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First with five to play

Resolute Reds take ‘giant stride’ towards title

Bayern generally came away empty-handed from Gelsenkirchen in the early years after the opening of the new Arena AufSchalke in August 2001, but the jinx has been well and truly lifted now. Saturday’s impressive 2-1 victory over Schalke was FCB’s fourth win in a row at the Veltins Arena, and the second in the space of ten days. It also means Munich are well in the hunt for no fewer than three trophies this term.

“We’re still in all three competitions. I think what we’ve achieved is unbelievable,” enthused Louis van Gaal after a determined and tenacious display from his side, who were reduced to ten men before half-time following a second yellow card for Hamit Altintop. “I believe we thoroughly deserved the win today. What my players are capable of delivering is unbelievable, but fantastic too. I’m proud of my team.”