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Make-or-break time

Van Gaal: We’re the ones who are top

Leverkusen could have done it, but Bayer fell 3-0 away to Dortmund and missed by a wide margin. Schalke could have done it, but although the Royal Blues led 2-1 in Hamburg, they ended up drawing 2-2 and missed by a whisker. At the conclusion of the 27th round of fixtures, Bayern remain top of the Bundesliga, despite a dramatic defeat in Frankfurt.

“Yet again, we’ve seen that it’s not easy for the others to take the lead from us,” Bayern coach Louis van Gaal mused on Monday: “We’ve been able to allow ourselves a defeat, because the others can’t handle the pressure.” Both Leverkusen and Schalke could have toppled Bayern from first place by winning. “But we’re top, not them,” Van Gaal smiled.

Bayern boss confident

Naturally, the FCB boss was unhappy with his team’s display in Frankfurt. “We were poor,” he acknowledged, “we gave away possession far too often.” But Van Gaal’s confidence is far from dented. “We’re top of the league, we’re in the cup semi-finals, and the quarter-finals in the Champions League – and how many other leading European clubs can say that? Only Bordeaux and Inter Milan. It’s unbelievable and very good.”