Borussia Dortmund’s 18-year-old English wonder-kid Jude Bellingham was left incensed after Bayern Munich snatched a victory in the first iteration of Der Klassiker of 2021/22 German Bundesliga season thanks to referring decisions which he and the whole Dortmund team didn’t agree with.
Jude Bellingham provided the assists for the two goals scored by Dortmund in the 2-3 loss to the German Bundesliga champions in what was a controversial but highly entertaining football match. Referee Felix Zwayer awarded Bayern Munich a penalty in the 77th minute of the game after Matts Hummels was adjudged to have handled the ball.
The players, fans and bench of Borussia Dortmund protested the decision vehemently which held the game for a few minutes, leading to the sending off of Dortmund coach Marco Rose. Robert Lewandowski buried the penalty for his second goal of the game, which was the match-winner.
Speaking to journalists after the match, Bellingham held nothing back as he claimed that a referee like Zwayer should have no business officiating Der Klassiker.
“For me, it wasn’t a penalty, you know?” Bellingham said. “Hummels is not even looking at the ball, and he’s fighting to get it. It hits him and I don’t think he’s even looking at the ball. You can look at a lot of the decisions in the game.
“You give a referee that has match fixed before the biggest game in Germany, what do you expect?”
Marco Rose: Mr Zwayer is welcome to put more obstacles in our [Dortmund] way
Marco Rose, Dortmund’s manager, did not end his protests of the penalty decision until he saw a red card from referee Felix Zwayer. Prior to the Bayern penalty, Dortmund had a legitimate penalty call some minutes earlier which they were denied.
Discussing both penalty decisions, Rose gave Jude Bellingham’s match-fixing comments about Zwayer some context while also furiously lashing out at the 40-year-old referee.
He told Viaplay football: “We all saw what happened. The challenge on Marco Reus is a clear penalty. Mats Hummels’ handball is at least arguable, it’s a pity.
“Mr Zwayer is welcome to officiate a few more BVB games. He can put a few more obstacles in our way.”
Jude Bellingham’s comments sprung from the popular knowledge of a match-fixing scandal in which Felix Zwayer was involved over a decade ago, in 2005. German Bundesliga 2 referee Robert Hoyzer accepted bribes to fix several matches back in 2005.
Zwayer assisted him in one of those fixes – a match involving Wuppertaler SV match – also accepting a bribe for his part in the match-fixing. Zwayer and three other officials later informed the DFB (German Football Association) about Hoyzer’s match-fixing, earning a six-month suspension from refereeing for his part in the scandal.
Zwayer has since been looked upon with scrutinising eyes in the German Bundesliga, despite being one of the league’s top referees.
Thomas Muller empathises with Borussia Dortmund
The controversial game continues to generate a lot of discussion in Germany among fans, players and pundits. This edition of Der Klassiker has left both sections of fans with some form of dissatisfaction with how the result turned out.
Bayern Munich have secured the three points in their bid to win another straight German Bundesliga title. However, not even Mr Bayern himself, Thomas Muller, is confident about how his club secured the three points on their trip to Signal Iduna Park.
Speaking to the media following the game, Muller expressed clear doubts about the game from his perspective. “Dortmund’s first goal has probably helped us. We got into the gaps relatively easily afterwards, the goals were scored after mistakes.
“We should have taken the lead in the first half – In the second half, I don’t know whether we deserved to win from the way we played.”
Bayern Munich remain top of the Bundesliga table with four points separating them and second-placed Borussia Dortmund. They will both be in UEFA Champions League action later in the week as Bayern look to round off a perfect group stage campaign with a sixth straight victory while Dortmund look to cement their Europa League qualification spot.