'Only postponed!' Bayern still confident of title triumph
"Postponed doesn't mean cancelled," said Niko Kovac summing up the situation on Saturday night. His team gave everything to wrap up the league title one game early in the closely fought 0-0 draw at RB Leipzig, but had to postpone the hoped-for title triumph to the final matchday. "Unfortunately, we weren't rewarded, but we've saved it for next week," promised the 47-year-old.
Given their two point lead over Dortmund and far superior goal difference (+52 to +35), the Munich side only need a point against Eintracht Frankfurt in the season's finale to pick up their seventh title in a row. And after the performance in Leipzig everyone at FCB believes that the record champions haven't given up, they've simply delayed their championship celebrations by a week.
„"Postponed doesn't mean cancelled. I'm sure things will work out next week, both in the stands and on the pitch"”
"I know that if they play like they did today, fight like they did, push so hard, then we'll be German champions on Saturday," said Uli Hoeneß, confident in his team who stood their ground over 90 minutes in a thrilling game against the Bundesliga's third-placed club. Playing in Leipzig can be very awkward for many teams, pointed out Thomas Müller. But the record champions turned this around - it was they who made things very difficult for the home side.
"They were lucky to keep it to 0-0 here today," said the 29-year-old. Bayern were only a hair's breadth away from the win - Robert Lewandowski's free kick fizzed just past the post in the 89th minute, and Leon Goretzka's 50th minute goal was disallowed for offside by the video referee. "I thought I'd won the league title for the team in my first season. Then the goal was disallowed," said Goretzka ruefully.
Bayern determined in Leipzig
The Munich defence faced some dangerous attacks from the Red Bulls, with Niklas Süle speaking of a "tight game". But with a strong challenge ratio (83% won) and some brave tackling, the central defender once again helped to solve difficult defensive situations. Müller highlighted his determined play and praised "a tackling leadership that you don't see every game at Bayern"
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was also enthusiastic about the "spirit with which the team approached the game," and he hopes for the same next week. "If the team plays like that against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, we have a good chance of winning the league," the chairman said. And so there wasn't too much disappointment at Bayern about the dropped points. "If there's a happy ending to come, I can live with waiting another week," Kovac smiled.