Just a few weeks ago, global football audiences witnessed both the Milan derby and the El Clasico. We were left wanting more after that scintillating night of football and should count ourselves lucky to get a taste of more such intensity and brilliance again. This time around, it is the Bundesliga’s turn to appease the ever growing hunger for good football with the eagerly awaited Revierderby.
To put the importance of this game into words is doing it a disservice. This game signifies both bragging rights and the title aspirations of both clubs, making it all the more important for players, managers and fans alike. With all this in mind TheHardTackle brings to you five of the most entertaining battles between these two massive sides.
Dortmund 0-4 Schalke (2000-01)
Playing in front of the fabled Yellow Wall is far from an easy task, and all the more difficult if you’re draped in the Royal Blue of Schalke. This season proved to be a phenomenal one for Schalke as they were just a couple of seconds away from picking up their first Bundesliga trophy since 1958. En route to their second place finish, Huub Stevens’ side completely demolished Dortmund at the Westfalenstadion.
Schalke’s attacking duo of Emile Mpenza and Ebbe Sand were at their lethal best, making a complete mockery of Jens Lehmann. A penalty conceded by Lehmann was followed by a wonderful finish by Mpenza to put the visitors two goals to the good. Things went from bad to worse for Matthias Sammer’s men when Jürgen Kohler put the ball past his own keeper. The night was finally complete when Sand scored his first and Schalke’s fourth of the night. The Yellow Wall had shockingly been silenced.
This victory marked Schalke’s first in seven years at the Westfalenstadion and was their second unbeaten game in a run of seven at the home of their close rivals. Will this year be the start of another such miraculous run?
Schalke 2-6 Dortmund (1964-65)
Remember a time when Borussia Neunkirchen and Eintracht Braunschweig were in the top flight of German football? Probably not, but that is how far back we have to travel relive this outright thrashing of Schalke at their then stadium, Parkstadion.
Not too often do you see results like this in a derby, especially in the Revierderby. Unfortunately for Fritz Langner’s boys, Dortmund were other worldly that night as they blitzed six goals in just 36 minutes to put the game to rest. The legendary Timo Konietzka was at the top of his game that day, scoring two and assisting one.
As some sort of consolation Schalke did manage to score two goals but the damage had been done. The Royal Blues ended up at the bottom of the table that season but were spared the blushes of relegation since the DFB decided to expand the league from sixteen to eighteen teams and Hertha Berlin were relegated due to their involvement in the Bundesliga scandal of 1965.
Dortmund 2-2 Schalke (1997-98)
The two Ruhr clubs met for the second time this season in late December, with Dortmund looking to bounce back following their 1-0 defeat at the Parkstadion. Dortmund were struggling prior to this game, as they were languishing in a mid-table position. Schalke on the other hand had shown signs of promise and were in a far more comfortable fifth position.
Schalke started off the livelier side with Denis Kluyev hitting the upright early on. Dortmund woke up from here on, and took the lead through a stunning free kick from Vladimir But. The heated up affair suddenly experienced a lull as both sides remained fairly cautious, but Schalke finally got the equalizer in the 75th minute thanks to Kluyev.
The visitors’ joy was short lived as another mind boggling free kick put Dortmund back in the lead. This time it was a deliciously lobbed strike from Andreas Möller that beat Schalke custodian Jens Lehmann. With the game going into stoppage time, Schalke pulled off one of the most unbelievable equalizers through their goalkeeper Lehmann. In an act of sheer desperation, Lehmann was present in the opposition penalty area for a corner and managed to latch on to a header to put the ball past Stefan Klos.
This time around, the spoils were shared between the two rivals and Jens Lehmann had a massive hand in the outcome. Unfortunately for us, Lehmann isn’t going to be featuring in this season’s Revierderby.
Dortmund 2-3 Schalke (2007-08)
Thomas Doll’s Dortmund faced off against Mirko Slomka’s Schalke at the Signal Iduna Park in February of 2008 with relegation looming around. Once again, Schalke came into the derby with completely different aspirations as they were looking at European qualification. Despite this massive difference the Revierderby lived up to all its hype and provided Bundesliga fans with an absolute cracker.
Careless defending from Antonio Rukavina allowed Gerald Asamoah through on goal, and the German international rounded the keeper to gently slot the ball into the back of the net. Just like in their meeting ten years before this, Dortmund replied quickly through Giovanni Federico. Dortmund’s woeful defending continued that night as Martin Amedick gifted Schalke an own goal at the half hour mark.
Dortmund came into the second half as the hungrier side and it took them just five minutes to pull level. This equalizer was a result of a blistering counter initiated by Dortmund midfielder Tinga and was finished off by Mladen Petric.
Just when things seemed to be going Dortmund’s way, Dede was carried away by the atmosphere at the Signal Iduna Park as he was sent off for a terrible challenge on Ivan Rakitic. Schalke made the number advantage count and left Dortmund with three points in the bag thanks to an 82nd minute winner from Fabian Ernst.
Dortmund 3-3 Schalke (2008-09)
If the tie from the previous season wasn’t enough to keep fans of both clubs entertained, this game was surely more than enough to do so. The appetizer had been tasty, but the main course was other worldly.
For this season, both sides had undergone managerial changes as Jürgen Klopp was now in charge of Dortmund while Fred Rutten was at the helm at Schalke. Both sides had begun their new eras in style, with Dortmund in fourth place and Schalke at the top of the table. Also, they were both yet to lose under their new managers, making this derby all the more special.
Rutten’s boys didn’t take long to put Dortmund’s defense to the sword, taking the lead in the 20th minute through a Jefferson Farfan penalty. Schalke’s joys continued to grow as they had a comfortable 3-0 lead by the hour mark. Neven Subotic managed to pull one back for Dortmund and make up for the penalty he had given away earlier in the game, but things seemed to be happening too late for Klopp’s side.
Just three minutes after reducing the deficit to two goals, Dortmund got their second goal through Alexander Frei. The Revierderby was far from over. To add to the drama and suspense of this incredibly intense fixture, Schalke managed to get two players sent off within just four minutes. Dortmund were well and truly back in this game.
If all of this wasn’t enough, Dortmund managed to get an 89th minute through an Alexander Frei penalty. The culprit for the penalty was Schalke’s center back, Mladen Krstajic, but unlike his fellow countryman at Dortmund, he wasn’t able to make up for his grave mistake. 3-3 was the final score and the Revierderby had lived up to all the expectation.
Will we witness a one-sided mauling like the games of 1965 or 2000, or are we in for a thrilling battle between two of Germany’s most exciting sides?