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FC Bayern vs Borussia Dortmund: Arjen Robben the Man of the Match

In a thrilling match that lived up to its billing as "der Klassiker", there were once again many players that were worthy of the title of Man of the Match, even one from the opposition. But, in the end, the decision was pretty straight-forward.

Adam Pretty

If the standings were a secret and nobody knew what position Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund currently occupied, most people would have probably figured that this was a clash between the two leading clubs in Germany. Dortmund's performance belied their recent poor form domestically, and they were able to take a slice of their Champions League mojo and bring it to Munich.

FC Bayern show why they lead the league

But, let's be honest, the best team deservedly won, especially after a dominant 2nd half performance by die Roten. FC Bayern showed everyone why they are the class of Germany, and why they are in 1st place in their CL "Group of Death", but not without having to closely battle with the honey bees.

Dortmund's keeper stands on his head

If this contest was open to the opposition players (it isn't), Roman Weidenfeller would have made a very strong case for taking the MotM honor, despite being on the losing side. If not for Manuel Neuer's national team backup, Dortmund could have been staring at a 1-4 halftime result, as he stopped two clear chances each from Thomas Müller and Arjen Robben, and saved Dortmund's slim lead into the intermission.

Honorable mentions

An argument can also be made for guys like Jerome Boateng, who stepped up in the middle when Xabi Alonso was generally marked out of the game by Shinji Kagawa, being his usual rock-solid self on defense, and distributing the ball all over the field. Mehdi Benatia, despite his failure to cover Marco Reus on Dortmund's solitary goal, had an outstanding game, even getting heavily involved in the attack (great effort on the cross to Robert Lewandowski to begin the 2nd half), mostly in the form of set pieces.

If not for the shortness of his time on the field (substituted on for Mario Götze in the 70th minute), Franck Ribery could have snagged the award, as he was directly or indirectly involved in both goals (made the original through pass to Robben, which was deflected by Neven Subotic into Lewandowski's path for the 1st goal, and earned the penalty kick which was converted by Robben for the game-winning goal).

Man of the Match: Arjen Robben

But, in the end, it has to go to the most dynamic player on the field, a guy who was constantly wreaking havoc in the Dortmund half, whether he was coming from his usual right side, or from the left or middle, whether he was making his trademark move to his left, and blasting away, or setting up his teammates (the through ball to Müller in the first half was exquisite). FC Bayern is not the same team without him on the field, and when he's not in the lineup, making the other team have to worry about what he's going to do, or who he is about to make dizzy with his moves, the entire offense is not on the same level.

What do you think?  Should we have given it to Neven Subotic?

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