Oh my! Borussia Dortmund equalized Bayern Munich with the last kick of the game in an incredible Der Klassiker showdown full of choppy moments, yellow cards, and high emotion. Here’s our awards on the day.
Jersey Swap: Anthony Modeste
Lots of decent options for Dortmund. Niklas Süle made his trademark Sülinho forays, Julian Brandt teased with some fantastic service from the wings, and Youssoufa Moukoko and Anthony Modeste provided the goals. Karim Adeyemi was a problem for Josip Stanišić and provided the beautiful curling cross that nearly equalized.
But in the end, it’s the man of the entire hour. Anthony Modeste was a late transfer window add, called on to fill the unfortunate vacancy left by Sébastien Haller's cancer diagnosis. He’s been much-maligned and didn’t get the start...but saved the entire day for his team.
It was a lovely in-game redemption story for him as well. He should have equalized earlier, but had gotten it horribly wrong right in front of Manuel Neuer. The second time — with the very last kick of the game, to boot — he made no mistake, and clawed his team back to parity.
Der Kaiser: Dayot Upamecano
Our beloved Bayern didn’t show up to this game as we’d hoped. Dortmund pressed with intensity and threatened regularly, while the Bavarians struggled to impose control over the game. What kept the home side from reaching the breakthrough first? Heroic efforts in defense, with Upamecano leading the way. He was impeccable in the timing of his challenges and frankly saved the day on numerous nervy occasions. He wasn’t really to blame for Dortmund’s goals, either.
What a redemption season it’s been for Upamecano. Even with Dortmund showing their best, they struggled to get anything through him. Without Upamecano’s consistent quality, this game could’ve been a different story even in the first half.
Fußballgott: Leon Goretzka
Playing on the left side of midfield, Goretzka had a box-to-box role and was charged with both launching Bayern attacks and showing some defensive steel. His passes weren’t always the most crisp — hopeful switch balls over to the right wing failing to find their mark and even a pass out of defense straight to a Dortmund player.
Still, Goretzka more than did his job. He was a menace roaring into attacking positions, and while Marcel Sabitzer was the more defensive of the pivot, he did his job back home, too — flying in on Donyell Malen late in the first half on one occasion to nick the ball away from the top of the box.
Most importantly, he provided the crucial first goal out of nowhere — a long range shot from beyond the 18 — a test of Dortmund’s backup keeper which Alex Mayer could not answer.
Of course, a special shout-out to Joshua Kimmich — who changed the midfield dynamics for the better after coming on in the second half. But Goretzka gets the nod for a very important opening goal.
Der Bomber: Jamal Musiala
What more is there to say about Bayern’s magical wunderkind that hasn’t already been said? Musiala’s ability to navigate tight spaces, wriggle out of pressure, and supply sublime passes to his teammates is an incredible asset. He’s nigh-undroppable for club and country, and had his involvement in both Bayern goals — though he only got credited with one assist.
On that occasion, it was Musiala’s gravitational pull that helped pull apart a tightly-packed Dortmund defense just enough to carve out time and space for his pass — and equally, for the midfielders around Goretzka to be put off enough to allow him a clean shot.
Manipulating time and space itself — that’s just what Bambi does.
Meister of the Match: Leroy Sané
Speaking of redemption seasons, Leroy Sané is here to show that he shows up to all the big games — not just those in the Champions League. Dortmund are not a team to back down or fall apart after a 0-1 deficit, and came out with the same energy in the second half. Sané quieted things down with an absolute screamer in the 53rd minute, again beating Mayer when the BVB keeper might have done better.
Sané was equally polished in the other phases of the play — charging back and tracking back to help disrupt Dortmund possessions as well as launching Bayern breakaways with his combination of blistering pace and soft touch. That slide-rule pass for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in second-half stoppage time was a keen example of his creative prowess.
Bayern have options aplenty in attack but Sané is showing once again that he's an indispensable weapon.
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