The champions Bayern Munich came from two goals down to beat Borussia Dortmund 4-2 on Saturday with a hat-trick from Robert Lewandowski, to remain two points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.
Dortmund scored twice through Erling Haaland in the opening nine minutes and Poland forward Lewandowski responded with a double of his own in an explosive first half. But a goal from Leon Goretzka in the 88th minute put the hosts in front, and Lewandowski scored his third in the 90th to kill off the game.
“It is part of our DNA, of our identity to believe that we can turn matches like that,” said Bayern’s Thomas Müller. “But it is also difficult. It was not part of our match plan.”
Lewandowski, who is chasing Gerd Müller’s legendary record of 40 league goals in one season dating from the 1971-72 campaign, now has 31 with 10 league games remaining. Bayern, hunting a record-extending ninth consecutive league title, are on 55 points, two ahead of RB Leipzig, winners 3-0 at Freiburg.
The league’s two best attacks lived up to their reputation in Der Klassiker with a stunning four-goal first-half display in an empty Allianz arena.
Dortmund, who had won the last four games in all competitions, were 2-0 up by the ninth minute with Haaland thundering in a shot and tapping in a cutback to take his league tally to 19.
Bayern, however, quickly fought back, took control and struck twice with Lewandowski in the 26th minute and a 44th-minute penalty for a foul on Kingsley Coman, to send the teams level at half time.
Both took their foot off the gas after the break and Haaland had to be taken off injured after an hour with the visitors looking content with the draw, unwilling to risk too much in search of a winner.
Bayern pushed for a third goal with Niklas Süle and Müller both heading wide and Joshua Kimmich also missing the target late in the game.
But Goretzka put them in front for the first time with a shot from inside the box two minutes from time, before Lewandowski capped a superb performance, rifling in from the edge of the penalty area.
“We started well but we should have kept it up,” said Dortmund’s Emre Can. “I am very disappointed. At some point we did not play football any more. It was not good enough today.”