Bayern′s triumph leaves Klopp cold | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 12.03.2012
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Bayern's triumph leaves Klopp cold

It'll take more than Munich's humiliation of Hoffenheim, plus Dortmund's frustrating 0-0 against Augsburg, to spoil Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp's irrepressible confidence – but Basel might be more concerned.

Bayern Munich's title chances might still be relatively slim after Saturday's storming performance against Hoffenheim, but the 7-1 destruction of their hapless opponents might well have a bigger impact on the other major competition they're still in – the Champions League.

Munich's recent performances – complete with ugly on-field disputes – have indicated that all was not harmonious in the Bavarians' base camp. Rarely have Bayern's results appeared more at the mercy of their state of mind.

Their 1-0 defeat away to Basel in the Champions League was the low-point of a bad February, and it was followed by an even worse start to March with a defeat to Leverkusen in the Bundesliga. That left Dortmund, on a 100-percent 2012 record until Saturday, to open a big gap at the top.

Torjubel zum 6-0: Torschuetze Mario GOMEZ (FC Bayern) /re. mit Franck RIBERY (FC Bayern) /li. und Arjen ROBBEN (FC Bayern) /Mitte. Fussball 1.Bundesliga: FC Bayern Muenchen - TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Muenchen, 10.03.2012 -- Football, Soccer 1st. German Bundesliga/ Division: FC Bayern Munich vs. 1899 Hoffenheim , Munich, March 10, 2012 --

Bayern are riding high as they face Basel on Tuesday

"We sent the right signal," said a delighted Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes after the game – but where was it being sent? Possibly to Dortmund, but more probably across the Alps to Basel - who now have good reason to fear a reinvigorated Bayern as they defend their slender 1-0 lead in Munich on Tuesday. The old adage holds good: there's nothing like a porous visiting defense to galvanize the team spirit.

Dortmund unruffled

League leaders Dortmund may have helped lift the mood even further on Saturday as they gave up some ground to their Bavarian challengers. They endured a turgid 0-0 draw in Augsburg on Saturday evening, and the gap narrowed from seven points to five.

But Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp's irrepressible good humor remained unextinguished by the experience.

His habitual smile in place on Sky TV afterwards, Klopp said, "Plan A was to win here. Plan B was to get a point. That's what we achieved."

He also cast a dismissive eye on Bayern's spectacular exploits earlier in the day. "I think we had the harder task here in Augsburg than to thrash Hoffenheim at home," he said. "We came here with 55 points and we're leaving with 56. There are worse days in football."

Bayern/ Fussball, 1. Bundesliga, Saison 2011/2012, 25. Spieltag, FC Bayern Muenchen - TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Samstag (10.03.12), Allianz-Arena, Muenchen: Muenchens Trainer Jupp Heynckes lacht. +++ Achtung Bildredaktionen Die Verwendung der Bilder fuer die gedruckten Ausgaben der Zeitungen und andere Print-Medien ist ohne Einschraenkungen moeglich. Die DFL erlaubt ausserdem die Publikation und Weiterverwertung von maximal sechs Bildern pro Spiel im Internet. Eine Weiterverwertung im IPTV Mobilfunk und durch sonstige neue Technologien ist erst 2 Stunden nach Spielende der jeweiligen Wettbewerbsspiele der Bundesliga und 2. Bundesliga erlaubt! Foto: Oliver Lang/dapd

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes is happy again

And it's true that travelling to lowly Augsburg is harder than it looks. Bayern also struggled on their notoriously poor playing surface when they visited the Bundesliga debutantes back in November, winning 2-1. Neatly, that result left Bayern five points ahead of Dortmund. Now, five months later, the super-club trails Dortmund by the same margin.

But obviously Bayern have much less time to catch up, and Klopp has plenty of reasons to have faith in Dortmund's strength. Dortmund have only four more games away from home, and one of their home games is against Bayern.

"Everything is fine is at is," said Klopp. "We don't go round the country trying to show everyone how to play football. We fight for points. The game helped us to stay credible."

Dortmund clearly have enough faith that their well-honed methods will carry them over the line. Next week, though, Dortmund are at home to a confident sixth-placed Bremen, while Bayern travel to Hertha Berlin, who are going through a dark, troubled patch.

Author: Ben Knight
Editor: Andreas Illmer

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