Berlin, March 7 (IANS) Bayern Munich shook off a 2-0 deficit and rallied back to crush rivals Borussia Dortmund thanks to Robert Lewandowski’s hat-trick in the Bundesliga.
The Bavarians caught the worst possible start on home soil as Dortmund established a two-goal advantage with only nine minutes played on Saturday. However, Bayern responded in style with two goals in each half to maintain its two-point lead atop the Bundesliga standings, the Xinhua news reported.
Dortmund grabbed a fairy-tale start on the road as Erling Haaland opened the scoring with a deflected shot from 18 meters and two minutes gone in the Klassiker.
The visitors were on fire and doubled the lead seven minutes later when Haaland wrapped up his brace after finishing off a combination via Thorgan Hazard. The last time Bayern was two goals behind on home soil was against Duisburg in 1977.
Bayern responded well and assumed control as Leroy Sane came close in the 17th minute. Sane remained in the thick of things as his square pass in the 26th minute found Lewandowski, who wasted no time to poke home from very close range.
The hosts piled on the pressure and pressed Dortmund into defence. Bayern’s efforts paid off as VAR saw Mahmoud Dahoud’s foul on Kingsley Coman inside the box. Lewandowski stepped up and kept his nerves after sending Dortmund goalkeeper Marwin Hitz into the wrong corner with the subsequent penalty in the 44th minute.
After the break, Dortmund started with a promising chance, but Hazard rattled only the side netting with two minutes into the second half.
As the match progressed, Bayern gained the upper hand but wasn’t able to create more than half chances in front of Dortmund’s goal area.
Hansi Flick’s men eventually turned the tide as Leon Goretzka volleyed home a clearance from Dortmund’s Thomas Meunier into the top-left corner.
To make things worse for Dortmund, the Bundesliga’s top scorer Lewandowski wasn’t done with the scoring and completed a fast break with a well-placed low shot to mark his 31st goal of the season into the bottom-left corner.
“We started very good into the game, but the first half ended terribly for us. We weren’t able to put pressure on Bayern, and they of course played very well in the second half,” said Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic.
“We lately get punished by the opponents in the opening stages, but I try to look at the positive things and that is how my team came back once again. We played aggressively and left no doubt that we wanted to win here,” Bayern head coach Hansi Flick said.
With the result, Bayern Munich recapture the top spot in the table with a two-point advantage while Borussia Dortmund slump to 6th place.
On Sunday, relegation-threatened Cologne encounter Werder Bremen, while Arminia Bielefeld host Union Berlin to conclude the 24th round of matches.