With six games to go, leaders FC Bayern and BVB are in one of the closest duels in Bundesliga history. But there can be no question of a high-class title race. A comment.
The cheers in Munich on Saturday were indicative of the title race in this Bundesliga season, when stadium announcer Stephan Lehmann trumpeted Borussia Dortmund’s (3:3) blunder through the boxes in the Allianz Arena. Instead of being able to be happy about three points against TSG Hoffenheim, the fans of FC Bayern had to draw their own joy from the malice over their arch-rivals after the sobering 1-1 draw.
No question: The fact that only two points separate Bayern and BVB with six games to go makes the duel for the trophy more exciting than it has been for a long time. After all, a child who was born in 2012 only knows the great FCB as the German champions. But what suggests tension on paper is no less than devastating in terms of quality. No convincing leader, no serious challenger, no mutual goading and no battle of words between the opponents.
To put it bluntly, neither team deserved to shower their own coach and club officials with an oversized glass full of beer after the 34th match day, whether it was a Paulaner or Brinkhoff’s No.1.
FC Bayern: As bad as last twelve years ago
At the industry leader from Munich, the season is about a lot, but only rarely about the sporty. Instead, serious ski trips, internal power struggles, a visit to Fashion Week, moles and, most recently, a fight have been in the foreground. After the end of the DFB Cup, the threat of being eliminated from the Champions League and the repeated underperformance in the Bundesliga, there is not much positive to say about the football performance.
With 59 points from 28 games, Bayern are in the worst position in the German top flight in twelve years – under then coach Louis van Gaal it was only 51 points in 2010/11. Since then, the record champions have always scored at least 60 points at this point, four times even over 70. So is the oven really over after ten titles in a row? Does Thomas Müller still feel like looking at a twelfth bowl in his display case?
Coach Thomas Tuchel has already looked deeply into this. “We don’t have the sense that it’s burning,” he said after the draw against TSG. So everything seems to be in place to break Bayern’s dominance. Thoughts about it are not wasted at the moment – and with a look at Dortmund the question arises: why should it?
“I’m not interested in what happens in other places,” said Tuchel, when asked about BVB’s mistake. He accidentally hit the nail on the head. After all, Borussia misses one chance after the other to take advantage of Bayern’s creative crisis. The game in Stuttgart was the pinnacle of inability.
BVB: Dortmund has collapsed again
Despite a 2-0 lead and a man more from the 39th minute, Dortmund were unable to defeat relegation-threatened VfB and helped them to make a historic comeback like almost 43 years ago. In the end you could even consider yourself lucky that there weren’t four goals conceded.
Afterwards words like “inexplicable”, “unnecessary” and “stupid” were used. In order to make the seriousness of the situation clear, Edin Terzic even let himself be carried away into a three-minute monologue, in which he seemed more emotional than perhaps ever in his coaching career.
The fact that BVB has overtaken Bayern once before, despite being ten points behind, and inexplicably collapsed again just in time for the direct duel, is not compensated for by the honest statements of the 40-year-old.
FC Bayern: Weakest leader in Europe’s top leagues
The fact that Bayern and Dortmund have anything but covered each other in glory this season is also impressively demonstrated by the comparison to the other top leagues. No current leader has such a poor point average as Bayern (2.11). In the Premier League, the meager yield would even only be enough for third place, BVB would be even further behind in some cases.
Another symbol of the blue-red and black-yellow incompetence is the fact that teams like Union Berlin or RB Leipzig – despite a catastrophic start to the season – are almost within striking distance. The Saxons in particular should be annoyed that they didn’t win against VfL Bochum (0:1) and Mainz 05 (0:3): If they won twice, the team would now be level on points with BVB.
So it’s far from a high-class title race – it’s more of a horrid snail race.
FC Bayern and BVB compared to Europe’s top leagues