkusen consolidate third place with a 7-1 rout of helpless Greuther Fürth.
Schick needed only 27 second-half minutes for his four-goal haul, the league’s fastest since Lewandowski scored five in nine minutes against Wolfsburg in September 2015.
Fürth extended its desolate Bundesliga-record run of defeats to 12 straight, while the promoted team’s solitary point is also a record after 14 rounds.
Bochum won in Augsburg 3-2, and Mainz dispatched visiting Wolfsburg 3-0. Hoffenheim came from behind to beat Eintracht Frankfurt 3-2 and Arminia Bielefeld fought back against visiting Cologne to draw 1-1.