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Image: Reuters/M. Hangst

Bundesliga Bulletin: Bayern Munich close in on eighth title

June 7, 2020

As the 2019-20 Bundesliga season moves into the home straight, most of the drama is in the race to qualify for Europe or avoid the drop. Two records were equaled and two were broken on the first matchday of June 2020.

https://p.dw.com/p/3dM97

Good week for: Europa League race, relegation battle, Christian Streich

Bad week for: The title race, Julian Nagelsmann, Bremen

The headlines:

-- Bayern strolling to eighth straight title

What is there left to say about Bayern? More records fell, as is customary every weekend with this Bayern. Robert Lewandowski has 30 goals now in the league this season after scoring in the win against Leverkusen, 44 in all competitions. Despite going down a goal early, Bayern eventually took control and look destined to win the Bundesliga under Hansi Flick. The question is increasingly becoming whether that is all they will win under him.

-- Bremen in big trouble as relegation battle heats up

Things are getting tight at the foot of the table. Fortuna Düsseldorf picked up a point against Hoffenheim, but might have felt more was there for them playing against 10 men. Union Berlin will likely have felt the same after their draw with Schalke.

Mainz took a huge step towards safety with a big win away in Frankfurt, but Werder Bremen suffered a huge setback when they lost by one goal in the rain to Wolfsburg. After Timo Horn gave away but then saved a first-half penalty, Cologne thought they had stolen a big three points against Augsburg when Anthony Modeste scored with four minutes left. Philipp Max equalized two minute's later though, to make sure the points were shared.

With four games to go, Bremen need a miracle to make the relegation playoff, but who will be in that spot come July looks like it will go down to the wire.

-- Can can be the man

Emre Can, filling in for Mats Hummels, played a decisive role in Borussia Dortmund's one-goal win over Hertha Berlin. After a slow first half, one beautiful flowing move decided the game as Jadon Sancho's dink was flicked on by Julian Brandt and finished off by Can. The win all but officially secures Dortmund Champions League football next season.The title though, remains a distant dream.

-- Fantastic Freiburg

Christian Streich's joyful celebration after his side's one-goal win against Gladbach might have been a viral hit on social media, but his work over the last nine years as head coach of Freiburg is worthy of equal acknowledgment. Despite a smaller budget and rarely the chance to hold onto their best players, Freiburg have become a Bundesliga mainstay. Nils Petersen's goal off the bench - another familiar sight at Freiburg - was the difference against a blunted Gladbach team that saw Alassane Plea sent off. While Gladbach will be sweating about a top-four finish, Freiburg are dreaming of being in Europe next season.

Freiburg celebrate another big win in the Bundesliga
Freiburg celebrate another big win in the BundesligaImage: Achim Keller/SCFreiburg/POOL/A. Keller

-- Werner rumors spark Leipzig wobble

With all of the rumors about Timo Werner closing in on a move to Chelsea, it was perhaps no surprise that RB Leipzig didn't get the win expected of them against Paderborn. Dayot Upamecano was sent off for two yellow cards and from that point on, Leipzig wobbled. Timo Werner missed a couple of chances that might have sealed the game, and Paderborn punished him with an injury-time equalizer. All this left Julian Nagelsmann fuming and Paderborn deservedly with a point to travel home with.

The quotes:

"It [racism] shouldn't be an issue anymore, but unfortunately it is because there are still many idiots."
Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick

"If we want to beat Bayern then we need eleven players that are all in top form. Sadly, we made too many mistakes."
Leverkusen head coach Peter Bosz

"I don't think that he's doing it on purpose to cause a scandal, but he needs to be smarter, more grown up. Everyone has to go to the hairdressers at some point, but he has to be smarter."
Emre Can on Jadon Sancho's haircut drama

Emre Can scores the winner for Dortmund
Emre Can scores the winner for DortmundImage: Getty Images/AFP/L. Baron

"This weekend was important for us. Gladbach lost, Leverkusen lost and RB Leipzig drew. We knew we had to win."
Julian Brandt on the win against Hertha

"We have got onto the tables and had a look. That is naturally fantastic and at this time really nice."
Union Berlin's Robert Andrich on Union fans singing from the forest

"I call him chef Thomas Müller."
Alphonso Davies on what nickname he has for the man who nicknamed him 'The Roadrunner'

"I would have liked to see him stay in the Bundesliga. I think we should keep our best players here and do all we can to keep them here."
Paderborn's Steffen Baumgart on Timo Werner's reported departure to Chelsea

Timo Werner wasn't at his best for RB Leipzig
Timo Werner wasn't at his best for RB LeipzigImage: Reuters/H. Hanschke

"We haven't had an exchange with Chelsea yet. So far, Timo Werner has not drawn the clause, nor has a club sent a transfer contract. We have nothing to report and do not take part in daily speculation."
RB Leipzig’s Oliver Mintzlaff on Timo Werner's reported departure

"What Kaan Ayhaan makes of the situation is a scandal. It takes the fun out of football for me."
Hoffenheim's Benjamin Hübner after being sent off after VAR deemed him to have elbowed Ayhaan

The stats:

- Bayern Munich have won 9 in a row in the Bundesliga. They also set a new record for the number of goals scored after 30 games in a season - 90 goals. Oh, and they have so far recorded the second best second half of the season ever. Not bad.

- Thomas Müller has equaled Kevin de Bruyne's record of 20 assists in a season from the 2014-15 season. With four games to go, it seems likely that Müller will break it.

- Paderborn's Klaus Gjasula equaled Duisburg's Tomasz Hajto mark from 1998-99 for the most yellow cards in a season (16). With four games left, he will probably break it.

- Hertha Berlin's Vladimir Darida set a Bundesliga record for most distance covered in a game. Darida ran an incredible 14.7km against Dortmund. Just reading that makes for heavy legs.

- Florian Wirtz became the youngester goalscorer in Bundesliga history, aged 17 years and 34 days. His consolation goal in Leverkusen's defeat by Bayern Munich was nevertheless a beauty, and broke Nuri Sahin's 2005 record in the process.

Many teams took a knee before their games
Many teams took a knee before their gamesImage: Imago Images/gumzmedia/nordphoto/V. Witters

The message: The Bundesliga's support of the fight against racism continued on the weekend, but this time it was team protests that were in focus.

The funny: For the first time in a long time, a football game was accompanied by the sound of cheering fans. It was not the sound of atmosphere being played on the stadium's PA system, but rather the sound of a handful of fans singing for Union. According to Sky, 10 Union fans were standing, with the necessary distance between them, singing from the forest behind the stadium. A+ for effort.