Bundesliga

Erling Haaland impressed in Der Klassiker - but Robert Lewandowski proved he's still the best striker in the world

Max Parsons
The two strikers shone for their sides in Der Klassiker
The two strikers shone for their sides in Der Klassiker / ANDREAS GEBERT/Getty Images
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Bayern Munich came out on top in Der Klassiker on Saturday evening, as Hansi Flick's men overturned an early 2-0 deficit to eventually run out 4-2 winners in an enthralling contest.

As usual, the build up to arguably the fiercest rivalry in German football was huge, but one aspect in particular captivated the attention of everyone who took the slightest interest in this clash.

Robert Lewandowski vs. Erling Haaland.

The battle of the strikers.

Now, it was Lewandowski whose hat-trick inspired Bayern to a victory so, understandably, the Pole will happily dominate the headlines coming out of the game. But, does that necessarily mean he should claim the win for the battle of the strikers?

Haaland also bagged a brace himself, firing Borussia Dortmund into a 2-0 lead within nine minutes and, overall, put in an all-round phenomenal performance. A wonderfully taken goal that gave Manuel Neuer no chance opened the scoring inside 80 seconds, while a neat finish at the near post made it two before the clock hit ten minutes.

The Norwegian superstar was dogged and tireless on and off the ball, always pressing Bayern's back line. In fact, it was only after he was forced off with a knock that Jerome Boateng and David Alaba could take a moment to catch their breaths.

The BVB talisman constantly put himself about, held the ball up to bring others into play and showed the sort of determination and aggression you may expect from Vinnie Jones biting away in the Crazy Gang midfield. In short, he did everything Lewandowski didn't do.

His counterpart's performance was, in truth, rather quiet and off the pace. But, in a way that only Lewandowski could, he still grabbed a hat-trick.

A close range finish and a coolly taken penalty leveled the scores before time, while a beautifully fired strike into the bottom corner in the last minute sealed his hat-trick and a vital Bayern victory.

Those three goals take his side back to the summit and take the Pole to a staggering 31 goals in the league this campaign - in just 23 Bundesliga appearances. He is now 12 goals ahead of Haaland's 19 strikes in the competition.

Despite not performing well, Lewandowski - once again - demonstrated why he is the best striker in world football bar none. To notch a hat-trick on a bad day is something only he could do, which is why he continues to dominate the scoring charts in Germany's top tier, and why Bayern continue to steamroll teams across Europe.

But while the Pole remains football's premier goal-getter, it pretty clear that Haaland will take his crown sooner rather than later.

Haaland is here to stay. A brace and a generally fantastic performance during his stint on the field has done nothing but reaffirm his status as the next great number nine.

Lewandowski won the battle this time around but, watch out, Haaland is snapping away at his heels.


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