BERLIN – Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has said that the pressure is now on league leaders Bayern Munich after his side bounced back in the Bundesliga title race on Saturday.
Bayern missed the chance to wrap up a seventh successive title when they were held to a 0-0 draw at RB Leipzig, while Dortmund beat Fortuna Duesseldorf 3-2 to keep themselves in the running until the final round of games next weekend.
“We have given the Bundesliga a final on the last day,” said Watzke. “That is good for the league and we are proud of that.”
“We have been under brutal pressure, but now the pressure is heading south.”
“Bayern have it all to lose, we can only win.”
Having held a nine-point lead at the top of the table in December, Dortmund looked down and out after they slipped four points behind Bayern last weekend.
🎙Favre postgame presser:— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) May 11, 2019
“We are preparing for this week as if it were a final. The game in Gladbach is extremely important: We still have the chance to be champions!" #BVBF95 pic.twitter.com/ld9D4wf7qJ
Yet they battled their way through a nervous game against Duesseldorf to haul themselves back into the race.
“We need to control the game better towards the end and stay calmer,” coach Lucien Favre told Sky, after his team survived a frantic last few minutes.
Dortmund must now beat Favre’s former club Borussia Moenchengladbach next Saturday, and hope that Bayern slip up at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.
“We have to give everything to win in Gladbach,” said Favre.
Bayern, meanwhile, were left to rue a missed opportunity after they were held in Leipzig.
They came within inches of securing the title on Saturday. Leon Goretzka’s second-half goal was ruled out after VAR ruled that Robert Lewandowski’s foot was in an offside position.
Bayern president Uli Hoeness called the offside decision “a joke”, but CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said that Bayern were happy with a point.
“We would rather have won the title today, but the result does not put us in a worse position,” he told Sky.
“In Frankfurt, we face a team who have had a very good season, but we have a good chance to win the championship.”
Bayern have home advantage against Frankfurt next Saturday, and the chance to be crowned champions in the Allianz Arena for the first time ever.
"It will be a final for the #Bundesliga title. The people in Munich haven't had that for years, even decades, so I'm convinced our fans will create a great atmosphere." 🏟️— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) May 11, 2019
All the reaction from Leipzig 👉 https://t.co/FRlO2yrQ9E#RBLFCB #MiaSanMia
The Munich giants have not secured the title on home turf since 2000, despite having won 12 Bundesliga crowns since then.
Bayern coach Niko Kovac also faces his former club next Saturday, and told Sky that he still talks to his former Frankfurt colleagues.
“I still have contact to one or two players and a lot of contact to the officials there,” said Kovac.
“We will need passion and the will to win next week.”AFP