FCB turn 'full focus' to Atlético


It was, it seems, not to be. FC Bayern failed to seal the Bundesliga crown at home on Saturday, missing out on a possible premiere: it would have been the first championship title won in Munich since the 1999/2000 season, and the very first at the Allianz Arena, which was inaugurated in 2005. The German record champions failed to convert the first of three ‘match balls’ in the second-to-last Bundesliga home fixture against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday. But the Bayern camp have hardly any time to lick their wounds as they take on Atlético in the Champions League semi-final return on Tuesday.

“Of course we would have liked to win the Bundesliga today. I'd be lying if I told you otherwise,” FCB chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge declared after the final whistle. “But we can't do anything about it now. We're still five points clear and have a good goal difference.” The Reds will try to “wrap it up” away to Ingolstadt next Saturday, Rummenigge added.

Only Müller scores

After Thomas Müller's early goal the Bavarians failed to “make it two,” said Joshua Kimmich. “We started well against strong opponents. Of course we wanted to win and celebrate the championship in front of our own fans today. Unfortunately we didn't achieve it,” Jérôme Boateng admitted after a convincing comeback from a long injury lay-off. “We should have scored more goals in the first half.”

Instead, the visitors became stronger, created chances after the interval and eventually scored a not undeserved equaliser 25 minutes into the second half. “The result wasn't so great, and we invested too little for it to be any better,” said Boateng. Kimmich added: “We wanted to win the title today. It would have boosted our morale for Tuesday.”

'We have to be on fire' against Atlético

Now FCB will have to make do without this boost against the Spaniards. “The match is of paramount importance to us,” stressed Rummenigge: “We now turn our full focus to Tuesday and we'll give it everything. I hope we can make it. We know it's going to be tough. We'll try everything and put up a big fight supported by a 70,000 crowd. I can promise that. I hope this fight will ultimately take us to Milan.”

Coach Pep Guardiola rested a host of regulars against Gladbach but FCB will be back to full strength on Tuesday. “We're in for a tough challenge, but after all we're Bayern. It's a Champions League home match and I think our record is quite decent in that respect,” said Müller, who is the top German scorer in the Champions League all-time rankings on 36 goals: “We have to be on fire then.”