Three points, no more and no less was the return for Bayern Munich at Union Berlin on Sunday and coach Hansi Flick was content if far from euphoric with the 2-0 win. Bayern have three topics to occupy their thoughts as they approach the rest of the season. Photo: AP Photo/Hannibal Hanschke
Three points, no more and no less was the return for Bayern Munich at Union Berlin on Sunday and coach Hansi Flick was content if far from euphoric with the 2-0 win. Bayern have three topics to occupy their thoughts as they approach the rest of the season. Photo: AP Photo/Hannibal Hanschke

Bayern in Berlin: Title race, record chase and contract poker

By Arne Richter Time of article published May 18, 2020

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BERLIN - Three points, no more and no less was the return for Bayern Munich at Union Berlin on Sunday and coach Hansi Flick was content if far from euphoric with the 2-0 win. Bayern have three topics to occupy their thoughts as they approach the rest of the season.

TITLE RACE:

Thomas Mueller considered the four-point advantage to

Borussia Dortmund when the Bundesliga restarted in simple terms. "We

had nine games [left], we had to win eight," he said. "The goal is

quite clear. Today was the first step. That the match in Dortmund (on

May 26) will be decisive in that, is clear." 

The top pair meet a week on Tuesday with Bayern knowing a win - or

even a draw - would keep them well on course for a record-extending

eighth successive championship.

But captain Manuel Neuer warned against focussing only on Dortmund as

title rivals. "Some things can still happen, you cannot write off any

team, especially when they are so strong as Leipzig," he said.

RB Leipzig, however, are seven points adrift in fourth with

Borussia Moenchengladbach six off the pace in third.

Coach Hansi Flick, meanwhile, is maintaining the classic approach -

one game at a time. "We play first against Eintracht Frankfurt (on

Saturday), everything else comes afterwards." He also demanded an

improvement throughout the team. "Every individual can do better,"

was his verdict on the first match back.

RECORD HUNT:

Robert Lewandowski has already scored 40 goals this

season. Bayern quickly updated his all-competition tally after he

opened the scoring from the spot in Berlin. But while the Polish

forward has struck in league, cup and Champions League this season,

Gerd Mueller's legendary 1971/72 campaign produced 40 goals in the

Bundesliga alone.

Chasing that mark would require Lewandowski to hit another 14 goals

in the remaining eight games, a rate which is difficult though not

impossible. "It will not be easy," said Flick, who thought his

team-mates could have provided more chances for the forward, who

returned from a leg injury, in Berlin. "Lewy made a very good

impression," the boss said. "He is top fit."

CONTRACT POKER:

Neuer seemed doubtful when told chairman Karl-Heinz

Rummenigge was very optimistic contract negotiations with the keeper

would soon be resolved. Rummenigge confidently predicted the marriage

between player and club would hold despite talks dragging on.

In fairness Neuer too told Sky television he was optimistic things

would reach an amicable conclusion but retained an element of

caution. "I think Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is in the picture," he said.

But: "At the moment there is nothing to announce and I'll stick with

that."

dpa

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