Bayern Munich president unhappy on verge of title
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Bayern Munich could seal the Bundesliga title over the Easter weekend, yet the club’s president is unhappy.
Uli Hoeness says Bayern has been playing “rubbish” over the past few weeks and that the team was lucky to advance to the quarterfinals of the Champions League despite a 2-0 loss at home to Arsenal. Bayern progressed on the away goals rule thanks to a 3-1 win in London.
But Bayern’s 20-point cushion in the Bundesliga means it can lose the title only in a self-destruction of unimaginable magnitude.
Bayern will face a test on Saturday when it travels to Bayer Leverkusen, the only team to have beaten Bayern in the Bundesliga this season. Leverkusen is 21 points behind Bayern in third place, one point behind Borussia Dortmund.
If Bayern wins its next three games, it will wrap up its 22nd Bundesliga title on April 6. Should Borussia Dortmund falter before that, Bayern will be champion on March 30, the earliest date a championship has been decided.
Still, Hoeness was highly critical.
“We’ve been playing rubbish over the last weeks,” Hoeness complained after Wednesday’s loss against Arsenal.
Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was equally upset.
“We were lucky to have scored enough goals in London,” he said.
Hoeness said Bayern would be unable to beat anyone the way it played against Arsenal. Bayern failed to score for the first time in 37 games.
“We haven’t played well for at least three weeks. The team has to draw the right consequences, it’s five to 12, this way we are not going to win the Champions League,” Hoeness said.
It may not be enough for the Champions League but at home the question is only when Bayern officially seals the title.
Bayern may not have been playing that well in one-goal wins over Hoffenheim and Fortuna Duesseldorf in the last two games but it kept increasing its advantage because the opposition was struggling as well.
While Dortmund and Leverkusen appear sure in Champions League slots, they could be threatened by Schalke, which has won the last three and is six points behind Leverkusen with nine matches to play.
Schalke, however, will have to overcome the disappointment of getting knocked out of the Champions League by Galatasaray. Schalke visits Nuremberg on Saturday.
Fourth place means a spot in qualifying for the Champions League and Schalke is ahead of Eintracht Frankfurt only on goal difference and is one point ahead of Hamburger SV.
Leverkusen beat Bayern in Munich but the team is coming off a 1-0 loss in Mainz amid reports that the coaching pair of Sami Hyypia and Sascha Lewandowski may not be functioning so well together as before.
Both men denied there was friction but sporting director Rudi Voeller said a two-man coaching team may not be a long-term solution.
Dortmund needs to pick itself up after a 2-1 loss against Schalke when it hosts Freiburg on Saturday. Freiburg is coming off a 5-2 loss to Wolfsburg and is seeking to secure a place in the Europa League next season.
Wolfsburg kicks off the 26th round when it hosts Fortuna Duesseldorf on Friday.
On Saturday, Werder Bremen hosts Greuther Fuerth, Hoffenheim plays Mainz and Hamburger SV meets Augsburg.
On Sunday, Eintracht Frankfurt seeks to end a five-match scoring drought against Stuttgart and Borussia Moenchengladbach hosts Hannover.