As trailing clubs drop points, path to Bundesliga title clears for Bayern Munich
There was plenty of news coming out of Bayern Munich this week, as the club followed up the 5-1 win over Arsenal at the Emirates (10-2 on aggregate) with the confirmation that Xabi Alonso will retire at the end of the season (and what a coach he will surely make one day).
Better news for the club was the return to action of Jerome Boateng after four months out, as he played for half an hour at the end of Bayern’s 3-0 win over sixth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt. The triumph was sparked by two more goals from Robert Lewandowski, taking him to 100 in total for the club, in just 136 games.
Best of all for Bayern was the fact that the "Start-up clubs," a nickname for the impressive collective of RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund and Hoffenheim, all dropped points. Leipzig lost 1-0 at home to Wolfsburg for new coach Andries Jonker’s first win in charge. It was Mario Gomez who scored the winner, and some partnerships just work. The coach and striker were reunited seven years after Jonker was caretaker boss at Bayern, when Gomez scored nine goals (and two hat tricks) in five games under him.
Behind them, Dortmund dominated possession (68%) but continued its frustrating inconsistency this season, coming down from its Champions League high of beating Benfica 4-0 to lose 2-1 at Hertha Berlin. Hoffenheim, meanwhile, drew at Freiburg.
“As often happens with start-ups, sometimes there is a fault, ideas are a little exuberant and fail,” wrote Sebastian Fischer in Suddeutsche Zeitung. “Or employees leave because they have become interesting for different companies.”
That fate may await the stars of all three this summer. For now, though, Bayern is 10 points clear of the chasing pack. Another good week for Carlo Ancelotti then.