Sunday, 9 April 2017

Five Things We Learned In The Bundesliga

When will Bayern win the title? With a ten-point lead and six games left following Saturday’s 4-1 drubbing of Dortmund, it is only a matter of time before Bayern are confirmed as champions. Only a spectacular collapse will stop Bayern winning the German league for a fifth time in a row — and it could be settled within a fortnight. Providing both Bayern and second-placed RB Leipzig keep winning, Munich’s match at relegation-threatened Wolfsburg on Saturday April 29 will be the day the title win is confirmed. Likewise, the Bundesliga’s top four clubs are all virtually assured Champions League spots next season. Bayern, Leipzig, Hoffenheim
and Dortmund have a big lead over fifth-placed Hertha Berlin. The only issue left to resolve is whether Hoffenheim or Borussia Dortmund qualify directly for the group stages or go into a qualifier. Kiss for Ribery Franck Ribery’s birthday was marked by more than just a cake with candles as the Frenchman got a kiss from Bayern’s coach Carlo Ancelotti. Ribery turned 34 on Friday, then netted Bayern’s superb opening goal to cap an outstanding display in the rout of Dortmund. Ancelotti took him off for the final 25 minutes to keep Ribery fresh for Wednesday’s crunch Champions League quarter- final against Real Madrid, but not without a peck on the cheek on the sidelines. “He had a birthday on Friday, he played well – he needed a kiss,” was the Italian’s simple explanation. Dortmund second best The German media borrow Spain’s ‘El Clasico’ tag for Barcelona-Real Madrid matches to call Bayern-Dortmund clashes ‘Der Klassiker’, but Borussia’s coach Thomas Tuchel admits Saturday’s showdown was barely a contest. Bayern had 18 shots on goal, double Dortmund’s tally of nine, and had 67 percent possession, winning twice as many corners as the visitors. Around 92 percent of the 800 passes made by Bayern, Dortmund managed fewer than 400 passes, found their mark. The domination reflected on the scoreboard as Bayern were 2-0 up inside ten minutes through goals by Ribery and Lewandowski. “Anything else other than their domination and this result would have surprised me,” said Tuchel. “Bayern offer the highest level there is, playing here is like playing Real Madrid or Barcelona away.” Petersen equals record Ex-Bayern striker Nils Petersen equalled a Bundesliga record on Saturday by netting his 18th league goal as a replacement to seal Freiburg’s 1-0 win at home to Mainz. Petersen scored in the 70th minute, just seconds after coming on. His tally of 18 goals in 55 league appearances off the bench includes stints at Freiburg, Werder Bremen, Bayern and Energie Cottbus. His tally equals that of retired ex-Bayern and Dynamo Dresden Alexander Zickler, who needed 102 Bundesliga games to net his 18 goals.

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