Dortmund showdown set to decide German league, says Mueller
BERLIN, May 18, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – Thomas Mueller expects Bayern
Munich’s showdown behind closed doors at closest rivals Borussia
Dortmund in a week’s time to decide who wins the Bundesliga title.
Goals by Robert Lewandowski and Benjamin Pavard sealed a 2-0 win
for Bayern at Union Berlin on Sunday as the German top flight
restarted behind closed doors.
The result in Berlin maintained Bayern’s four-point lead at the top
of the table after the league took a two-month hiatus due to the
Second-placed Dortmund smashed Schalke 4-0 on Saturday with Erling
Braut Haaland opening the scoring before Raphael Guerreiro netted
either side of a Thorgan Hazard goal.
Dortmund host Bayern on May 26 and Mueller expects the potential
top-of-the-table clash to be a key factor in determining whether
Munich will go on to clinch an eighth straight league crown.
“The match in Dortmund will decide how exciting and close it will
be in the next few weeks, that’s for sure,” said Mueller.
Former Dortmund striker Lewandowski netted a first-half penalty for
Bayern on Sunday for his 26th league goal this season, taking him one
closer to Gerd Mueller’s record of 40 in the 1971-1972 season.
Aked if the Pole could overtake Mueller’s 48-year-old record,
Bayern coach Hansi Flick said: “It won’t be easy, but he (Lewandowski)
has the quality.
“If anyone can do it, he’s the one.”
In Dortmund, Haaland also continued his phenomenal scoring record
with his 10th goal in nine Bundesliga games since arriving from Red
Bull Salzburg in January.
In total, the lanky 19-year-old Norwegian has now scored 41 goals
in 34 games in all competitions in 2019/20.
The drubbing of Schalke was the heaviest defeat dished out in the
Ruhr derby since 1966.
Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said he received congratulatory
text messages from football luminaries including Liverpool manager
Jurgen Klopp, Tottenham coach Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid president
“Perez even wrote that he was very happy” about the “exceptionally
good performance by our team”, Watzke told the Bild daily.
However, the Dortmund chief drew the line at suggestions the
emphatic win was a direct challenge to Bayern.
“No. We played the first game after the coronavirus break under
exceptional circumstances – that’s all,” said Watzke.
Last season, Dortmund threw away a nine-point lead when their form
dipped in early 2019, allowing Bayern to win the title by two points.