Star Germany center-back Niklas Süle raised eyebrows with his decision to hop from Bayern Munich — the soon-to-be ten-time record champions — over to Borussia Dortmund for the summer 2022 transfer window — signing on a free, to boot. Well, in the clubs’ first Der Klassiker, it’s Süle who was able to enjoy the result far more.
And it’s thanks to a surprisingly stout Dortmund defense that his team were able to do so. The same team that surrounded three in an abysmal defeat to 1. FC Köln a week ago came out stout on defense — totally smothering the attacking initiatives of the Bundesliga’s leading scorers.
“In the first half, we held our own, didn’t give much away and had chances of our own,” Süle commented after the game (via FCBayern.com). “We know Bayern have the quality and are dangerous. We had to withstand the pressure, and I’m delighted we did.”
Despite Süle’s stalwart efforts at bringing the Yellow Wall to the field, however, BVB were still required to claw their way back from 2-0 down in their own house — which, improbably, they did! Anthony Modeste proved hero on the day, redeeming his own earlier miss in front of Manuel Neuer’s goal by latching on to a Nico Schlotterbeck cross with the game’s final breath.
The former 1. FC Köln fixture was equally delighted — and joined the ex-Bayern center-back afterwards in saluting a raucous and roaring crowd at Signal Iduna Park.
“I scored to make it 2-2, which, in the end, is what matters most,” Modeste exclaimed, his past miss happily forgotten. “It’s a great day. It was very important for us. We’re happy to take the point.”
And so here we are — Bayern and Dortmund, honors even in the table, and neither of them even in the top two! It’s heating up to be a thrilling Bundesliga season. The giants have been humbled, and their challengers — growing in numbers — are flying high.
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