Borussia Dortmund took a giant step towards retaining their Bundesliga title after beating Schalke 2-1 yesterday. The win takes Dortmund 8 points clear at the top of the league after their nearest challengers Bayern Munich were held to a barren draw at home to a stubborn Mainz.
Bayern’s result will be a big psychological disadvantage ahead of their Champions League semi final fixture with Madrid this week. However, Jupp Heynckes will have himself to blame after he chose to rest a number of his key players in anticipation of their Tuesday fixture.
This result comes to me as no surprise as , Heynckes looked to have already conceded the Bundesliga title to Dortmund even before their game with Mainz.
“I said at yesterday’s press conference that Dortmund can’t lose it. Today’s game has confirmed this, they are almost champions.”
“You have to say, they are also worthy German champions because they have been consistent and have really focused on their next games. The team have played well and deserve to be German champions.” Heynckes told Presseportal.
Over in the Veltins Stadium, a 63rd minute goal from Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl settled the score against their fierce rivals. Jefferson Farfan had given the home side a 9th minute lead before Dortmund levelled through Lukasz Piszczek equalised 8 minutes later.
The game looked to be heading for a draw until Captain Kehl scored from a Christoph Metzelder error to break the home fans hearts. Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp admitted that Dortmund’s victory which pushed their unbeaten run to 25 games was ‘crazy’.
“25 games [without losing]? That’s crazy,” Klopp said. “What we have done is unimaginable.”
“It [winning the league] is more likely with this success today [Saturday],” “As long as we have no reason, the champagne corks will not be popped just yet.
With 3 games left to play, things do not look to good for Bayern who have to face Bremen, Stuttgart and Cologne. However, Heynckes will be hoping that Dortmund’s will slip up in theirnext fixtures against Cologne and Mochengladbach.
photo credit © SI