Borussia Dortmund's coach Juergen Klopp (C) argues with Bayern Munich's manager Matthias Sammer (L) watched by Bayern Munich's coach Jupp Heynckes (R) during their German first division Bundesliga soccer match in Dortmund May 4, 2013. Picture taken May 4, 2013. (Photo : REUTERS/Lisi Niesner (GERMANY - Tags: SPORT SOCCER) DFL RULES TO LIMIT THE ONLINE USAGE DURING MATCH TIME TO 15 PICTURES PER GAME. IMAGE SEQUENCES TO SIMULATE VIDEO IS NOT ALLOWED AT ANY TIME. FOR FU)
Many viewed Saturday's match between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund a preview of the Champions League final on May 25. However, the match turned out to prove little but did elevate the anger between the two squads.
For starters, the two coaches opted to rest the majority of their star players. While some may wonder whether the move was intent on keeping the opponent surprised for May 25, it is more likely that both coaches simply felt their respective teams need a break. Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp left Mario Gotze (injured) Mats Hummels, Lukasz Piszczek, Sven Bender and Marco Reus a rest.
Bayern manager Jupp Heynckes left out Arjen Robben, Phillip Lahm, Mario Mandzukic, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez, and Franck Ribery out of the starting lineup; all of these stars were instrumental in the 7-0 dismantling of Barcelona over two legs. Thomas Muller was also left out of the game but eventually entered as a substitute.
The two sides wrestled to a 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund ending a 14-game winning streak for the opposition. Robert Lewandowski was on the pitch for Dortmund and had a penalty shot that would have given his team a victory; he was stopped by keeper Manuel Neuer. His miss reflects a wave of bad luck that has pursued him since the last game against Real Madrid. In that game, Lewandowski hit the cross bar and missed the net on precious chances.
The match did showcase a tremendous amount of animosity between the two sides. Bayern's Rafinho was given a second yellow card for elbowing Dortmund's Kuba. The latter fell to the floor for a few minutes until his opponent got the red. Once that was achieved, he got up and started yelling at Rafinho. As Rafinho exited the pitch, Borussia coach Klopp also started a verbal assault on the Brazilian that eventually escalated in Klopp firing insults at Bayern's sporting director Matthias Sammer.
While the game itself proved little, the flaring tempers will surely increase the tension heading into the important Champions league final.