presented by
Title push on hold

Bayern refocus after defeat to Schalke

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeneß offered no comment as they left the Allianz Arena, and it was "very quiet" in the dressing room, captain Mark van Bommel reported. The mood in the Bayern camp after Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Schalke was understandably gloomy. "That was a very bitter defeat," reflected coach Jürgen Klinsmann, "and it's obviously frustrating." With five games of the league season to play, FCB's hopes of retaining the title are receding fast.

If leaders Wolfsburg had won away to second-from-bottom Cottbus on Sunday, they would have moved six points clear of Bayern, "and we can congratulate them on winning the league," Franz Beckenbauer bluntly declared on Saturday evening. However, Cottbus have never been respecters of reputations and beat the Wolves 2-0 to keep the title race tense and open.

Nevertheless, Philipp Lahm argued in the aftermath of Saturday's third home defeat of the season, "there's no point talking about the title at the moment. We should set ourselves other priorities for now." The left-back defined his revised focus in terms of European qualifying. "In the first instance, that means we must finish second. We have to do everything in our power to qualify for the Champions League, so we have the same fabulous evenings we've had this season. You always want to measure yourself against the best teams and the best individuals. Two years ago, we all saw how bad it is when you're in the UEFA Cup."