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A matter of time

Relentless Reds closer than ever to top spot

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Five minutes from the end of Saturday’s Bundesliga encounter, and with Mario Gomez advancing alone on Borussia Dortmund keeper Marc Ziegler, the Bayern faithful leapt from their seats: a goal now, and their heroes would be top of the table at last. But the centre-forward felt fellow striker Ivica Olic, who had just come on as a sub, needed the goal more than him, and passed towards his team-mate’s feet. However, Olic had not been expecting the ball, and the chance went begging. The score remained unchanged, and FCB ended up beating BVB 3-1, almost as if Louis van Gaal’s men were enjoying the idea of delaying for a little while longer the moment when they returned to the top of the pile. With 22 matches played, Bayern are now just a single goal behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

“I might have been a bit too nice,” Gomez admitted afterwards. “I was sure it would be a goal. If I’d gone for it myself, the keeper might still have saved it, which is why I passed. But Ivi never expected it, so it all backfired.” The fans will have to wait a little while longer before their team goes top of the pile.