Lewandowski: Dortmund still a great team

The Pole played a key role in consigning his old side to a seventh Bundesliga defeat of the season on Saturday but he is adamant that BVB will still finish in the top four

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowksi says he did not celebrate his strike in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund out of respect for his former club, who he maintains remain a “great team”.

Struggling BVB looked set to pull off a shock victory at the Allianz Arena thanks to Marco Reus’ first-half header but Lewandowski levelled matters in the 72nd minute with a left-footed strike before Arjen Robben slotted home a late winner from the penalty spot.

It was a seventh victory in 10 Bundesliga matches for Bayern, who top the table by four points from Wolsburg, but Dortmund’s seven defeat of the season saw them drop to 16th.

Although he left Signal Iduna Park during the summer to move to Bavaria, Lewandowski insists he still has a lot of love for BVB and is supremely confident that they will soon turn things around.

“It was not an easy game – for me, either,” the Poland international told Sky. “I did not celebrate [the equaliser] but it was an important goal and it was a goal for my dad.

“We were not perfect during the first half but the only important thing is that we got the three points.

“I know BVB are still a great team. They’re struggling at the moment.

“But I expect them to come catch up again and I know they will play in the Champions League again next season.”

Bayern had squandered a succession of chances before finally restoring parity through Lewandowski and defender Jerome Boateng admitted that Pep Guardiola’s men would have been devastated had they not finally turned all of their possession into goals.

“We played very well, but we failed to convert our chances,” the centre-half confessed.

“I remember talking to Manuel [Neuer] and Philipp [Lahm] on the pitch, saying: ‘I won’t believe it if we lose this match.'”

Bayern resume their Champions League campaign with a meeting with Roma on Wednesday evening, with the Bavarians boasting a 100 per cent record after three games in Group E.

Ribery made the difference, says Guardiola

The ex-Barcelona coach was quick to hail the Frenchman’s contribution and stressed Bayern are always capable of finding a solution

Pep Guardiola says Franck Ribery made the difference for Bayern Munich in their hard-fought 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

Marco Reus opened the scoring for BVB before the break, but Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben found the net after the interval to help the Bundesliga champions to victory.

Ribery started the match at the Allianz Arena from the bench, but played a key role in Bayern’s victory as he won a penalty after replacing Mario Gotze in the 70th minute.

“Franck Ribery helped us a great deal after he came off the bench,” Guardiola said at a press conference.

“We wanted him to play close to [Neven] Subotic and take advantage of his strengths in one-on-one situations.”

Bayern struggled in the opening 45 minutes as Dortmund kept a close eye on playmaker Xabi Alonso before the break, but Guardiola stressed the Bavarians have the quality to always find a solution.

“Xabi Alonso was marked quite closely in the first half, but we managed to find a solution for that.

“I think that we are always capable of finding an answer to difficult situations.”

Bayern sit atop of the Bundesliga table with 24 points from 10 games, holding a four-point lead over second-placed Wolfsburg.

Dortmund stopped playing football in second half, says Klopp

The 47-year-old was unhappy with his side’s performance after the break and admitted they did not deserve a better result

Jurgen Klopp has voiced his frustration with the way Borussia Dortmund gave away victory in Saturday’s Bundesliga match against Bayern Munich.

BVB went 1-0 up before the break through Marco Reus, but goals from Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben in the second half eventually saw the reigning champions bag the full three points, much to the disappointment of Klopp.

“It was a close game. We had a good first half, but weren’t as good after the break. In the end, we simply could not cope with Bayern’s pressure and the loss was not undeserved,” Klopp told Sky.

“The problem in the second half was that we stopped playing football. We started hitting long balls and did not move forward any more. Bayern’s pressure became worse and worse. We had the desire, but couldn’t bring it any more.

“We were no longer in control in the second half and Mats Hummels’ injury didn’t help either.

“The situation we are going through now is clearly a bad thing. We have so many areas where we must improve and this was obvious again here.”

Dortmund have dropped to 16th spot in the Bundesliga table following this weekend’s results, having collected seven points from 10 games.

Bayern Munich 2-1 Borussia Dortmund: Robben wins it late as BVB nightmare continues

Marco Reus had given the visitors the lead but Robert Lewandowski and the Dutchman were on target to give the home side the win

Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben broke the hearts of Jurgen Klopp and Borussia Dortmund as they scored to give Bayern Munich all three points in a 2-1 over their rivals.

Returning Robben sealed the points form the penalty spot in the 85th minute as an influential substitute appearance from Franck Ribery – continuing to work towards full fitness after his recent injury problems – helped to turn the contest in Bayern’s favour.

Poland international Lewandowski, who swapped Signal Iduna Park for the Allianz Arena during the close-season, equalised in the 72nd minute after Marco Reus – the subject of the latest tug-of-war between German football’s two heavyweights – had put Dortmund ahead.

Reus was the focus of much of the build-up after Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge expressed a possible interest in signing the Germany international earlier in the week.

Dortmund coach Klopp reacted coldly to Rummenigge’s words at his pre-match press conference, but Reus offered the prefect riposte when he headed home after a blistering 32nd-minute counter attack.

The visitors were indebted to goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller for preserving their lead before Lewandowski and Robben ultimately extended Dortmund’s worrying Bundesliga slump that has now reaped just one point from their last seven matches.

Back in the Bayern side following a thigh complaint, Robben almost scored a brilliant sixth-minute opener as he ran onto Mario Gotze’s backheel to rattle the crossbar via a vital tip Weidenfeller .

Klopp’s team responded through Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who drove at a backpeddling Bayern defence to shoot narrowly past the right-hand post.

Weidenfeller clattered a clearance into the back of Mkhitaryan’s head, forcing a spell of treatment for his team-mate, but the goalkeeper produced a far more useful contribution in the 24th minute – getting down to keep out a shot from Robben after a trademark cut-in from the flank.

Weidenfeller’s opposite number, Manuel Neuer, produced a fine stop to thwart Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the 30th minute after Mkhitaryan had beaten the Bayern backline.

The champions did not heed that warning, though, and a minute later Shinji Kagawa sent Aubameyang racing away down the right, with his cross converted as Reus caught Mehdi Benatia flat footed.

Thomas Muller went agonisingly close to providing a decisive touch on Robben’s low cross and then called Weidenfeller into action with a looping header as Bayern sought a quick response.

Lewandowski and Robben combined superbly to send Muller through on goal in the 38th minute, but Weidenfeller was equal to the task once more

A twisting, turning Robben had the goalkeeper committed five minutes before the break, only for Sven Bender to preserve Dortmund’s advantage with a crucial block.

Weidenfeller’s excellent performance continued after the break, the shot-stopper keeping out Lewandowski’s effort with his feet in the 51st minute when his former colleague should have scored.

With an hour played, Sebastian Kehl found Kagawa only for the Japan international to skilfully turn Jerome Boateng and fire a low shot wide, while Benatia headed off target from close range.

The equaliser arrived when Neven Subotic – on at half-time for injured centre-back Mats Hummels – could only partially cut out substitute Ribery’s throughball, allowing Lewandowski to lash home from the edge of the area.

And there was worse to come for Subotic as he clumsily hauled Ribery over for Robben to convert the decisive spot-kick with five minutes left, handing Bayern a four-point lead at the Bundesliga summit and leaving Dortmund languishing third-bottom.

Gotze is every striker's dream – Lewandowski

The Poland international has lauded his team-mate’s ability to unlock defences and spoke of his friendship with Marco Reus

Bayern Munich star Roberto Lewandowski says every striker in the world dreams of playing alongside a passer of the quality of team-mate Mario Gotze.

The pair developed a profitable understanding at Borussia Dortmund before both departed the club for the Allianz Arena over the past two years, where they have resumed their partnership.

BVB are Bayern’s opponents in the Bundesliga on Saturday and ahead of the game Lewandowski spoke highly of Gotze’s qualities on the back of the Germany international’s fine start to the campaign.

 “I love to play with Mario. His technical skills are incredible, every striker in the world can only dream of his passing,” he said.

Earlier this week, Marco Reus refused to commit his future to Dortmund and has been tipped to become the third player to leave the club for Bayern in as many summers in 2015.

His former Signal Iduna Park team-mate, Lewandowski, spoke of his friendship with the 25-year-old – whose release clause drops to €25 million in June – but did his best to avoid talking up a possible move.

He added: “Marco is a super player with whom I’ve always got on very well… But I should not say too much on the topic – otherwise there will be a lot more speculation and I still get in trouble with my ex-team-mates.”

Dortmund and Bayern go into Saturday’s game in contrasting frames of mind. BVB have won just two of their opening nine games and sit 15th in the table, while Bayern top the league having made an unbeaten start to the season.

However, BVB did get the better of their rivals in the German Super Cup back in August, with goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan sealing a 2-0 triumph.