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A captain's intuition

Neuer in peak form as finale approaches

Manuel Neuer literally salvaged a point for Bayern in Dortmund on Saturday, with stunning saves from Robert Lewandowski after half-an-hour, Julian Schieber at the end, and above all from Lewandowski's 60th-minute penalty. The keeper ensured the match finished 1-1, “and I'm delighted for Manuel, because I know what a good game here means to him," seasoned battler Daniel van Buyten commented afterwards.

‘Here’ being Dortmund, where no Gelsenkirchen-born player can ever expect a normal afternoon, such is the rivalry between BVB and Schalke. And it was ‘here’ that Manuel led Bayern out onto the field as captain for the first time, even though he was not first in line to take the armband in the absence of regular skippers Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger.